No-fat Cookies - Cinnamon Raisin bars
Cinnamon Raisin Bea Bars - no-fat and delicious!
These cookies have no fat/oil in them. They are GREAT for summer eating because they are light. And they are great for eating in the winter, because they are spicy with cinnamon, which is a warm and cozy flavor.
These bars were originally made by the children's book author Bea Gormley, who lived up the hill from my husband's family north of New York. We loved her books, and we loved her Bar cookies just as much. One day by accident, Amah made them and left out the butter. We all went wild over the result. Not only was the cookie a little healthier, since it had no butter or oil, but the cookie was chewy and very tasty.
We named the new recipe after Bea, who in her most generous way always used to make these cookies for Amah when she was sick. Her generousity and kindness will be forever remembered at our house. I like to make these at Christmastime because they mix up so quickly it is shocking. And then they take 25 minutes in the oven, but that is just some time you can use to clean up.
People who don't like greasy, and who prefer not to load up on fat, will be delighted by this recipe, which has incredible flavor and awesome texture.
All photos by Elyn MacInnis, please give a link back if you use them.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35-40 minutes
Serves: 1- 30 depending on size, 1 bar each
- 2 eggs
- beaten until pale yellow with
- 1 cup sugar
- Then you can add
- 1 -2 teaspoons molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Mix together
- then add to liquid part:
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup raisins
- Beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture is pale yellow.
- Add the molasses and vanilla to the liquid part.
- Then put all the dry ingredients in the bowl with the liquid part, but don't mix it until you have finished adding all the dry ingredients on top. So you are adding the flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and raisins.
- Then mix it all together.
- Spread in a 9 x 13 inch pan.
- Bake 20 - 25 minutes at 350 F (180 C) degrees.
Did you know there are excellent stainless steel baking pans available?
I love my stainless steel 9 x 13 inch baking pan. I can use it for bars, and also for lasagna. If your pan is stainless steel, you can use it and not worry about metal or other bad things leaching out of the surface when you put acidic foods like tomato sauce in the pan. This is a nice gift for a bride and groom to bless them with a pan that won't hurt their health for the rest of their life!
I have had mine since 1973. Never had to replace it. It is still as good as ever.
Beatrice Gormley's books
Beatrice Gormley is a wonderful biographer. Her books are really inspiring, and I know your child will love them. She has also written a book about our current President, Barak Obama.
Why use cinnamon in cookies?
I remember friends in Japan flocking to a special bakery in Kyoto where they made cookies with rice flour called "Roof Tiles" that were flavored with cinnamon. You could hardly get in the store there were so many people in line to buy cookies. It was enchanting - if you smelled it, you couldn't Not buy some. It was like we were lifted up and drifted into the store floating on a cloud.
Why is cinnamon so good in cookies? One reason to eat cinnamon in cookies is that the cinnamon keeps your blood sugar levels down. When you eat cookies, the sugar in your blood makes a real spike, but with cinnamon the spike doesn't go so high, and your system handles it easier.
There are quite a few studies out there that show that 1/4 to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon a day (in tea, not dry) can help keep blood sugar stable, but the Ceylon version called "true cinnamon" is the one you want if keeping your blood sugar down is your aim. The amount you get in a cookie is small, but should make a difference.
When you buy cinnamon sticks, look for the ones that are rolled up like a cigar with many layers. The other ones, like a thin piece of wood bark, are not "true" cinnamon, but a relative called "cassia." The picture here has true cinnamon sticks for you to see.
The mysterious addition
I have discovered something about nutmeg. If you add a little, and I really mean a little, people can still taste the difference. And they like it. I can't tell you why, but I often add a tiny tiny shaving of nutmeg to this recipe.
If you check in botany books you will find that nutmeg taken in large quantities can act as an aphrodisiac, but that there are other toxic things that will make you very very sick if you eat a lot of it, so no one eats it. I will be curious if your friends like the cookies - let me know, okay?
Get fresh, fragrant nutmeg for your cooking!
Nutmeg from a jar is fine, but nutmeg freshly grated is so much better. Of course, you can grate it on a grater, but it is so much easier if you have a grater that you can put on the shelf and grab it when you need it - no need to wash that difficult to wash grater!