In a mixing bowl equipped with a paddle, mix softened butter on medium speed until creamy and light. Add brown sugar and beat until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on medium until smooth. Stir in apple sauce. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and combine just until smooth. Plump raisins in hot water for about 10 minutes. Stir in raisins.
Pour batter into greased half size sheetpan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.
Icing: 1/4 c. butter, 1 qt. powdered sugar, 1/4 c. milk, 1 tsp. vanilla. In a saucepan, heat butter until lightly browned. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar and beat until smooth, adding milk as needed to produce a spreadable consistency. Stir in vanilla. Spread the icing evenly over the cooled cake and cut into 24 bars. ENJOY!