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Butterscotch Raisin Pecan Bars

by on April 8, 2009 · 12 comments

Today’s recipe was recommended by my friend Janet, who made it this weekend for her friends. It was a huge hit, so I’m guessing her friends like raisins – you pretty much have to for these bars. They’re great, but raisins are the predominate flavor/texture and the bars wouldn’t be the same without them. The best way I can describe these is a cross between shortbread (the crust is thick and very buttery), raisin pie and pecan pie – though not as gooey or slick as pecan pie.

The original recipe is here, but I re-wrote it with metric measures and made it in a food processor.

raisin bars

Butterscotch Raisin Pecan Bars – Adapted from & Elinor Klivans

1 cup (140 grams) all-purpose flour**
1/4 cup (25 grams) confectioners’ sugar, plus save extra for dusting
1/8 teaspoon (.5 ml) salt
1 stick (114 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces

1 cup (200 grams) packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) whipping cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (10 ml) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) salt
2/3 to 1 ½ cups raisins (120 grams)
1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped (140 grams) — toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square metal pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray.

Combine flour, sugar and salt in food processor and pulse to mix. Add cold butter and pulse until crumbly. Press crumbs into bottom of pan and bake for 15 – 18 minutes.

In processor or using a bowl and whisk, process or mix together brown sugar, cream, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Stir or process in flour, baking powder and salt. Mix together raisins and nuts and spread over baked crust. Pour the filling mixture over raisins in nuts.

Bake until filling is set when pan is shaken gently, about 30 minutes. Cool bars in pan. Dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired. Using sharp knife, cut into 16 bars. Transfer bars to platter and serve.

Makes 16

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Published on April 8, 2009

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

VeggieGirl April 8, 2009 at 11:45 am


Katrina April 8, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Mmm, I’ll have to avoid that one as I’ll bet my kids wouldn’t eat it and I know Kevin wouldn’t and I’d probably really like it and eat too much of it! Sigh.

Wendy April 8, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Do you think this would work without raisins? I am just not a fan. :( I’m weird, I know… I can eat raisins by themselves, but put them IN something, and it’s a complete turnoff! ha!

Steph (I am Bee) April 8, 2009 at 2:16 pm

those look so yummy! i never though of combining those three ingredients before

Anna April 8, 2009 at 2:21 pm

I took these to the school and shared them with a few people there. The raisin lovers thought they were great. One person who didn’t like raisins had no problem picking them out.

Louise April 8, 2009 at 2:41 pm

I wouldn’t let those who don’t like raisins have any of these. More for me :-) I hate when people pick through food. Or when they eat muffins by unwinding them, but I digress.

Anna April 8, 2009 at 2:48 pm

Louise, strangely enough — I know what you mean! And I warned said person repeatedly about the raisins. The thing is, he loves anything with those particular pecan/brown sugar/butter flavors, so he just had to try one.

Shabneez April 8, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Oh, these look great! I think I’ll have to make them for my dad. He is a firm believer that all baked goods should contain raisins. :)

dawn April 8, 2009 at 3:43 pm

I would love to try this combo. I love butterscotch but not when it’s over-used, if that makes any sense.

shannon abdollmohammadi April 8, 2009 at 4:41 pm


I love, love, love butterscotch…in fact it is what I am working into most of my PBO entries.


HeartofGlass April 8, 2009 at 5:25 pm

How interesting–I would never have thought of combining those two flavors, but I love cinnamon raisin bread, so why not?

I like raisins, much more so than I did as a child, but am often surprised that people have such a violent reaction to them at times. As in: “why did you put raisins in those cookies,” like it was done deliberately to ruin them. Oh well, at least the ‘picker’ still liked hers…

Elyse April 8, 2009 at 9:09 pm

I do love raisins, and these bars look heavenly! I love the shortbread/pie-like combo going on. No wonder these bars were such a hit! I can’t wait to make them, and I love how unique they are!

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