Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch square baking dish with vegetable cooking spray.
Makes 9 bars.
- In a saucepan, stir together 1 1/3 cups water and 2 cups raisins. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes or until raisins are tender. Stir 3 tablespoons cornstarch into 2 tablespoons cold water and blend until there are no lumps and the mixture is smooth. Add the cornstarch mixture and ½ cup sugar to the raisins. Continue to heat until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl stir together 1½ cups dry oats and 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar. Add 1 cup melted no-trans-fat margarine or ¾ cup canola oil. Stir until combined. In a small bowl whisk together 1½ cups all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the oat mixture. Stir in ½ cup chopped nuts, such as pecans.
- Spread half of the flour-oat mixture into the baking pan. Cover this evenly with the raisin mixture. Then spread the remaining flour-oat mixture over the top.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before cutting into bars.