These wonderful cookies are an indelible memory from my childhood. My mother would make these often, and I always enjoyed them. This year at Family Christmass (we celebrate together on the Epiphany - 6 January) my mom brought a bunch of these wonderful cookies. Arthur remarked on them the next day. I thought that you might enjoy the recipe. I suppose that this is not so much as a cookie as it is a tart, filled with a wonderful raisin mixture. There is a note on the back of the hand-written recipe that notes that dates or figs could be used. Apricots might also be an interesting filling, or sun-dried cherries. For a more modern recipe, click here.
For the Dough:1/2 cup butter 1/2 cup shortening (my mother's recipe calls for lard) 2 cups sugar 3 eggs well beaten 1 cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 teaspoon lemon 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 3-4 cups of flour (my mother's recipe calls for "add flour to roll"! Judging from other recipes 3 - 4 cups of flour should do) Cream butter, shortening, and sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Combine dry ingredients, and mix in, alternating with the milk. Add flavorings mid-way.
For the Filling1 cup ground raisins (my mom used a food grinder, but later in life uses a food processor. I suspect the food grinder is better) 1/2 cup sugar 2 tablespoons flour 1/2 cup boiling water. Mix ingredients together and when thoroughly blended boil for 2 minutes, or until the floury taste is gone. Assemble the cookies by rolling out the dough, and cutting out circles about 2.5 - 3 inches in diameter. Place about 2 tablespoons of the fruit mixture in the center of one of the disks, and place another disk of dough on top . Seal the edges. There are no baking instructions - however use a 350º oven for 25-30 minutes.
My grandmother had a pantry. It smelled of spices and colors. There was an old tea kettle filled with onions, their brown skins peeling from the bulb. And there was always the promise of these cookies, that seemed to embody all the splendors of this wonderful pantry.1 cup of butter 2 cups of sugar 2 cups of raisins (ground - see note above) 2 eggs 2 teaspoons of cinnamon 1 teaspoon of nutmeg 1 teaspoon of ground cloves 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 2 teaspoons of milk Mix all of the ingredients together with enough flour to make a rather stiff dough. Roll thin, and cut out in circles or squares. (Once again, there are no baking instructions. I am assuming 350º for about 15 minutes)
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