Grandma's Cookie Jar
This cookie jar always had a prominent place in Ella Klassen's kitchen. She was my mother-in-law and very dear friend. Her boys, Harv and Jim, and later, her grandchildren, knew that the jar was always full of cookies baked by a loving woman who would urge them to "take 2 or 3 - they're small!".
The cookies I remember her baking most often were these Boiled Raisin Cookies - they were soft and moist, full of raisins, walnuts and aromatic spices.
- 2 cups sultana raisins (the light brown raisins, not the dark ones)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup butter or margarine
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon each, cloves, nutmeg and ground star anise (if you have it)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
- In a small saucepan, pour boiling water over raisins, bring to a boil again and cook for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and cool raisins (do not drain!) to to room temperature.
- Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions.
- In another bowl, stir flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices until well mixed.
- Add cooled raisin mixture to butter and egg mixture, mixing well.
- Add flour mixture, a little at a time until well mixed.
- Stir in nuts.
- Using a cookie scoop or two teaspoons, drop dough on to greased or parchment lined cookie sheets.
- Bake in a 350ºF oven for 16 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Makes 5-6 dozen cookies.