I only make these cookies once a year. And I only make them because I love my Dad. Now don't get me wrong--these. are. wonderful. Every time I have one, I think to myself, why don't I make these more often? And then I remember--they are a lot of work. They are not over the top cookies, like these--but I just don't care much for the process of baking the cookies, having to let them cool completely and then having to frost them.
Because I am impatient like that.
But, as I mentioned I love my Dad and if I could give him a lifetime supply of these at his disposal, I would. A funny little sidenote on these little bits of deliciousness: I actually used to make these cookies as a Christmas gift for both my Dad and my Grandpa (what can I say? They are easy to "buy" for!). I would make a double batch so I had some to package (in these boxes) for both my Dad and Grandpa, and have enough leftover for the goodie platter at Christmas. In the last years of his life, my Grandpa would often times be staying with my parents for an extended period around the holidays. My Dad and Grandpa would each make sure to eat these cookies off the goodie platter before breaking into their own personal stash. And when the goodie platter was gone, they would each try and get the other to open his own box first.
I guess I should have made these more often, huh?
I made some for my Dad last week when we stayed at their house, and needless to say, he was thrilled.
Jumbo Raisin Cookies
2 cups raisins
1 1/2 cups water
Boil raisins in water until softened. Drain raisins, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Set both aside and let cool.
1 cup shortening (not even close to real food, but trust me on this one. You could also use palm shortening too, but I haven't tried that yet so I can't speak to the results, although it would probably be fine)
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 Tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda, to add to raisin liquid
Cream shortening and add in sugar. Once combined, add in eggs and mix thoroughly. Add in cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, baking powder, salt and vanilla and mix until combined. (Sidenote: I always mix in my spices/flavorings with the wet ingredients to insure they are fully incorporated. I know you are supposed to sift all the dry ingredients together, but I told you--I am that lazy. It's always worked for me, but it's probably breaking some chemistry cooking rule that I am not aware of.) Once the reserved raisin cooking liquid has cooled, add in the baking soda. In thirds, alternate adding in the flour and raisin liquid to the shortening/spice mixture, allowing each portion of flour and liquid to combine thoroughly before adding the next. Once combined, fold in the raisins. The dough will be fairly thick. Almost biscuit like.
Drop by large spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for about 13 minutes. The cookies should be just starting to brown on top when you pull them out.
Allow cookies to cool completely.
1/2 cup butter, softened (room temperature is best)
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp vanilla (to taste)
Cream together butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add in milk in tablespoon portions until frosting is still thick, but easily spreadable. It usually takes about 2 tablespoons.
Frost cooled cookies. Once frosting is "set", store cookies in an airtight container, separating the layers of cookies with waxed paper. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
This recipe is linked to:
Beauty and Bedlam's Tasty Tuesday
Blessed With Grace Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Designs By Gollum Foodie Friday
Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap
Hearth 'n Soul Recipe Swap