- 3/4 Cup butter, at room temerature
- 3/4 Cup Califorinia raisin paste*
- 2 Tablespoons applesauce
- 1/4 Teaspoon salt
- 11/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon zest
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 21/4 Cups whole wheat flour, divided
- 1/4 Cup milk
- 1/4 Teaspoon baking powder
- 21/2 Cups California golden raisins, plumped in warm water
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottom of 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper, and set aside. Measure butter, raisin paste, applesauce, salt and lemon zest into bowl of electric mixer with paddle and beat together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low speed, add 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup at a time, alternating
with 2 or 3 tablespoons of milk each time; mix just until combined after each addition. Stir remaining 3/4 cup flour together with 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and add to mixer bowl; mix just until combined. Fold in plumped and drained golden raisins.
Spread batter evenly in bottom of prepared pan and bake at 350°F for 30 to 35 minutes until done or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Allow to cool until slightly warm. Then, cut 4 by 6 into 24 squares; remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Store in airtight container for several days.
Notes: Commercially prepared California raisin paste is available from foodservice and industrial suppliers. To make your own raisin paste, grind or process in a food processor whole California natural raisins (1-1/2 cups) equal to twice the amount of raisin paste (3/4 cup) required until finely chopped and smooth.