Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thimbleberry Bars

My girlfriend Julie brought over a jar of Thimbleberry jam the other day. So naturally I'm intrigued because I've never heard of this berry before. Julie said that they grow all over the area around her home town in Upper Michigan. On a recent trip to visit her mom, Julie and her boys picked the berries and her mom made the jam. Normally these little jewels would be made into jelly because they have so many seeds. Julie, however, says that she only remembers jam and that the seeds are part of the "taste of home" she remembers so fondly. I was a bit hesitant to put them in bar form because of the seeds but that ended up not being a problem at all. This recipe got me thinking that maybe, just once in a while, we can all endure those little "seeds of life" when they are masked in the sweet memories of home. I'm jus' sayin'!

Thimbleberry Bars


  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup rolled oats

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • 3/4 cup thimbleberry jam (or any berry jam)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 8 inch square pan, and line with greased foil.

  2. Combine brown sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and rolled oats. Rub in the butter using your hands or a pastry blender to form a crumbly mixture. Press 2 cups of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the jam to within 1/4 inch of the edge. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the top, and lightly press it into the jam.

  3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool before cutting into bars.