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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Jumbo Raisin Cookies


When one thinks of a raisin cookie, oatmeal often comes to mind but there's not a flake of oats in these cookies.  The cookies are made from a rather soft dough which produces a cakey textured cookie.  Soft, spicy pillows of raisin-studded cookie dough are baked to a golden brown with a slightly chewy crust.  These are some of my favourite cookies.  Every time I make them I wonder why I don't make them more often.  (Possibly, because I'd eat too many!)  

This Jumbo Raisin Cookie recipe comes from the old United Church cookbook from Sydney River in Nova Scotia and was submitted by Glennis Farquhar.  I don't know if Mrs. Farquhar is still living but her cookies are still going strong. My uncle, mom's brother, bought several of the books away back in the 1960s, when he was passing through that area, and passed them out to his sisters.  Uncle Walter and Aunt Lorraine were teachers and lived in the United States but every summer they would make the pilgrimage back home.  Nanny Garland looked forward to the summers when her son would come home for a few weeks.   Their annual visits were as certain as summer following spring. 

Many years later I asked mom if I could have the cookbook and she gave it to me.  The original blue covers have long disappeared and I keep the book in a plastic bag so I don't lose the pages.   

These Jumbo Raisin Cookies just scream for a glass of milk so grab the milk carton and pour yourself a tall, frosty glass.  Try to leave a few cookies for the rest of the family. 

Jumbo Raisin Cookies
1 cup water
2 cups raisins
1 cup butter
2 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc.), optional
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
¼  teaspoon nutmeg
¼  teaspoon allspice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare cookie sheets by greasing or lining with parchment paper. 


Simmer raisins and water together 5 minutes. Cool.


In mixer, cream shortening and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.  Add vanilla.  Turn mixer speed to low and add cooled raisin mixture and nuts if using.  

Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.  Add flour mixture to raisin mixture and blend well.  Drop by tablespoons on greased cookie sheet.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 14-16 minutes.

Cool thoroughly before storing in covered container.  Makes about 4½ dozen cookies.


 Simmer raisins and water together 5 minutes. Cool.
 
While raisins are cooling, cream the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla together.
Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, soda and spices together.  A whisk is handy for mixing everything together.

When the raisins have cooled mix them into the creamed mixture.  Add the nuts at this time if you are using them.  I love nuts in these cookies but today I'm making them nut-free because they are going to a church dinner.  Then add the flour mixture until everything is well blended.

Spoon dough unto prepared pan.  I used a cookie scoop and pressed the dough just slightly.  Parchment paper can be used several times.

Here are two test cookie I baked.  The one on the left was not pressed down and the one on the right was pressed.  They are good either way you bake them.

Bake cookies until they turn golden and and slightly crisp on the edges.
Cool the cookies on a baking rack.
Soft, delicious pillows of spicy raisin cookies.
Piles of cookie goodness.

 Cookies and milk.  
No better comfort food.





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