Sunday, May 18, 2014

Raisin Squares for a church potluck

RAISIN OR DATE BARS (More with Less Cookbook)
Today we are having a potluck lunch at church.  We're taking some sandwiches, a quinoa-black bean salad, and a batch of these raisin bars, which I call Raisin Squares because they're different from the Hillbilly Housewife's Raisin Bars (those are more cake-type, these are like date squares but without all the chopping).

Make one of these fillings:
Raisin Filling:
  2 1/2 cups raisins 
  3/4 cup water 
  1/4 cup sugar 
  3 tbsp. lemon juice 
  2 tbsp. cornstarch   
Date Filling:
  3 cups chopped dates 
  1 1/2 c water 
Combine filling ingredients and cook over low heat until thick.  The recipe says to let the filling cool, but I don't usually have time and they still turn out fine.
  3/4 cup margarine or equivalent in preferred fat or oil
  3/4 cup brown sugar 
  1 tsp. salt (seems like a lot, you could try less)
  1/2 tsp. baking soda 
  1 3/4 cup flour 
  1 1/2 cup rolled oats (I use the quick type)
Mix well until crumbly.  Firmly press half the crumb mixture into a 9 x13" greased pan. 
Spread cooled filling over top; it may seem like not quite enough, depending on how thick your filling is, but just do your best to get it spread around.. At this point I like to sprinkle the filling with a spoonful of cinnamon-sugar, but that's optional.  Cover with remaining crumb mixture, patting down lightly. 
Bake at 400 [F] for 25-30   minutes. (I bake them at 375 degrees because our oven runs hot, and they are usually done in about 20 minutes, so watch them.) Cut into bars while warm. 

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