Most of the recipes I have been sharing for my Cooking Through My Collection Series are new recipes. Recipes I have never tried before.This is because my goal with the series is to challenge me to start using more of the cookbooks in my collection.
Today’s recipe though is one I have been making for years. It is from a cookbook in my collection, but I have made this recipe more times than I can count.
I had not planned on sharing this recipe for Chocolate Raisin Oatmeal Bars for this series, but I recently realized that I have never shared this recipe with you all. These are a family favorite so I knew I needed to fix that and share them with you this week.
This recipe comes from an old Taste of Home cookbook. Old as in from the 90’s, so really not that old, but old to some. Some of my all time favorite cookies come from this cookbook, which is The Best of Country Cookies: A Cookie Jarful of the Country’s Best Family Favorites. Many of the cookies in this book are ones I am now working on adapting to gluten free because we love them so much.
You can still find this cookbook used on Amazon, for a really good price. So if it The Best of Country Cookies sounds like a cookbook you would enjoy that would be a good way to get a copy. Or watch for it at used bookstores or sales.
I am curious if anyone else owns this cookbook. If you do what do you think of it? Do you love it as much as I do?
Now for the recipe. These are really good. And even my son who does not normally enjoy raisin likes these. These are basically a version of the jam type bars that were popular years ago, but instead of jam in the middle you have a chocolate raisin layer. Delicious!
I have adapted this recipe a little bit over the years, so it is not quite the same as the original, but it is the same basic idea. And I made notes on how I make a gluten free version at the bottom. These are easy to make gluten free.
Chocolate Oatmeal Raisin Bars
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- 2 cups raisins
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a bowl combine sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave for 30 more seconds. Continue stirring and cooking until chocolate is melted. Stir in raisins and set aside.
- In a bowl cream butter and brown sugar. Add vanilla.
- In a bowl combine oats, flour, salt, and baking soda and add to batter. Mixture will be crumbly.
- Press half of the mixture into a 9×13 pan.
- Carefully spread with chocolate raisin mixture onto crust layer.
- Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture on top of raisin mixture and press lightly.
- Bake for 24-26 minutes.
- Cool and cut into bars.
Note: For the gluten free version I used gluten free oats and chocolate chips. I also used a gluten free flour blend that I had on hand for the flour and it worked fine.