Poor Man's Cookie Bars with Cinnamon Whiskey Icing

Before reading my grandmother's recipe journal, I never heard of "Poor Man's" cookies.

From what I can gather, it's just an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink type of cookie.  You know, whatever you have laying around the house - dried fruit, nuts, etc.  They kind of remind me of oatmeal cookies, but without the oatmeal!

This recipe is based on my Great Aunt Eileen's recipe for Poor Man's Cookies.  The recipes in my grandmother's book are not written very clearly, so a lot of it fell upon me to interpret what she meant!  It requires mixing/melting shortening in warm water, which I think is weird and gross - but I did it.  It worked for this recipe, so try to move past it.  

I think that this recipe was intended to be used for actual cookies, but I found the dough not firm enough.  Instead, I spread it around in a cookie bar pan and it worked wonders!

1 c. dried cranberries (or raisins)
3/4 c. warm water
1/4 c. bourbon (or whiskey)
1/2 c. organic non-hydrogenated shortening, like Spectrum
1 T. flax seed, ground
3 T. water
3/4 c. coconut sugar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves
2 c. organic whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c. chopped nuts, either walnuts or sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Line a cookie sheet or bar pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the cranberries and warm water, along with the shortening.  Mix together and let sit for 5 minutes.  At the same time, in a small glass, combine the flax seed and 3 tablespoons of water and stir.  Let that sit for 5 minutes as well.

In the mean time, combine these ingredients in a bowl: baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, flour, and nuts.

When you're ready, add the flax/water, coconut sugar, and salt to the bowl with the cranberries.  Stir.  Add in the other bowl of ingredients and stir.  Make sure that everything is combined.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan.  I wanted a consistent thickness, so I didn't spread mine out the whole way across; I used about 3/4 of my pan.

Bake the bars for 20-25 minutes.  Insert a toothpick when they're done and make sure that it comes out clean.  They should be baked, but be a little springy to the touch.

For the Cinnamon Whiskey Icing:
3/4 c. vegan powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 T. whiskey or bourbon

In a small cup, mix the icing ingredients.  It should be a light brown color and have the consistency of Elmer's Glue.  If it's too thick, add more whiskey.  If it's too wet, add more powdered sugar.  This icing packs quite a kick!  It reminds me of a fireball candy.  Drizzle the icing on top of the bars.

Slice the bars and serve.  These bars are so simple to make and they taste like a piece of comfort food (with a kick).