Monday, February 07, 2011
Using It Up: Raisins and Whole Wheat Flour
Glazed Raisin Bars
King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Copyright 2006
3 cups packed raisins (18 oz.)
4 cups whole wheat flour (1 lb.)
1 1/3 cups sugar (9 3/8 oz.)
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks, 6 oz.)
1/4 cup molasses (3 oz.)
1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 large eggs
1/3 cup water
1 cup confectioners' sugar (4 oz.)
3 tablespoons milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 10x15-inch jelly roll pan, a 14-inch deep dish pizza pan, or similar size pan.
Place the raisins and 2 cups of the flour in a food processor. Process until the raisins are coarsely chopped i.e. each raisin should be chopped into about 4 pieces.
Beat the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Add the molasses, baking soda, salt, and spices, beating until well combined.
Beat in the eggs, scraping the bowl, then add the water and the flour-raisin mixture, beating gently until everything is combined. Stir in the remaining 2 cups flour.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan. It will be stiff. Wet your fingers and spread out as smoothly as possible.
Bake until the bars are beginning to brown, 25 minutes. Poke a sharp knife in the middle of the dough. The inside should be very moist but not wet or unbaked looking. Remove the bars form the oven and let cool in the pan.
Glaze: Stir together the powdered sugar and milk or lemon juice. When the bars are cool, use a pastry brush to spread the glaze over the bars. When glaze is hardened, cut bars into 2 inch square pieces. I ended up doubling the glaze recipe because I forgot it was supposed to be brushed on and it didn't seem like enough to spread on.
When I cleaned out my cupboards recently I came across three partially filled boxes of raisins. I don't use raisins all that regularly and I guess I tend to buy a new box whenever I need them. When I saw this recipe I immediately saw it as a good way to use up most of those raisins. And as a bonus, it used whole wheat flour. I bought a bag of whole wheat flour at Christmas for a recipe I never got around to making.
I thought these were going to be dry at first but they weren't. They got better as they sat. They were addictive. I am funny about raisins There are times I just can't get in the mood for them but when I do use them, I usually love them. I really like the way they are almost ground up in these bars, instead of left whole. It distributes the raisin flavor much better.
On another note, take a peek down at the right side of my blog. I've had over 1 million page hits! And I didn't start using StatCounter until over a year after I started blogging. Pioneer Woman probably has about 1 million hits a day and it took me almost 5 years but hey, it's still pretty cool.