First place: Victoria Weisenberg Prep: 30 minutes Bake: 44 minutes Makes: 20 bars Weisenberg says the "H" stands for the first letter of her former beau's first name. She prefers to leave that name a mystery. Shortbread 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened 1 cup flour 1/4 cup granulated sugar Raisin layer 1/3 cup flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup brown sugar 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 2/3 cup golden raisins Topping 1/2 cup flour 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened 1 teaspoon cinnamon Icing 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons milk 1/4 teaspoon vanilla 1 Grease or coat with cooking spray a 7 1/2-by-11-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 325 degrees. 2 For the shortbread, combine butter, flour and granulated sugar in a medium bowl until crumbly. Pack into the prepared pan; bake, 15 minutes. 3 For raisin layer, stir together flour with the baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. In another bowl, beat brown sugar, eggs and vanilla together until blended. Stir in dry ingredients and raisins. Pour over the baked shortbread layer. 4 For the topping, combine ingredients in a bowl until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the raisin layer. Bake, 22-25 minutes. Cool. 5 For the icing, combine confectioners' sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons milk and vanilla in a small bowl. Add more milk, if needed, until you get a smooth, easy-to-drizzle mixture. Drizzle over the top. Cut into 20 bars. Nutrition information per serving: 204 calories, 8 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 37 mg cholesterol, 33 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 55 mg sodium, 1 g fiber Food processor method: You do not have to wash the bowl of the processor between steps. Combine ingredients for the bottom layer with a few pulses until crumbly. Pack in pan. Bake as above. Prepare topping in the processor in the same way. Place in a bowl and set aside. Then, place brown sugar, eggs and vanilla in processor bowl and process until blended. Add dry ingredients and pulse a few times. Stir in raisins. Continue as above.
Bill Hogan, Chicago Tribune
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