Friday, June 28, 2013

Flashback Friday: Good Jumbo Raisin Cookies

Flashback Friday: Revisiting a recipe from long ago

These cookies more than make up for that disappointing Mock Angel Food cake I told you about last Friday.  I expected a rather plain and boring old-lady cookie full of nuts and raisins, but boy was I wrong.  Each lovely bite was soft and just a hint chewy, but not cakey.  You know, like all the goodness of a fresh, warm cookie....only they stayed that way even when they weren't straight out of the oven.  And believe me when I say I taste tested them at multiple stages; as dough, straight from the pan, cooled 5 min, cooled 10 min, 30 min later, 2 hours later, breakfast the next morning, within 20 seconds of walking in the door after work, and, well, you get the idea.  Not even possible to just eat one.

This plain-looking recipe was anything but boring.  Near as I can tell the jumbo part of the title must refer to the plumped raisins, not the size of the cookie.  These sweet and juicy raisins are perfectly complemented by warm spices.  You'd never guess the exact spices, but they linger in the background just enough to let you know there's something special in there.  That usually happens in oatmeal raisin cookies too.  Speaking of oatmeal, I actually thought these were going to be oatmeal raisin cookies, just like I thought they would be jumbo.  But after reading and re-reading the ingredients I realized oats were nowhere to be found and thus assumed all I'd get was a dull sugar cookie with raisins.

Though we have a white sugar cookie base, the cookies taste more like a brown sugar cookie.  They're sweet but not too sweet thanks to an unusual amount of salt.  I was hesitant about adding so much salt, but using 2 whole teaspoons makes for an addictingly sweet-salty balance.  Seriously addicting.

I should probably just stop talking now and let you go make cookies.  These soft little nuggets of gold are just what I was hoping to find in my great-grandma's notebook.  Yes, this recipe definitely holds up to the test of time.  As for the cookies themselves, well, they only last as long as your self-control (which will be significantly shorter after the first bite).

Good Jumbo Raisin Cookies
recipe from my great-grandma, Caroline

1 cup water
2 cups raisins
1 cup shortening (I used butter-flavored shortening)
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice

* Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a small or medium saucepan combine water and raisins.  Boil for 5 minutes; let mixture cool to room temperature.
* Meanwhile, cream together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, mixing well.  Add vanilla, cooled raisin mixture and nuts.
* In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.  Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
* Drop (or scoop) teaspoonfuls** of dough onto greased baking sheets.  Bake 9-11 minutes or until edges just turn light golden brown.  Let cool on sheets 1-2 minutes before transferring to wire cooling rack.

** The amount dropped from the actual spoons used for tea, not a 1 tsp measuring spoon.

Food for Thought: "Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in his hands." -Elisabeth Elliot 

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