1940's Old-Fashioned Raisin Bars

Old-fashioned, as in vintage 1940's, this recipe is finally one that is blog-worthy! I'm in the process of preparing a sampling of Depression-era foods for a program that deals with that topic. Going into this project I thought it would be an opportunity to go through my rather extensive collection of vintage cookbooks and to try out made-from-scratch recipes. I assumed that these old-fashioned recipes would be tasty  . . . but soon found out that was not always the case. One batch of muffins went directly into the compost container! Other recipes were okay but not something that I'd every make again, let alone share. For the most part,  I'd describe them simply as depressing foods of the Depression!
Spices were generally avoided during the Depression  as they were  thought to stimulate the appetite and thus  encourage overeating in a time when food was often scarce. However, this recipe contains a triad of spices along with dried fruit. Consequently, it is full of flavor and has a tender and moist crumb (unlike the dry and tough above mentioned muffins).
Another favorable factor -- this made-from-scratch recipe is easy to make.

Old-Fashioned Raisin Bars   Make one 15 1/2" x 10 1/2" x 1" sheet pan of bar cookies
1 cup raisins
1 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup chopped walnuts

  1. Combine raisins and water in a saucepan; bring to boil over medium heat.
  2. Remove from heat and add butter; cool to lukewarm.
  3. Add to a mixing bowl: raisin-water & butter solution, sugar and egg.
  4. Sift dry ingredients together and add to the mixing bowl; beat until thoroughly blended.

  5. Stir in walnuts.
  6. Spread evenly in a  greased and floured (or lined and sprayed) 15 1/2" x 10 1/2" x 1" sheet pan. 
    I lined pan with overhanging foil so that I could lift entire batch of baked cookies out of pan for easting cutting.
  7. Bake in preheated 350° oven about 20 minutes or until surface springs back when lightly touched with fingertips.
  8. Cool.
  9. Frost and cut.
    To cut -- simple lift the foil out of the pan and  the bars can be easily cut. 
Frosting -- mix together:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
Milk -- enough for a spreadable frosting

Recipe without photos . . .
Old-Fashioned Raisin Bars   Make one 15 1/2" x 10 1/2" x 1" sheet pan of bar cookies
1 cup raisins
1 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup chopped walnuts

  1. Combine raisins and water in a saucepan; bring to boil over medium heat.
  2. Remove from heat and add butter; cool to lukewarm.
  3. Add to a mixing bowl: raisin-water & butter solution, sugar and egg.
  4. Sift dry ingredients together and add to the mixing bowl; beat until thoroughly blended.
  5. Stir in walnuts.
  6. Spread evenly in a  greased and floured (or lined and sprayed) 15 1/2" x 10 1/2" x 1" sheet pan. 
  7. Bake in preheated 350° oven about 20 minutes or until surface springs back when lightly touched with fingertips.
  8. Cool.
  9. Frost and cut.

Frosting -- mix together:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
Milk -- enough for a spreadable frosting


No comments:

Post a Comment