Do an image search for “raisin & spice bar,” and you’ll get about as precise results as if you had done a search for “candy.” Not that I was complaining. The fact that there were two pages of raisin & spice bars to choose from made it easier for me to hone in one that I knew I would like. Then I started clicking on the results, and began to get really irritated. Turns out the only people who have ever made these things were people who are participating in something called The Modern Baker Challenge. This is a bunch of folks doing the Julia Chiles thing from the movie “Julia and Julia,” only with a different cook book. I’m not poo-pooing their efforts, I’m just a little upset that I can’t grab a recipe from any of them. It’s probably due to some silly copywrite thing.
I went with this recipe instead. I had to modify it a bit, because it called for cranberries, something I didn’t feel like I needed to add on top of raisins. Always with the fruit in dessert! I wasn’t going to be able to convince my daughter to try something with raisins in it anyway, since she doesn’t like anything, and that would include raisins.
Baking, of course, always upsets me, but because all the recipes I viewed looked pretty simple — combine some stuff, dump it in a pan, and cut it up after it cools — these raisin and spice bars made me especially grumpy because the stupid things cost me an hour and a half of my life! I’ve begun to draw the conclusion that baking in my oven takes over twice the time as everyone else’s. It very likely contains some form of dark magic. Of course, I did make some modifications that might have added cook time, a teaspoon of molasses and a teaspoon of honey. I also blended up the raisins in the cup of water a bit because I really don’t like encountering full on raisins in anything except a box of raisins.
None the less, my evil oven and I were capable of pulling off this fairly good raisin & spice bar mess. I couldn’t help thinking that with half the effort I could have had three times the flavor with a standard pan of brownies, but what am I gonna do? National Brownie Day isn’t until December 8th.
Listen, on a side note, this thing is full of christmas spices, nuts and fruit. Turns out the National Food Holiday list has a real agenda to push Christmas desserts in Spring and Summer. I guess it really would make sense if people were selling premade plum pudding and spice bars this time of year, but they’re not… so it doesn’t.
On another side note, I made an extra plum pudding back in early February for National Plum Puddng day, and it’s been sitting in my refrigerator ever sice. It’s supposed to be better that the first one, like left over chili. We’ll see! I’ll be updating that blog after this weekend… that is if it doesn’t kill me.
See you Friday for National Caramel Popcorn Day!