Sunday, June 22, 2008

An unexpected treat!

My best friend came over today after church for the afternoon. She brought a recipe she wanted to try from here:

Of course, the insane amount of butter called for in the recipe was impossible for her to consider using since she is a cardiac nurse. So, we debated over what to use as a replacement for part of the butter-non-fat yogurt or applesauce. We decided on the applesauce until she saw the huge size jar I'd be opening-so the yogurt ultimately won out.

Anyone who knows how I cook will completely understand that we weren't done tweaking just yet. Oh, no. Doesn't the idea of craisins sound so much better than raisins? She cut the salt and omitted the pecans (she doesn't like them). We baked them at a lower temp. (a hint I read recently for baking with fat replacements) and did not wait for them to cool before cutting. Oh, man, my family can't walk past without grabbing another piece.

So, here's how we *really* made them:

Oatmeal Craisin Squares

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks) melted
3/4 cup fat-free plain yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups raisins
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 315 degrees.
In a large bowl, add oatmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; stir to combine. Add melted butter and vanilla and stir to incorporate; set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine craisins, 1/2 cup water, lemon zest, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and immediately reduce heat to a simmer; continue cooking for 2 minutes. Let cool slightly. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a food processor; process until almost smooth. If mixture is very liquid, strain through a fine mesh strainer, discarding liquid.
Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Transfer half the oat mixture to baking dish and press down, using your hands, to form an even layer. Using an offset spatula, spread craisin mixture over oat layer. Top with remaining oat mixture, pressing down to form an even layer.
Transfer to oven and bake until golden brown on top, 35 minutes. Let cool 1.3 seconds before cutting into 2-inch squares. Oatmeal-craisin squares may be stored, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 5 days. Yeah, right...

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  1. Hi Karen, boy those oatmeal craisen squares sure sound good! I love crainsens too. Welcome to the blogging world! I just started this year too and it is a lot of fun. You meet lots of people (like Kathy, who is just a sweetheart!) And people are always so nice! You'll see! Have a great time doing this, I'm looking forward to some more of your recipes.

  2. Looks delicious sis, cute plate too;>)

  3. Hi Karen,
    Welcome to blogland. I am just getting started too and am enjoying it so far.
    Your recipe sounds delicious. Any dessert recipe with oatmeal and fruit is a winner in my book.
    Stop by and visit me if you have a chance.

  4. Welcome to blog land! I have lots of Costco size abgs of oatmeal and craisens so I appreciate the recipe --thanks!

    Hugs, Pat


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