Raisin’ a Ruckus Over Raisins




My dad loves raisins — in cereal, in bread, in cookies, covered in chocolate and even, in a pinch, right out of the box.

As a kid, one of the best sweet treats he could give us was mixing up a bowl of sweet black and golden raisins with cashews (being a dentist, this was as crazy as he'd go in the sugar department).

It was only later that I discovered his deepest darkest secret. While he was passing the bowl of these "good-for-you" natural treats, he was stuffing his face with the chocolate covered ones.

Below are a couple of "raisin-centric" recipes just to let Dad know how much I appreciate all the wonderful things he's taught me all the years of my life — especially about sharing those raisins.

Happy Father's Day!


Curry and Raisin Veggie Salad


  • 1 head broccoli, chopped 
    1 head cauliflower, chopped 
    1/2 lb. kosher breakfast beef, cooked, drained and crumbled 
    1 cup raisins 
    1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced 
    2 shredded carrots 
    11/2 cup mayonnaise 
    1/3 cup sugar 
    3 Tbsps. apple cider or rice wine vinegar 
    2 tsps. curry powder 
    1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

In a bowl, combine the broccoli, cauliflower, shredded carrots, breakfast beef, raisins and onion; mix and set aside.

In another bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar and curry powder. Mix to combine and then pour the dressing over the vegetable mix.

Mix to coat, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Makes about 12 cups.


Applesauce Raisin Nut Quick Bread

(Dairy or Pareve)

  • 1 cup applesauce 
    1 egg 
    1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted 
    1/4 cup sugar 
    1/4 cup brown sugar 
    2 cups flour 
    2 tsps. baking powder 
    1/2 tsp. salt 
    1/2 tsp. baking soda 
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon 
    1/2 tsp. nutmeg 
    1 cup raisins 
    3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine the applesauce and egg. Mix to combine. Mix in the melted butter, brown and white sugars, and then set the mixture aside.

In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add flour mixture to applesauce mixture. Mix just until blended. Gently fold in the raisins and nuts.

Spoon the batter into the pan. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes before removing the bread from the pan. Cool the bread on a cooling rack for at least a 1/2 hour before slicing.

Makes 1 loaf.


Raisin Coffee Cake


  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened 
    2 cups sugar, divided 
    2 eggs 
    1 tsp. vanilla 
    21/4 cups flour 
    2 tsps. baking soda 
    1 tsp. baking powder 
    1 tsp. salt 
    1 cup sour cream 
    11/2 cups raisins 
    2 tsps. cinnamon 
    1 cup chopped walnuts 
    powdered sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9×9-inch pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter. Add 11/2 cups of sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until light and thoroughly mixed.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into another bowl. Add to butter mixture 1/3 at a time alternating with sour cream and beating well after each addition. Mix in raisins.

In small bowl, mix the remaining sugar with the cinnamon. Spread about 2/3 of the batter on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top and then top with the remaining batter. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts over the top.

Bake in middle of oven 55 minutes to 1 hour until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. Cool for a 1/2 hour and then sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.


Rum Raisin Chocolate Brownies

(Dairy or Pareve)

  • 1 cup raisins 
    1/4 cup rum 
    3/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine 
    4 oz. unsweetened chocolate 
    2 cups sugar 
    4 large eggs 
    3/4 cup flour 
    1 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips

Place the raisins in a bowl and pour the rum over them. Let them sit for 1/2 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 13×9-inch baking pan.

In a sauce pan, combine the butter and unsweetened chocolate and heat, stirring until the chocolate and butter melt together. Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes.

Whisk in the sugar and eggs. Mix in the raisins (with the remaining liquid), then add the flour and chocolate chips.

Spoon the batter to pan. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached.

Cool brownies in pan on rack. Cut into squares.

Makes 8 to 12 brownies.


Cashew and Raisin Cookie


  • 12/3 cups flour 
    3/4 tsp. baking powder 
    1/2 tsp. nutmeg 
    1/4 tsp. baking soda 
    3/4 cup sugar 
    2 tsps. vanilla 
    2 large eggs 
    3/4 cup chopped cashews 
    3/4 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 300°. Grease a cookie sheet.

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and baking soda. Mix to combine.

In a bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar, vanilla, and eggs, and beat until the mixture thickens. Add the flour mixture, cashews, and raisins to the egg mixture, and mix to combine.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough 6 or 7 times and then shape it into a 12- to 14-inch roll.

Place dough on the baking sheet and then pat the roll down until it's about an inch thick. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.

Place the cookie roll on a cutting board and cut the roll diagonally into 24 (1/2-inch) slices.

Place the slices back on the cookie sheet and bake for an additional 20 minutes (the cookies will be sort of soft in the middle but harden as they cool). Cool on a cooling rack.

Makes 2 dozen.


Oatmeal Chocolate and Raisin Muffins

(Dairy or Pareve)

  • 11/2 cups flour 
    1 Tbsp. baking powder 
    2 Tbsps. unsweetened cocoa powder 
    1 cup rolled oats 
    1/2 cup sugar 
    1/4 tsp. salt 
    1 cup raisins 
    1 cup milk or nondairy substitute 
    1 egg 
    1/4 cup oil

Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a muffin pan or line with 12 paper muffin liners.

In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Add the oats, sugar, raisins and salt. Add the milk, egg and oil; mix until just blended. The batter will be lumpy.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, about 2/3 full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from muffin cups to cool on a wire rack.

Makes 12.


My Version of Quaker Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

(Dairy or Pareve)

  • 1/2 lb. butter or margarine, softened 
    1 cup brown sugar 
    1/2 cup sugar 
    2 eggs 
    1 tsp. vanilla 
    11/2 cups flour 
    1 tsp. baking soda 
    2 tsps. cinnamon 
    1/2 tsp. salt (optional) 
    3 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old-fashioned) 
    1 cup raisins 
    1 cup chopped apricots 
    1 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°.

Beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; stir together until no streaks remain. Stir this into the butter mixture. Stir in oats, apricots, pecans and raisins; mix well.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Eileen Goltz is a freelance food writer and the author of Perfectly Pareve. Email her at: [email protected] Her blog address is: Cuisinebyeileen.wordpress.com.


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