An overlooked heirloom cookie recipe, that is very good, is raisin puff cookies. I have been making these since childhood for the fall and winter holidays. My family loves these and they are not expensive to make. I like to make mine with butter but they were originally made with lard or shortening. Margarine will make them spread too much while baking and you want them to be a soft cookie. The closes commercial cookie to this recipe is Archway Soft Raisin cookies.
You start out by cooking your raisins in water until all the liquid is absorbed. You let them cool and chill them. I like to do this the night before. The raisins need to be cold when mixed into the dough and since the raisins are soft you have to mix them by hand. The mixer will mash them into the dough. Also the dough needs to be chilled for a hour so you can work with it and returning it to the refrigerator as the trays of cookies bake. They get their name because they puff up during baking and then settle down when cooled. This recipe makes 6 dozen cookies. They make great gifts and at my house they just disappear.
Raisin Puff Cookies
1 cup dark raisins
½ cup golden raisins
1 cup water
1 cup shortening or butter ( no margarine)
1 ½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking Soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups chopped walnuts
Cook raisins in 1 cup of water until all the water is absorbed. Chill until cold. Sift flour, baking soda and salt together and set aside. Cream sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla with electric mixer. Slowly add sifted flour to creamed mixture until smooth and blended. Hand stir in cold raisins and walnuts. Chill for at least and hour.
Roll dough into balls the size of walnuts. If the dough gets too sticky and soft return to refrigerator. ( I like to do all the ball rolling before I get ready to bake. I just put the balls in another bowl in the refrigerator until all the dough is rolled into balls.) Return bowl to refrigerator while baking. This recipe makes 6 dozen cookies.
Pre heat oven 350 degrees F. and prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper or spray with vegetable spray.
Place chilled balls 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 min. until done. They will puff up while baking but will settle down as they cool. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool.