I have always loved chocolate covered raisins. It has been ever so . . . I can remember going to the movies when I was a girl and a box of Glossettes raisins would be my choice for a treat. Not the chocolate covered peanuts, or any other kind of chocolate bar . . . but a nice box of Glossettes raisins.
I haven't had a box of those in years. These days I get myself the Belgian Chocolate covered raisins at M&S . . . a step up from the lowly Glossettes, but I can't help thinking of those childhood treats and the films I watched every time I pop one into my mouth . . .
I picked up a bag at the garden centre the other day. They were not Glossettes. They were not covered in Belgian Chocolate. They tasted powdery and ucky. Not good. I am afraid I am a chocolate covered raisin snob!
I was into M&S yesterday and I couldn't resist picking up several bags of the Belgian Chocolate covered ones, sorta to make up for the yukky ones I'd had from the garden centre . . . one bag for eating out of hand and the other one for making these delicious bars.
Think of your favourite oatmeal cookie, except in bar form . . . buttery and filled with wholesome oats . . . stogged full of chocolate covered raisins and semi sweet chocolate chips. If chocolate covered raisins are not your thing, you can just use more chocolate chips, or even some milk chocolate chips instead!
Some toasted and chopped walnuts wouldn't go amiss either. I didn't have any when I made these the other day . . . but they are rather scrummy with this nutty addition!
IN any case, these are mighty tasty bars . . . and I know the butter kind of takes away from the health aspect of using good old oats in them . . . and the chocolate covering the raisins kind of takes away from the health properties of them too . . .
Once in a while though you need to feed your inner child . . . your soul. A treat now and then never did anyone any harm. ☺
*Oat and Chocolate Raisin Blondies*
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups soft light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon extract
2 large free range eggs
1 tsp baking soda, dissolved
in 1/4 cup boiling water
2 cups plain flour
2 cups oatmeal (not the quick oats)
1 cup of Belgian chocolate covered raisins
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Line a 9 by 13 inch pan with foil, leaving an overhang to lift the bars out with when baked. Butter the foil.
Cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, lemon and eggs. Beat in the soda water. This will look curdled, but don't worry. Whisk together the flour and oats and add. Mix in thoroughly. Stir in the raisins and chocolate chips. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan, leveling it off as best you can.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until set, glossy on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Don't over-bake if you can help it. Delicious!