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Bourbon Blackberry Jam Bars Photo

Can I get a fist bump, thumbs, high five, or whatever your favorite hand emoji may be because spring is finally here! There’s no real reason to complain that it took forever to get here, or that it was such a horrible winter, but I’m still excited for spring.

Fresh air, new blooms, longer days and of course all the produce. As soon as the sun starts shining and temperatures reaches above 50 degrees, us New Yorkers break free of the confines of our apartments and you’ll see us everywhere making the most of spring in the city.

For me, that’s hitting up the farmer’s market or even going for long strolls through my neighborhood at different ethnic grocery stores for some cooking inspiration. Normally I’m all about asparagus, artichokes, ramps and rhubarb right now, but I couldn’t keep my hands off some beautifully plump blackberries at my local produce stand.

Bourbon Blackberry Jam Bars Picture

It’s far from berry season, but I guess the early spring weather got the best of me. I hope the excitement of the first berries popping up in the stores will get you too, because these bourbon blackberry jam bars are totally worth not waiting until summer.

This dessert couldn’t be any easier. We start with a simple shortbread cookie crust and once it’s baked you top it off with boozy, bourbon mixed blackberry jam and finally a layer of fresh blackberries. Everything goes back into the oven for a second round and wham, bam you’re done. The hardest part is waiting for it to cool to dig in.

Bourbon Blackberry Jam Bars Image

This dessert is no shrinking violet either, you get a nice bourbon punch with each berry-packed punch. Absolutely perfect for those spring park picnics or barbecues coming up soon.

Bourbon Blackberry Jam Bars Pic


For the Crust:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (8 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup blackberry jam
  • 1 ounce bourbon
  • 12 ounces fresh blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • confectioners sugar, for dusting


  1. Heat your oven to 350°F. Grease and line a 9x9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of your food processor combine the butter, sugar, flour and salt. Pulse 8-10 times until the dough resembles coarse sand.
  3. Dump the dough into your prepared baking pan and press firmly into the pan and the corners creating an even layer.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges start to turn a light golden brown.
  5. In a small bowl whisk together the blackberry jam and bourbon and top the crust with the jam.
  6. Arrange the blackberries in a single layer on top of the jam and sprinkle the sugar on top.
  7. Place back in the oven and bake for another 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before removing from the pan.
  9. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar and cut into 8 triangles.
  10. The bars can be cut into smaller squares or triangles to serve a larger crowd if desired.
  11. Bars are best served the day they are prepared.

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