I’m pretty sure the recipe below is my husband’s grandma’s recipe for filled raisin cookies. It certainly sounds like the hearty recipe (7 cups of flour!) that I remember. I am just a little bit concerned because this recipe mentions a food processor and Tom’s grandma was definitely from the pre-food processor era. Still, I found this recipe in my document, recipes1v2, so I am going with it.
Tom’s grandmother, Alta May Walters, was born in 1896. She grew up on a ranch in Southeastern Idaho near Blackfoot. Blackfoot is not far from the western border of Yellowstone National Park. I loved the breezy way Grandma in Idaho (as we named her for our children) called Yellowstone, “the park” and I love the photo of her and her horse, Scout, up in the ponderosas at Island Park, Idaho when she was a little girl. Idaho is not for the faint-hearted. In Blackfoot, summer would usually finally show up in June and—I swear and I have seen and felt it myself—winter could start closing back in at the end of August or early September. In any case, Idaho seemed to be a place for two-fisted cookies— I remember no little meringues, no madeleines. These cookies, like everything Grandma made, were delicious and seemed to just appear out of nowhere with no apparent effort on her part. I’ve known my share of good cooks, but Grandma was the most efficient cook I’ve ever seen.
In the short time I knew Grandma she and I got along very well. We both had four brothers and no sisters and liked it that way. We sealed our relationship early on when Grandma asked me if I liked washing dishes. I said yes, and, to keep myself honest, I‘ve liked washing dishes ever since.
It’s all I can do to keep from going into the kitchen and making a batch of raisin cookies right now. What would I do with them, though? Tom and I have (mostly) sworn off sweets except for weekends. Even if today were Saturday, what would we do with all the cookies this recipe would make? It sounds like a recipe that would make enough for the cowboys down in the bunkhouse. Here, it’s just Tom and I, our young friend Jenny who is staying with us, and the parrot, who isn’t allowed to eat sweets even on the weekend.
Bakery of Desire One of Tom and my favorite fantasies is the one about opening a little bakery in our retirement. Not likely unless we win the lottery and we never play. In our bakery you could walk in and get a raisin cookie, a meringue or a madeleine, or perhaps a doughnut or a gluten-free peanut butter cookie. In the meantime, maybe you can make this recipe yourself and get a taste of the old days.
Filled Raisin Cookies
1 C sugar
1 C vegetable shortening
2 eggs, beaten
1 C milk
7 C flour
4 t. cream of tartar
1T baking powder
2 t baking soda
2 t vanilla
2 C chopped or ground raisins
2 t flour
½ C chopped walnuts
Preparation: Cream sugar and shortening until light and fluffy. Stir in eggs, milk, flour, cream of tartar, baking powder, baking soda, and vanilla. Roil dough thin. Cut round 2 ½ inch cookies and place on lightly greased baking sheets.
Put 1 teaspoon filling (directions below) on each cookie round and cover with another cookie round. Seal edges with a fork. Make a small slit in top of each. Bake raisin cookies at 325º for 10 minutes. Store raisin cookies in tightly covered container.
To make filling:
Chop raisins in food processor or put through a grinder. Combine 2 cups chopped or ground raisins, 1 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons floor and 1 cup water in saucepan. Cook until raisin mixture is thick. Let mixture cools then add ½ cup chopped nuts.