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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Oatmeal Raisin Bars

While we ate a lot of delicious things on our vacation in Asheville, the oatmeal raisin bars at our bed & breakfast were one of our all-time favorites. Ryan, especially, couldn't stop raving about the bars. On our first night there, we were absolutely stuffed from dinner, but he insisted on taking a few stuffed in a napkin back to our room, just in case they had disappeared by morning! When I saw a cookbook on display in the B&B with many of their recipes, I immediately started flipping through the pages, hunting for this recipe.

A few weeks after returning from vacation, we were reminiscing and wishing we were still on vacation. Since returning to Asheville anytime soon isn't an option, I instead decided to make these bars. I adjusted the Hill House recipe slightly, using whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose to account for all the butter in these! :) I've made similar bars in the past and used applesauce to replace some of the fat, so I may try that next time...but this time I wanted to recreate the sinful originals!

This recipe is a great base for whatever mix-ins you fancy. Not a raisin fan? Chocolate chips or nuts would be good in these too! I would love a version with dried cranberries and white chocolate chips and will probably try that next. Much like at the Hill House, these didn't last long around us...but at least this time Ryan didn't have to sneak any into the bedroom!

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Oatmeal Raisin Bars
adapted from Hill House Inn in Asheville, SC

-1 1/2 sticks butter
-3/4 cup brown sugar
-1/4 cup granulated sugar
-1 egg
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1 cup whole wheat flour
-2 cups old-fashioned oats
-1 cup raisins (1/2 cup golden raisins, 1/2 cup regular raisins)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil so that it overhangs on two sides and lightly spray with cooking spray.
2. Beat sugars, butter, egg, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Mix in oats, flour, and raisins, just until combined.
3. Spread batter evenly into pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Allow bars to cool completely in the pan before using the foil overhangs to lift out of pan and cut into squares.