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Raisin Bar Cookies: Easy Filled Bar Cookie Recipe

Raisin Bar Cookies are one of those feel-good, easy cookie recipes … all the warmth of an oatmeal raisin cookie, but in a bar cookie recipe.

The bars are simple because they are layered, with the crust and the topping one in the same mixture.

And don’t let the idea of making a stove top filling intimidate you. Cornstarch means thickening is nearly foolproof and the mixture takes just 6-7 minutes to blend together.

Raisin Bar Cookies are a crossover cookie recipe. Three layers – one a filling – make this recipe a filled cookie. Yet they are baked in a pan and cut, so they are also bar cookies.

Raisin Bar Cookies from The Cookie Elf

Prep time: 20-30 minutes

Bake time: 32-38 minutes

Makes about 3 dozen bars, depending upon how you slice them


Crust and Topping

1 ¼ cups (2 ½ sticks) butter or margarine, softened

1 ¼ cups packed brown sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 ½ cups rolled oats plus 2-3 tablespoons extra (for sprinkling)

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoons cinnamon



2 cups raisins

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cornstarch

½ cup cold apple cider or cold water

Directions for Raisin Bar Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Line a 13 x 9 baking pan or a 15 x 10 baking pan with parchment paper. (The smaller pan makes thicker bars; the bigger pan makes thinner bars.)
  3. Make the filling: use a food processor with the steel blade attachment. Set the raisins and granulated sugar in the food processor bowl. Pulse until raisins are almost pureed. Transfer raisin mixture to a large saucepan. Whisk together cold water and cornstarch. Pour liquid into raisin mixture and combine thoroughly. Simmer raisin mixture on medium-low heat, stirring regularly, until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens, about 6-7 minutes. Set aside raisin mixture to cool.
  4. Make the crust and topping: in a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  5. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix until combined. Switch to low speed. Add the flour mixture gradually until well blended. Mix in oats.
  6. Press half of the cookie dough evenly into the prepared pan. Pour raisin mixture over crust; spread it evenly. Crumble remaining dough over raisin mixture. Sprinkle an extra 2-3 tablespoons oats to cover raisins completely.
  7. Bake bars 35-38 minutes (13 x 9 pan) or 32-35 minutes (15 x 10 pan) until set. Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack. Set pan in refrigerator to chill bars before cutting.
  8. Grasp ends of parchment paper and lift bars out of pan. Set the bars on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut Raisin Bar Cookies.
  9. Store bars loosely covered at room temperature (up to 3 days) or in the refrigerator (up to 5 days).

Special Baking Tips for Raisin Bar Cookies from The Elf

  • Choose the baking pan size depending upon how thick you’d like the bars to be. The bars pictured here are very thick, about 1 inch to 1 ½ inches high, and were made in a 13 x 9 pan.

  • Be sure to whisk cornstarch into cold liquid, whether it’s apple cider or water, so it dissolves. Cornstarch will lump when dissolved in warm or hot liquid. Once dissolved, add it to the mixture.

Get more easy bar cookie ideas on our Bar Cookies Pinterest board.

Easy Bar Cookies from The Elf

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