Confession: sometimes I bake things I don’t really like so I won’t eat way too many and feel super guilty about it. I thought these humble jumbo raisin cookies were one of those things, but no, as it turns out, I do really like them. (At least I must, since I wolfed down three earlier when I got home from the gym.) My mother-in-law has sent a bag home with my hubby several times over the years and I couldn’t be bothered with them, and even this week when I made a batch I nibbled some of one and left the rest. Fresh out of the oven, they’re a bit tough and bland and just okay. But when you leave them for a few days something magical happens: they become soft (but dense) and the spices more pronounced — the humble, quietly satisfying cookies they were meant to be. Try them (and leave them!) and see for yourself.
Jumbo raisin cookies
Makes 28 to 30 jumbo cookies
2 cups raisins
1 cup water
1/4 cup butter (room temperature)
3/4 cup vegetable shortening (room temperature)
2 cups sugar
3 eggs (beaten)
1 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In the bowl of your stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream butter, shortening and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and continue to beat until blended together.
3. In another large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
4. Add 1/3 of the dry mixture to the wet and stir until incorporated. Add remaining dry mixture and the water and stir together until you have a stiff dough. Stir in raisins and nuts.
5. Spoon onto silpat or parchment-lined cookie sheet using a 1-ounce cookie scoop or two tablespoons of dough per cookie.
6. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until cookies are just starting to turn golden. (Any more and they’ll be overcooked.)
7. Cool and store in a container or freezer bag. Best eaten a few days after they’re baked.