Dec 15, 2011

Raisin Bars

Before you start thinking I'm some crazy person who doesn't eat sweets, let me set the record straight. I absolutely love sweets, which is why I use a "game plan" to enjoy them!

Just as it's important not to eat a ton of treats, it's equally important to know how to enjoy them. Eating sweets in moderation is a skill worth developing. Personally, I try not to bake too often in general. It's just dangerous. So, I only bake about once every couple months. And when I do, I make a half batch, enjoy one or two treats for the next few days, and then I freeze the rest in small portions.

Currently in my freezer is a half-batch of raisin bars. I saved about 4 small bars for us to enjoy in the next few days, and the rest went straight into the freezer. This prevents them being too accessible, if you know what I mean. They turned out like a gourmet oatmeal-raisin cookie, which to me is just plain yum.

Recipe adapted from Raisin Bars

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 350F. Using a canola oil cooking spray, lightly grease a 10x15 inch baking sheet. To make filling, mix cornstarch in 1/2 cup cold water and pour into medium saucepan. Add raisins, sugar and extra 1/2 cup water, mix and bring to a boil. Then, let simmer for about 10 minutes. Allow mixture to cool a bit and then place in food processor and pulse until texture is smooth and slightly thick. Let cool.

To make dough, mix flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl (I used a mixer), combine butter, sugar, egg and vanilla extract. Then, add flour mixture and old fashioned oats to butter/sugar mixture and stir just until well combined.

Using half the dough, press it into the greased baking sheet. Then, spread raisin mixture over dough and finish by crumbling remaining dough on top. Bake about 35 minutes. Let cool and cut into small portions (I chose 1.5 x 1.5 in).

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