How well do you like raisins? I’ve loved them as long as I can remember. As a youngster, I used to love getting the small snack-size boxes of raisins to eat as a snack. I still do, in fact. Now, we can get them not just in the snack-sized boxes, but now they’re available in large canisters, which are very economical. Raisins at one time years ago got quite expensive and for a while, sales dropped. Since then, prices have lowered and they remain very popular today.
I’ve come across a bar cookie recipe that makes great use of this healthy fruit, simply called “Raisin Squares”. These are much like oatmeal raisin cookies, except in bar cookie form. You begin by making the raisin filling, which is raisins, sugar, cornstarch, water and lemon juice. This is combined in a saucepan and cooked until it’s thick. You now make the cookie base, which is butter and brown sugar cream together. Baking soda, quick-cooking oats, all-purpose flour and salt are now added. Half of this oatmeal mixture is is patted onto the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan. The raisin mixture goes on top of this layer, and the rest of the oatmeal mixture goes over that. This now goes into the oven and is baked for 20-30 minutes. Let this cool, then cut into bar cookies.
The recipe is designed to made in a food processor. If you don’t have one, you can make the oatmeal mixture with an electric mixer just as well. I’ve written the recipe as I received it, with the food processor directions.
You’ll see in the recipe that you use quick-cooking oats. Don’t confuse this with instant oats, which usually comes packaged in envelopes and you prepare in a cereal bowl with boiling water. This is an entirely different oatmeal, so make certain to use the quick-cooking version as it’s marked on the oatmeal package.
There’s a product on the market called “Craisins”, which are like raisins, except they are cranberries. Though I’ve never used those in this recipe, I believe they would be just a great as the raisins. Also, you may be able to use chopped dates. Again, I’ve never used those in this cookie, but I don’t see why you couldn’t.
The recipe also states to cut these into 1-1/2 inch squares. I like a larger cookie when making bar cookies, so I cut them larger. If you cut them in the 1-1/2 inch squares, you’ll get about 4-1/2 dozen cookies out of this recipe. If you cut them in larger portions, about three inches, you’ll get about 2 dozen cookies.
One bar cookie that I’ve always loved is one called “You’ll Always Ask for Seconds” Cookies, which are just sensational, since they have coconut and nuts in them. To get this recipe, follow this link:
Follow this recipe to creatively use this popular snack fruit!
- 2-1/2 cups seedless dark raisins
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 cup firmly-packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1-1/2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
- 1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine the raisins, sugar, cornstarch, water, and lemon juice in a 2-qt. saucepan. Cook gently, stirring constantly, until thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Use the metal blade of a food processor to process the butter and brown sugar until smooth and creamy, about 20 seconds, stopping to scrape down the bowl as necessary. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse 6-8 times or until just combined.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9x13x2 inch baking pan. Press half of the oatmeal mixture evenly on the bottom of the pan. Spread the raisin filling over the oatmeal. Sprinkle the remaining oatmeal mixture evenly over the filling and press it lightly with your fingers.
Bake the cookies in the preheated oven until lightly browned, 20-30 minutes. When cool, cut into 1-1/2 inch squares. Yield: about 4-1/2 dozen cookies.