I have an oddly complicated relationship with this recipe – starting with the fact that I have a relationship with a cookie! But oh what a cookie.
Right off the bat, I’m not a baker. Recipes for baked goods always look like Grade Four math problems to me – you know the ones – “Two trains leave the station travelling in opposite directions ten minutes apart on a rainy Friday afternoon. How old is the engineer?” Way too much measuring and precision for me! But I can make these cookies – even though they’re never as good as Mom’s were – and every tasty bite is full of happy memories of home.
This is a legacy recipe, passed through Mom’s grandmother’s family. I suspect that most families have a similar version in their own files. The combination of such simple ingredients produces a cookie that could elevate my spirits like nothing else when I was a kid. Coming through the back door after school to be greeted with the aroma of cinnamon and vanilla wafting through the house was simply the best thing ever. Even after I moved away from home, Mom would often send “care packages” that included a box of these little gems.
If you don’t have a recipe like this one in your file – you do now!
As the card is a little hard to read, I’ve re-written the recipe below:
Boiled Raisin Cookies
To one cup of water in a saucepan add 1 1/2 cups golden raisins. Boil gently for 5 minutes and allow to cool, saving the liquid.
1 cup shortening
2 cups of sugar (added one at a time, mixing well between additions)
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a separate bowl, sift together:
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Add the sifted ingredients, plus the raisins and their liquid to the creamed mixture and blend completely.
Drop by teaspoon onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400F for 12-15 minutes.
Makes approximately 6 dozen cookies.