Golden Raisin Cranberry Spice Bars

I spend so much time at the grocery store I tell people it’s my office.  It’s a joke, but only funny until the monthly credit card statement arrives and I see just how many times I’ve popped into the H.E.B.  Rather than wait for family to stage a grocery shopping intervention, I put myself on a budget and am getting to know, a site some Facebook friends recommended.  It helps a little, but I have to chart things and wait to get the cumulative savings because saving pennies here and there doesn’t seem like much.  I know it will add up, though. 

So all that being said, I’ve had to put the brakes on some baking and make more things with items on hand. This is one of one of those recipes. It’s a variation on an old fashioned raisin spice bar, but with cranberries and golden raisins instead of regular raisins. The bars were on the cakey side, but sweet and moist and dare I say, soul satisfying? If you like spice cake, this is a fast substitute.

By the way, I found a gluten free spice bar recipe as well!

spice bar

Golden Raisins & Cranberry Spice Bars

1 cup mixed golden raisins and cranberries
1 cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
1 scant cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup walnut or pecans, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees f. Grease a 13×9 inch metal pan or line with foil and spray the foil with cooking spray.

Combine the dried fruit and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over
medium-high heat. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Pour into a large bowl and add the oil, sugar and egg. Mix well with an
electric mixer.

In a separate bowl, sift or mix together the flour, salt, baking soda and spices.
Add to dried fruit mixture and mix well. Stir in the nuts. Spread into pan and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool before cutting.

Cut into 24 bars

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  1. says

    We both need to join (or start up) a group called Grocery Shoppers Anonymous! I’d probably be there everyday if I didn’t have to lug a kid with me. I’ll need an intervention before he starts school, too! 😉

  2. says

    I’m fairly new to the budget scene as well (I started in September), but I’ve found it extremely helpful, but unfortunately, I also find myself cooking a lot less. It does however, give you a chance to be creative with what you’ve got. 🙂

  3. Louise says

    I’m an old cost accountant. Just staying out of the grocery store by making planned visits will help your budget a lot as you’ll pick up far fewer things you didn’t plan to buy. You’ll get huge saving there.

  4. says

    Will be trying this this afternoon as I just went out and bought the ingredients. BTW…I can sooooo relate to your account of grocery shopping. Who would have thot that I would be a shopaholic…..certainly not for clothes! Grin!

  5. says

    I just made these! Yum! Definitely like a small piece of cake, rather than a chewy bar or cookie bar. Really moist, light, and flavorful!

    Perfect timing – I had everything in the house; was in the mood for something like this; I have a big workshop to teach tomorrow and baking is a de-stresser/distraction for me the night before; AND I like to bring my participants a treat!

    Actually, I didn’t have golden raisins, so I used regular, plus the cranberries and a small amount of dried tart cherries. And I confess to cutting and tasting them while they are still warm, but no harm done!

    Now the trick is to not eat so many myself that there aren’t enough for everyone else tomorrow… 🙂

    Thanks for another great one, Anna!

  6. Holly says

    I made these yesterday too! I had all the ingredients and it was the perfect day to whip them up. I swapped out the oil for applesauce, decreased the sugar by half, and used some whole wheat pastry flour in place of some of the all purpose. I’m sure your version is absolutely delicious, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well this turned out too! Thanks for another great recipe!

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