I originally titled this piece, An Ounce of Delicious Won't Kill You! I always weigh my treats, if a calorie count isn't available. For me, a serving of a delicious sweet treat is one ounce.
I am going to share a recipe for light, flavour-packed cookie bars that complement a cup of coffee, elevating the taste experience to the creamy, spiced latte category. Baking these bars will make your kitchen smell like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and love! The recipe contains candied ginger, raisins, spices, and molasses. Bonnie Stern developed the recipe for her heart-smart series, and I have adapted it for my family by making it gluten-free and quick to put together.
As I mentioned earlier, when a calorie count is unavailable, I weigh my snacks. One ounce of cookies, bars, or cake can be disappointingly tiny, but these bars are light in weight and high in flavour. Usually, they weigh half an ounce per bar.
Cookie bars, jellyrolls, and some cookie-sheet cakes require a pan that measures 10” by 15”. If you don’t have such a pan, do go and buy one. Recipes change in texture and appeal when baked in the wrong pan. The following recipe creates a crisp, non-crumbly bar. A smaller pan will create a softer, more cake-like result.
While you are shopping, buy yourself a roll of parchment paper. If you use parchment paper, you can lift the entire batch of cooked deliciousness out of the pan, and place it on a cutting board to slice. Once the bars are cut and cooled, freeze them between sheets of waxed paper.
My gluten-free daughter loves this treat, as does my husband, the boy from the Get a Bigger Wagon stories. As you know, he lives with Crohn’s disease, and he enjoys these bars. As for me, I eat these bars for the flavour! I have always loved the spicy taste of autumn treats.
Spicy Raisin Ginger Cookie Bars
Adapted from a heart-smart recipe by Bonnie Stern
Mix the following dry Ingredients in a medium-sized bowl:
2 cups of gluten free flour of your choice (Use Only Oats brand flour or a combination of gluten-free flours)
¾ of a teaspoon baking powder
¾ of a teaspoon baking soda
¾ of a teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon of ground ginger
½ teaspoon of nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
Beat the following ingredients in a separate bowl:
1 egg white
¾ of a cup of brown sugar
3 tablespoons molasses
⅓ cup of vegetable oil
½ cup raisins
¼ cup chopped candied ginger (I use kitchen scissors for this.)
Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and combine thoroughly. Add raisins and candied ginger.
Lightly oil a 15x10 inch baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. Spread the stiff batter into the prepared pan using a spatula.
Bake the squares in a pre-heated 375°F oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through but not hard.
Cut into squares while warm, and then cool on racks.
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NOTE: Candied ginger can also be called crystallized ginger. I buy mine at Safeway in the dates and raisins section.
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