April 15, 2010

Oatmeal Raisin Bars

I'm just back from a trip to NC for a highland dance competition, so this post will be shorter than usual. Thanks for understanding! See you soon!

NOTE: My brother deleted my photos of these (by accident), so there will be no pictures in this post until I make and photograph them again.

I don't know about you, but I love cookies. However, I don't make them very often, mostly because of how long it takes. First you have to make sure the butter is soft enough, but not too soft. Then, you have to make the dough, alternating this, half of that. Then, sometimes, you have to let the dough sit in the fridge for an hour (such is the case with one of my favorite cookies). Then you have to scoop out equal sized balls and bake sheet after sheet of cookies. Is it worth it? Yes, but since neither me nor my mom have time to do that often, we were excited to try this recipe.

Oatmeal Raisin Bars. Melted butter, comes together like a quick bread, and no scooping or baking one sheet at a time. It all goes into a 8x8 pan and you're done. Beautiful.

And the taste? Well, they taste like an oatmeal raisin cookie in bar form. They're more substantial, and they don't have the lacy crunch throughout that usually characterizes the cookie version. Sweet, chewy, a slightly crunchy top, with raisins throughout. They're absolutely delicious, and perfect for those who don't have time to make the traditional version. Like me. Mmmmm.

Oatmeal Raisin Bars
From the June 2008 issue of Everyday Food. Received through Rebecca.

The sugars in this recipe are flexible. You can use raw sugar for the granulated, dark for light brown sugar, and once I made them with 3/4 cup of white and 1/4 of brown and they turned out fine. Also, I've put the instructions for the pan per the original recipe, but when I made these at my aunt's house I made them with Pam, without parchment paper. Just be sure to let it cool before cutting. I have also made a "mix" out of it -- mixing the first ingredients in a baggie without the egg and butter, and then the flour, oats, and raisins in a second.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. (Both metal and glass have worked for me). Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; butter paper.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugars, egg, salt and cinnamon until smooth. Add in flour, oats and raisins; fold in until just combined.

3. Spread batter (for me it's more like pressing and not as much spreading) in prepared pan, and bake until toothppick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached (and a light golden brown color), 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift cake to work surface; cut into 16 bars. To store, keep in an airtight container at room temperature. They are best within 3 days, but I had some that lasted 5 and were fine, but they're best within that 3 day period.

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