Cathie Campbell/For The Madera Tribune
A nostalgic treat for many years, chocolate-covered raisins can be used as sweet recipe ingredients.
March 24 is National Chocolate-Covered Raisin Day. There are a lot of national food days, but this one has got to be in the top 10 of my favorites.
I don’t plan to include recipes that tell you how to dip raisins in melted chocolate, but I think it will be fun to share recipes that call for the delectable treats as an ingredient.
When I did eat them, I preferred to just open a box or bag or however they were packaged, and eat them right from the package. Unfortunately, it is too hard to stop when eating something that way. Well, on with the show.
Oatmeal cookies with raisins
Of course, the raisins in this recipe are coated with chocolate. Use dark or light, your choice. If you use mostly brown sugar, you will get a chewier cookie. Such as 1/4 cup white sugar and 3/4 cup brown.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 cups chocolate-covered raisins
In a large bowl (can use a mixer), cream the butter and sugars together until well blended. Add the egg and vanilla, mixing well until combined.
Mix in the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in oats until the dough comes together. Fold in the raisins. Roll into balls and freeze the balls for about 5 minutes, to get them chilled quickly. If you can, set them on a lightly greased baking sheet, being careful to keep it at an even level.
Preheat oven to 375. Bake cookies for 9 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheet. Transfer to a cookie rack. Cookies will be very soft and may not appear to be done, but they will set up in minutes. Makes about 20 cookies.
Chocolatey raisiny brownies
There probably isn’t a spell check anywhere that will be fine with the words chocolatey and raisiny but to me, the title says it all.
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate-covered raisins
Preheat oven to 350. Butter or spray an 8-inch-square pan with 2-inch-high sides. Stir butter and both chocolates in medium saucepan over low heat until melted. Remove from heat; cool to lukewarm.
Using a mixer, beat sugar and eggs in medium bowl until very thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Stir in melted chocolate mixture and vanilla. In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into chocolate mixture. Mix in chocolate-covered raisins.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven until wooden skewer inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached and top cracks in places, about 30 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool in pan. Cut into squares. Makes 12 brownies.
Peanut raisin bark
This recipe doesn’t call for raisins that already have a chocolate coating.
1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups shelled, roasted, salted and skinned peanuts
1 1/2 cups raisins
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with waxed paper. Melt chocolate (a double boiler will come in handy) and mix in the peanuts and raisins.
Turn out the chocolate-peanut-raisin mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading evenly to about a 1/2-inch thickness. Place baking sheet into refrigerator and allow to chill about 1 1/2 hours, or until mixture becomes firm.
Break or cut into chunks and store in airtight container at room temperature about 2 days, or store in refrigerator for up to two weeks. Makes 2 1/4 pounds candy.
Chocolate-covered raisin treats
Adapted from the folks at Kellogg’s.
3 tablespoons butter
1 package (10-oz.) large marshmallows, or 4 cups mini marshmallows
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon chocolate flavoring
6 cups crisped rice cereal
1/2 cup chocolate-covered raisins
In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stirring constantly, add marshmallows and cocoa powder. Melt until well blended. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate flavoring.
Add the cereal, mixing well. After the cereal is well coated, sprinkle the raisins in and mix slightly.
Using buttered hands (if cool enough to handle), spatula or buttered wax paper, press the mixture firmly into a 13-by-9-inch dish that has been lightly coated with cooking spray. Allow to cool and become firm, then cut into 2-inch squares (or your preferred size). Best if served the same day. Makes 12 servings, depending on how you decide to cut them.