I think last weekend was the baking whirlwind weekend for the organized souls among us who send out cookie platters and all sorts of lovely care packages ahead of time. Bless their hearts. The rest of us? The rest of us kindly accept their homemade, always-delicious kindness with a sincere smile and thanks, and an inner monologue that goes something like “ohcrapohcrap what am I going to make for your lovely face in return?”
Fellow procrastinators: We got this. And we’ll make it worth the wait. Exhibit A: savory, sweet but not overly so, and chock-full of porky goodness, with a crumbly, nutty crust of pine nut dreams and rosemary wishes. We shoot, we score.
You’ve probably already had some version of sweet jam crumble bars — same idea here, but with a savory direction. And if you’re tuning out because you or your loved ones are vegetarian or otherwise don’t eat pork, wait! Come back! This is just as easily done with, say, caramelized onion jam. Maybe even some sort of olive tapenade? It’s probably safe to assume that whatever you’re putting on your cracker these days (sounds like a euphemism, but it’s not) will work.
I got this idea a while ago, but it was just the other day that I decided it had to happen NOW. As such, I didn’t have time to make my own bacon jam, which I’ve done before with success if I do say so myself.
The hunt for pre-made bacon jam turned into an adventure. See, I was convinced that the yuppie-ish grocery store around the corner would have it — bacon is so hot right now, right? Wrong. My short walk down the street in leggings, an oversized sweatshirt, no bra, and pre-shower hair turned into a much longer walk, and then a drive across the river to the East side of PDX (that’s a big deal) to Tabor Tavern, whose lovely faces saved the day with their famous house-made bacon jam. Nothing like rolling into a restaurant at 11 a.m. to demand bacon jam in your Thursday morning best, friends.
This story ends well, obviously.
These darlings belong on your cookie platters, or your holiday appetizer spread, and ultimately, they belong in your mouth. Like any bar “cookie” they’re a breeze to make — and if you have time to make your own bacon jam (the weekend is here, after all), your journey to getting these into your life will probably be easier than mine.
Also, if you think these need a sweet friend or two after all, I’ll tell you what’s on my list for cookie madness this season: Maple Shortbread from the ever-impressive Sarah, Chocolate Truffle Peppermint Crunch Cookies from my genius friend Elizabeth, Chocolate Malted Oatmeal Cookies with Hazelnuts and Sea Salt for an extra-fancy version of a standby from the mad-talented Cindy, Dark Chocolate Almond Florentines by lovely Amanda, and Triple Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake Cookies by Tieghan, who astounds me all the time with her creative recipes and stunning photos. The internet! How does it even fit so many talented people in it?
In any case, I hope your holiday weekend is fantastic, whether you’re baking, shopping, decorating, traveling, thinking about Serial too much (same here), all-around hustling, or figuring out exactly how many pairs of stretchy pants you’ll be going through before the madness stops in January.
Happy Holidays, and thank you for being you. I’ll see you sometime before the New Year, but until then, all my best!
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts, chopped roughly
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 1 egg
- 12 ounces bacon jam, homemade (see link above) or purchased
- Preheat oven to 375 and grease an 8x8 square baking pan.
- Whisk together the flour, oats, pine nuts, sugar, rosemary, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Use a pastry cutter and your hands to work the butter and egg into the flour mixture until you have a crumbly dough.
- Pat about 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of your prepared pan. Spread jam over the dough. Crumble the rest of the dough over the surface, covering it evenly.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, until top is golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into 9 squares.