Apple Raisin Bars need to be on your go-to recipe list year-round.The combination of apples and raisins make these lightly-spiced bars delightfully moist. The streusel topping is the icing on the cake, so to speak.
You will note the recipe calls for allspice. This means the ground allspice berries, and not the blend of spices sold commercially as “all spice.”
Your favorite nuts may be substituted for the walnuts or omit them at will. The method uses a food processor to save time, but you can hand-grate the apples and use a pastry blender for the streusel topping if you wish.
Apple Raisin Bars Recipe
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) very cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, freshly grated if possible
Apple Raisin Bars Batter:
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice (see Note)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder (not baking soda)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 2-inch chunks
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup raisins, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes, drained well, and patted dry
Prepare streusel topping:
Place brown sugar, walnuts, flour, butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg in the bowl of a food processor with the metal blade. Pulse until broken down into large crumbs, about 1/4-inch in diameter. Refrigerate while you prepare apple raisin bar batter.
Prepare apple raisin bars batter:
Whisk together flour, cinnamon, allspice, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Place apple chunks in the bowl of the food processor (no need to clean after the streusel) and pulse until it reaches a grated consistency. Scrape into a large bowl. Add melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and egg. Stir by hand until combined.
Add flour mixture and raisins to apple mixture, stirring by hand just until evenly combined. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle streusel topping evenly over batter.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick tests done.
Cool to room temperature. Cut and serve.
Yield: 24 to 36 servings, depending on cut size
• Be sure you are using ground allspice berries. Some spice companies market a spice mix labeled as “all spice” similar to pumpkin pie spice mix. Check the ingredients label to be sure.
Apple Raisin Bars Recipe Photo ©2021 Peggy Filippone