Growing up, there was almost always the smell of something baking in the oven every weekend. Breads, rolls, cookies, cakes, mom could make anything… and I always wanted to help.
Dad, on the other hand, didn’t have a sweet tooth. He wasn’t into the fifteen or more cookie choices that we always had over the holidays. If you asked him, there was only one cookie that needed to show up on a dessert tray, and that was The Raisin Cookie.
Not just any raisin cookie, mind you, it had to be a specific recipe. And don’t go mucking around trying to adjust it by adding oats or whole wheat flour either. The recipe is a basic, a standard, a go-to that we always had in the freezer at home.
It’s been nine years since Dad passed away. And I haven’t baked raisin cookies since then. This thirty day blogging challenge is making me remember not only good recipes, but the memories that go along with the smell of the spices warming in the oven. Dad sitting back in his easy chair, glasses near the end of his nose, reading the newspaper while we leaned up against his chair doing homework or reading.
This recipe uses shortening – pure lard. Don’t be switching in butter, that changes both the flavour and the memory. Tenderflake Lard was the only brand my mom used, and it’s what went into this batch.
I also remember my brother sneaking these cookies from the freezer when mom wasn’t watching. Once, he snuck one for me. Big brothers and frozen cookies snuck from the freezer…good memories.
Here’s the full recipe. Attach your own happy memories. 🙂
2 cups raisins
1 cup boiling water
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts
Add boiling water to raisins and cook 5 minutes. Cool. Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Add cooled raisins to creamed mixture and mix thoroughly. Sift flour. Add salt, soda, baking powder and spices. Sift again. Add sifted dry ingredients and chopped nuts and blend well into mixture. Drop by tbsps onto greased baking sheet, spaced 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees Celsius for 12-15 minutes. Yield six dozen cookies.