This is a recipe that comes to us from an Amish woman in Pennsylvania. I've written before about my love-hate relationship with raisins. I don't care for them most of the time. Why ruin a perfectly good oatmeal cookie by sticking raisins in them? Yet, I do like raisin pie (the raisins are sort of encased in a sweet filling so you don't necessarily really taste them anyway) and even Raisin Bran cereal is OK sometimes (the raisins there are sugared up enough to make them palatable). Anyway, this seems like it would be a great recipe to make and have on handy for a quick sweet breakfast all week long as you run out to work. I've been wondering if this recipe would be OK without the raisins, but I think you'd have to leave out the cornstarch too and maybe some other ingredients that tame the raisins. So I'm not ready to try it that way yet. But here you go: cinnamon-raisin bars. Enjoy!
- 2½ cups raisins
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1½ tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon, ground
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) plus 2 Tbsp. Butter, unsalted, softened and cut into 1 tablespoon size pieces
- 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup light brown sugar packed
- Start preparing the filling.
- Mix the raisins and orange juice in a medium bowl, making sure the raisins are submerged, and set aside until raisins soften, about 30 minutes.
- While the raisins soak, prepare the crust.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with vegetable cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
- Add 1 cup of the butter one piece at a time and then the vanilla.
- Continue mixing with a wooden spoon or low-speed mixer for about 2 minutes.
- Pour about two-thirds of the mixture evenly into the prepared pan and firmly press it into a compact, even layer.
- Bake until golden around the edges, about 20 minutes.
- While the crust bakes, add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the brown sugar to the remaining oats mixture.
- Stir until clumpy and then set aside.
- Once raisins have softened, drain the orange juice into a medium saucepan and set raisins aside. Whisk in the cornstarch, sugar, and salt until smooth.
- Set the pan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly until thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Mix in the raisins and lemon juice, and remove from heat.
- When crust is ready, pour the raisin filling onto the hot crust and spread it evenly over the surface. Sprinkle reserved topping mixture evenly over the filling, forming it into rough pea-sized clumps. Return pan to the oven and bake until topping is a deep golden brown, about 30 minutes.
- Cool pan on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours.
- When cool, run a sharp knife aroundthe outer edges of the pan, then cut into 24 squares and serve. Store leftover bars in an airtight container up to 5 days.
Linda from KY
I like raisins and those bars sound really good. I'm thinking about making these for our church picnic next Sunday. I'm still trying to make up my mind, though.
I love raisins - especially in oatmeal cookies which aren't really oatmeal cookies without raisins!!! Going to bake the bars tomorrow!!!! Yea!!!
Hope the bars turn out, Noreen, always good to hear from you!