Showing posts with label raisins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label raisins. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Bourbon Raisin Butterscotch Pear Bread Pudding

This Bourbon Raisin Butterscotch Pear Bread Pudding is a decadent and delicious adult treat. Make it kid-friendly by subbing apple juice.

Food Lust People Love: This Bourbon Raisin Butterscotch Pear Bread Pudding is a decadent and delicious adult treat. Make it kid-friendly by subbing apple juice.

When I was growing up, and thinking about it reasonably it’s probably still true today, cakes in South American all seemed to have liquor or liqueurs as flavoring. Even cakes made for a child’s birthday party were soaked in it! Young me hated them. 

Now I see the allure. As long as it’s not overdone, the alcohol adds a little punch of flavor, not unlike adding vanilla but more grown up. One of my favorite ways to add alcohol to a bake is by soaking raisins in it.

Once again, this is not a sponsored post but my key ingredient, the butterscotch pears, were a gift from Melissa’s Produce as part of a promotion for their Family Baking Challenge. Lots of great prizes to win including a KitchenAid mixer! You can find all the details on their website

Bourbon Raisin Butterscotch Pear Bread Pudding

I used our favorite bourbon – Bulleit - to soak my golden raisins but if you are not a bourbon fan, substitute your favorite tipple. If you need to keep this kid-friendly, use apple juice instead. As you will see in the photos, I used Sara Lee brioche. Substitute your favorite loaf. This recipe is adapted from one on the Melissa’s Produce website

For the bread pudding:
1 cup, loosely packed, or 120g golden raisins
1/2 cup or 120ml bourbon 
2 large Butterscotch Pears (approx. weight = 780g)
Zest 1 small lemon 
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup or 57g butter, plus extra for the pan
3/4 cup or 150g granulated sugar, divided
6 cups or about 265g cubed stale brioche bread (This was 9 slices of the Sara Lee.)
4 eggs
1 cup or 240ml whipping cream 
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt

For serving: 
Whipping cream

Warm the bourbon slightly in a microwave or small pot on the stove and then pour it over the raisins in a small bowl. Cover with cling film and set aside. 

Preheat your oven to 325°F or 163°C. The original recipe uses an 8x8 in or 20x20cm baking dish but you will see from the photos, I decided to use disposable aluminum pans to make sharing this delicious pudding easier, which means that I was effectively using an 8x10 in or 20x25cm pan. The bread pudding turns out slightly less deep but still wonderful. Butter whichever pan or pans you decide to use and set aside. 

Core and peel the pears then toss them in a large bowl with the lemon juice to stop them from turning brown.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add a 1/2 cup or 100g of the sugar and stir until combined. Add the pear slices in an even layer. 

Cook, without stirring for 8 minutes until the sugar and fruit begin to caramelize. 

Flip the slices and cook for a further 5-8 minutes until both the fruit and the caramel are golden brown. Remove the pan from the heat. 

Meanwhile, prepare the custard by whisking the eggs in a large bowl, then adding the remaining 1/4 cup or 50g sugar, cream, milk, vanilla, lemon zest, cinnamon and salt.  Whisk again to combine. 

Drain the raisins and reserve the bourbon that wasn’t soaked up. Set aside a small handful for topping.

Spread half of the bread cubes into the prepared pan. Top with half of the raisins. Add a second layer with the rest of the bread cubes and top with the rest of the raisins.

Pour the custard mixture over the bread. Press down to make sure all cubes are soaked.  

Layer pear slices evenly over the top of the bread mixture. Top with remaining caramel from the skillet and the handful of reserved raisins.  

Food Lust People Love: This Bourbon Raisin Butterscotch Pear Bread Pudding is a decadent and delicious adult treat. Make it kid-friendly by subbing apple juice.

Bake for 55-65 minutes until fully set. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes. 

Food Lust People Love: This Bourbon Raisin Butterscotch Pear Bread Pudding is a decadent and delicious adult treat. Make it kid-friendly by subbing apple juice.

Pour the reserved bourbon over the top, if desired, and leave it to soak in. 

Food Lust People Love: This Bourbon Raisin Butterscotch Pear Bread Pudding is a decadent and delicious adult treat. Make it kid-friendly by subbing apple juice.

At our house bread pudding is always accompanied by a generous pour of whipping cream. 

