These are one of my all-time favourite cookies–big soft cookies that taste like raisin pie. Mom made them every Christmas when I was growing up (at least that’s how I remember it…), and she wrote down the recipe for me when I left home. The index card is stained and bent, but carefully guarded in a little wooden recipe box.
Like many handed-down recipes, this one is incomplete—little more than a list of ingredients. You have to know what to do to turn them into cookie dough. I’ve added more instructions below.
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup shortening (I use softened butter)
½ cup milk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour (I usually need about 1 cup more)
Mix baking soda into milk and set aside to thicken. Cream brown sugar and shortening together until fluffy. Beat in eggs, then milk and vanilla. Gradually add flour, mixing until you have a stiff dough.
Refrigerate dough at least 2 hours.
While the dough is chilling, make filling. Place in a medium saucepan and boil until thick:
2 cups chopped raisins
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 Tbsp flour
Allow to cool to room temperature.
Roll the dough thin and cut out 2-inch circles. To form the cookies, place a circle on a greased baking sheet, put a scant tablespoon of filling in the centre of the circle, and top with another circle. Press the edges firmly together (a fork does a nice job and leaves a pretty edge). Bake at 190°C (375°F) for about 10 minutes.