Awhile ago, my daughter, Erin and I were talking about cookies and she asked me if the Golden Raisin Biscuits were still available in the grocery store? I hadn't bought them since she lived at home and said, "I don't know, but I will check when I go shopping." These "store bought" cookies were a favorite of our family and I had never tried to replicate them because they were perfect! However, "necessity is the mother of invention" (aka, difficult situations inspired ingenious situations), and as I sadly discovered they were no longer being made, I decided to try to come up with my version.
The biscuits were made by the Sunshine Baking Company, but it was bought by Keebler and then, later Kellogg. The cookies were discontinued in 1996. I did discover that in the 1960s, the Sunshine Baking Company actually replicated the recipe from a Scottish baking company called Crawford's in Edinburgh. These biscuits are still available (I found them online through Amazon) and are called Garibaldi--Golden crispy biscuits filled with currants. Of course, I bought a carton and shared them with my daughter and sister!
My attempt today is softer than the biscuits we remember, but I decided it was the taste I wanted and the texture was secondary. Both the Garibaldi biscuits and the Sunshine Raisin Biscuits were definitely more cracker-like, but for the home baker, these come pretty close. I've named them fruit bars because if you don't like currants, substitute dried cranberries, raisins, or even cherries.
Golden Fruit Bars
2 cups King Arthur All-purpose Flour
1 cup King Arthur Organic Wheat Flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 T Vital Wheat Gluten
1/4 cup Baker's Special Dry Milk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup Vegetable Oil
2 T Light Karo Syrup
2 cups dried currants
Egg Wash: 1 large egg + 1 T milk
Equipment: 12" x 17" or 13" x 18" sheet pan
Place the dried currants in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let set 45 minutes to an hour. Drain thoroughly and set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, add the first eight ingredients to the bowl and pulse to combine. Combine the Karo syrup and the vegetable oil in a measuring cup and while the processor is running, pour through the feed tube into the dry ingredients. Stop the machine when all the liquid has been added. Add the currants and pulse several times to combine. The mixture will resemble "wet sand".
Dump the mixture onto the sheet pan, distributing the dough to completely cover the bottom. Press down with your fingers.
If desired, place a piece of parchment paper over the top and with a pastry roller, smooth the surface. You can also use a pronged roller to prick the surface or use a fork.
Let dough chill while you preheat oven to 325F-degrees. Remove the pan from the refrigerator and brush the egg wash over the top of the cookie--this step gives the "golden" brown color the biscuits are known for.
Bake in the preheated over for approximately 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and while warm, cut into squares. Let cool completely!
These bars tasted wonderful, but not as dry and crisp as the original, which was okay by me. I love the simplicity of these cookies and know they will be appreciated by my family--mission complete or as Maddie and Ari would say..."Ta Da!"