Food Lust People Love: This Bourbon Raisin Butterscotch Pear Bread Pudding is a decadent and delicious adult treat. Make it kid-friendly by subbing apple juice.


Pin this Bourbon Raisin Butterscotch Pear Bread Pudding! 

Food Lust People Love: This Bourbon Raisin Butterscotch Pear Bread Pudding is a decadent and delicious adult treat. Make it kid-friendly by subbing apple juice.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Whiskey Raisin Oatmeal Bars

Raisins soaked in warm whiskey will plump up nicely, absorbing quite a bit of the liquid, thereby adding a sweet touch of whiskey flavor to every bite of these chewy oatmeal cookie bars. Top them with a glaze made from the leftover raisin-y whiskey for extra oomph. 

The Irish are known for a few things including, wrongly or rightly, the talent and skill to make great whiskey and a propensity drink it in prodigious quantities. Also, Irish oats seem to come up a lot online when one is researching Irish baked goods. When our illustrious Creative Cookie Exchange leader, Laura from The Spiced Life, suggested that we think ahead to St. Patrick’s Day for this month’s Drunken Cookies theme, I decided to find a way to combine the two without just baking drunk. Although that option had the allure of a personal challenge, I was thinking it wasn't quite what Laura had in mind.

My Drunk Kitchen, anyone?  **objectionable language warning for the sensitive**

I promise I did not drink a drop while baking these. The shot that accompanies the photos was purely for quality control. Someone had to do it.

For the cookies:
3/4 cup or 170g unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup packed or 150g dark brown sugar
1/4 cup or 50g granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup or 125g flour
1 1/2 cups or 120g oats
1 cup or 170g raisins of your choice (Optional: extra for decorating)
1/2 cup or 120ml Irish whiskey (I used Bushmill’s. Not a whiskey drinker? Sub apple juice.)

Optional - For the glaze:
1 tablespoon leftover whiskey from raisin soaking
Icing sugar
Pinch salt

Warm your whiskey briefly in the microwave and pour it over the raisins in a small bowl.

Allow to soak at least one hour. If you have the raisins in a microwaveable bowl, you can gently warm them once more during that time. Stir them occasionally. Mine soaked up a little more than half the whiskey. The golden ones plumped up better than the dark ones.

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Prepare an 8-inch or cm square baking pan by lining it with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, blend together butter, sugars, egg, salt, and cinnamon until smooth.

Add in the flour and mix well.

Drain the raisins, reserving the leftover whiskey, and add them to the bowl, along with oats. Stir until just combined.

Spread the soft dough out into your prepared pan. I like to put a piece of cling film on top and use my hands to get the dough nice and even, even into the corners.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached.

Cool the bars completely in the pan and then remove the whole square with the parchment paper. Use a great big knife to cut it into 18 bars.

If you want to make the glaze, put your whiskey in a small bowl and add a tiny pinch of salt. Add icing sugar a few spoonfuls at a time and stir well after each addition, until you are happy with the consistency.

Put a spoonful on each of the cooled cookie bars and spread it around a little with the back of the spoon.

Decorate with a few more raisins while the glaze is still soft.  Allow the glaze to set before trying to stack or transport them.

Wouldn't these be great with a tot of whiskey or, if that's not your cup of tea, perhaps a cup of tea?


If you are looking for a great way to add alcohol to your baked goods - and, really, who isn’t? – check out these great cookie recipes.

If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.

You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes--be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Date Syrup Raisin Muffins #UAENationalDay #MuffinMonday

Date syrup or honey, called dibs in the UAE, is ubiquitous in the Middle East and north Africa, the land of dates.  Date syrup makes a great addition to baked sweet treats, adding a depth of flavor reminiscent of molasses.  It is made from the actual dates.  The sap that is tapped from certain date palms becomes palm sugar from a completely different process.

We first arrived in the UAE in the fall of 1987.  Abu Dhabi was a small city with green esplanades and manicured gardens, and a beautiful seaside promenade called the Corniche, surrounded by sandy desert inland as far as the eye could see.  The road between Abu Dhabi and Dubai was a small highway with roundabouts and wild camels that regularly ambled across, so caution was essential.  We would drive into the bigger, flashier city of Dubai for occasional shopping trips, passing by the newly emerging Emirates Golf Club right out in the middle of the desert.  The only green visible was the greens themselves, with their brave little flags marking the holes.  The fairways and bunkers were still all sand.  I can’t even imagine how challenging that course was to play!

