This is a recipe I’ve had for years, and I have no idea where it came from. If you love oatmeal raisin cookies you will love these bars. They are SO good! You can even convince yourself that they’re the perfect morning coffee accompaniment because they contain oats (high in fiber and good for your cholesterol) and raisins (good for strong and healthy bones and relieve constipation).
1 1/2 cup of raisins
1 1/2 cup of sugar
3 T AP flour
1 1/2 cup of water
2 cups AP flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup of melted butter
1 cup of brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
Start by making your filling. In a heavy saucepan whisk together the sugar and the flour. Add the raisins and water and cook over medium high heat until the mixture comes to a boil, stirring occasionally. Continue to simmer until the mixture thickens.
Remove from the heat and allow the filling to cool.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and begin making the crust. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, and baking soda.
Add the melted butter and vanilla and stir until the ingredients are all combined.
Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on either side. The parchment paper allows the bars to easily be lifted from the pan making cutting and cleanup much easier. Spread 2/3 of the oatmeal mixture in the pan and press to form the base.
Pour the filling over the base.
Top with the remaining oat mixture.
Bake for 35 minutes until the top is golden brown. Remove and allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.
Once it has cooled completely, using the parchment overhang, lift from the pan, cut into bars, and enjoy.
NOTE: I have made this with dates before, substituting 1 1/2 cups of chopped dates for the raisins. And, while I’ve never tried this before, dried cherries might also be a great substitute for the raisins.