December 3, 2012

12 Days of Cookies: Day the Third
( Bourbon-Raisin Bars with Cinnamon Glaze)

Do you have enough to do this holiday season?  Present wrapping?  Pastry baking?  Tree-trimming?  Here's one more item for the list:   Appreciate Raisins More.

It ain't gonna do itself, people.  It seems to be ingrained in human nature to pass over raisins as "those little brown things in oatmeal cookies."  This is shameful.  Raisins have dignity.  They have purpose.  They are a fruit in their own right. 

Well, no, actually.  Grapes are a fruit in their own right.  Raisins are what's left over after grapes have had all the life force sucked out of them.  But since raisins are about a thousand times tastier than grapes, that just proves that life force is pretty low down there on the flavor scaleNegative flavor, really.  Which leads us to some religious concerns and some doubts about the whole vampire mythos.  But that's a discussion for another day.

The point is, raisins are amazing and they deserve top billing once in a while.  Like in these bars, which are crumbly and chewy and cinnamon-ey and laced with bourbon.  What?  Had you at "bourbon?"  Thought so.

Just don't try to slurp the raisin filling off the wooden spoon as it's cooking.  I know it's gorgeous and dark and velvety-looking.  I know they're plump and juicy and calling to you.  But my blistery tongue's here to [inconprehensibly] tell you: boiling raisins are HOT, folks.  No joke. No cookie is worth a holiday injury.  Well, maybe these are.  But that's a decision for you and your tongue.

Bourbon Raisin Bars with Cinnamon Glaze
basically entirely from Mallory 
from Fork vs. Spoon

Sugar  [ 1/4 cup ]
Constarch  [ 1 tablespoon ]
Water  [ 3/4 cup ]
Bourbon  [ 1/4 cup ]
Raisins  [ 2 cups ]
Cinnamon  [ 1/2 teaspoon ]

Unsalted Butter  [ 1/2 cup, at room temperature ]
Brown Sugar  [ packed, 1 cup ]
Flour  [ 1 1/2 cups ]
Baking Soda  [ 1/2 teaspoon ]
Salt  [ 1/2 teaspoon ]
Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats  [ 1 1/2 cups ]
Pecans  [ roughly chopped, 1 cup ]
Water  [ 2 tablespoons ]

Powdered Sugar  [ 1 1/2 cups ]
Milk  [ 3-4 tablespoons ]
Cinnamon  [ 1/2 teaspoon ]

1.   In a medium pot, mix Sugar, Cornstarch, Water, Bourbon, Raisins and Cinnamon.  
2.   Bring Raisin Mixture to a steady simmer over Medium heat.
3.   Stirring often, cook until Raisin Mixture is thickened and no longer cloudy.  This will take 3 to 5 minutes.  
         Unless, like me, you tripled the recipe.  Then it will take 5000 years, give or take. 
4.   Remove pot from heat and allow Raisin Mixture to cool.

5.   Heat oven to 350 degrees.
6.   Line a 9x13-inch pan with heavy-duty foil; then spray with nonstick cooking spray.
7.   Whisk together Flour, Baking Soda and Salt.
8.   In a mixer bowl, cream Butter and Sugar.
7.   Add dry ingredients to Butter Mixture.
8.   Stir Oats, Pecans and 1 Tablespoon Water into Mixture.  The resulting Mixture will look like apple crisp
         topping.  Control yourself and try not to eat it all.

9.   Divide Crumbly Mixture in two.  Press 1 portion onto bottom of prepared pan.
10.   Spread Raisin Filling over Crumbly Crust.
11.   Stir remaining 1 Tablespoon Water into second portion of Crumbly Mixture.
12.   Sprinkle newly-dampened Crumbly Mixture over Raisin Filling and press down gently to flatten.
13.   Bake approximately 35 minutes  [topping will be golden brown ].
14.   Set on a baking rack until completely cool.

15.   Whisk together Powdered Sugar, Cinnamon and Milk.
16.   Drizzle over cooled Bars.


  1. Who needs a bar? You can drink on the street as long as it's in a plastic container (No glass). Plenty of bars have walk up windows where you can get a drink in a plastic cup and keep going.

  2. Your bourbon raisin bars are wonderful! Best recipe yet!
    The person who wrote the comments for the raisins has a marvelous sense of humor.