Now verdant Emirates Golf Club is in the middle of the city, with Dubai grown out all around it and the highway between the cities boasts four lanes on each side and fences to restrain the camels.  Abu Dhabi too has grown and the Corniche of old has been relocated onto reclaimed land, extending Abu Dhabi island farther into the sea.  When we moved back here again last year, 23 years after we moved away, it was like straining to see through a very foggy window to a place where things looked familiar and yet, so very different.  New buildings, new roads, new beaches, all mixed up with sites that jog my memory.  I’ve spent the last year getting so very lost, even in old Dubai.  Every time I venture beyond my neighborhood it's an adventure!  But, fortunately, I like adventure.

Today the UAE celebrates its 42nd National Day and all weekend long there have been parties, decorated car parades and fireworks.  We are also celebrating the recent announcement that Expo 2020 will be held in Dubai, a real coup for the city and all of the Emirates.  So, for this Muffin Monday, I’ve baked a muffin with a bit of a local flavor, using date syrup, cardamom and raisins.

Happy birthday, UAE! 

1/2 cup or 110g sugar
2 cups or 250g flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup or 120ml date syrup (molasses can be substituted)
1/2 cup or 120ml milk
2 large eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup or 120g butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup or 70g raisins

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.   Put liners in muffin cups or grease well with butter or non-stick spray.  Don’t you love my UAE liners?  I was so pleased to find them at a nearby store.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom and salt.

I used fresh cardamom, cracking the little pods and then grinding the tiny seeds.
The scent is fabulous.  Doesn't it look like pepper?! 

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together your date syrup, melted butter, milk, and eggs.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold to combine.

Reserve a small handful of the raisins for popping on the top of each muffin and gently fold the rest into the batter.

Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Decorate with the reserved raisins.

Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove and cool further on a wire rack.


If you are fortunate enough to be in the UAE today, here's a link to a great article outlining the celebrations, where to go and what to do.  From The Gulf News. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Apple Raisin Almond Muffins #MuffinMonday

Amaretto-soaked golden raisins are nestled along with chopped tart apples and almond slivers in a delicious muffin batter and baked to golden perfection.

Here’s the thing.  I’m not a big fan of pears (can’t bear the grittiness between my teeth - is it just me?) OR dates (except for in sticky toffee pudding where you don’t even KNOW that there are dates) and that’s what today’s Muffin Monday original recipe was all about.

So then I start to substitute.  What DO I like that is similar to pears.  Apples, of course.  And for the dates?  How about some raisins?  Yeah, golden raisins would be nice.  But that seemed so bland.  What about if I soaked the raisins in something?  Now we were talking!  So I soaked the raisins in Amaretto, which led me to add almonds to the batter as well.  As I told Muffin Monday organizer, Anuradha, when I sent her my link, these muffins evolved on their own!  And all I can say is, Good job, guys!  Now I am just gonna sit back and see what my dinner ingredients do.  Further bulletins as events warrant.

Apple Raisin Almond Muffins

3 1/2 oz or 100g golden raisins
1/4 cup or 60ml Amaretto
1 1/8 cup (tightly packed) or 235g light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups or 185g flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup or 60g butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup or 60ml milk
2 eggs
3/4 cup or 50g slivered almonds, divided
2 small green (or other tart) apples

Soak the raisins in the Amaretto for an hour or two or overnight if you are organized.

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper cases or grease liberally.  (You may actually get more than 12 muffins out of this batter, depending on your cup size and your apple size.  My batter ending up being enough for 16 muffins.)

In a large bowl, mix together your flour, light brown sugar, salt and baking powder.

In a smaller bowl, whisk your eggs, butter and milk.

Drain the Amaretto that hasn’t soaked into the raisins into this bowl too and whisk again.

Peel, core and dice your apples.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just moistened.

Add in the raisins and two-thirds or about 1/2 cup of the almonds, reserving the rest for topping, and mix gently.

Fold in the apple pieces.  This is going to look like way too much apple and way too little batter, but it works.  Trust.

Divide the batter into the muffin cups.

Sprinkle the tops with the reserved slivered almonds.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes in the muffin tin and then remove to a rack to cool completely.