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Boiled Raisin Cookies -Flashback Friday

When I decided to repost this recipe for Flashback Friday, I couldn't help but use the same picture as in the original post.
It brought back such wonderful memories of my dear Mother-In-Law, Ella Klassen.
 Her cookie jar still holds a place of honour in our kitchen and these Raisin cookies always remind us of the love she dispensed along with the cookies.

  • 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 
  1. In a small saucepan, pour boiling water over raisins, bring to a boil again and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and cool raisins (do not drain!) to to room temperature.
  3. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions.
  5. In another bowl, stir flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices until well mixed.
  6. Add cooled raisin mixture to butter and egg mixture, mixing well.
  7. Add flour mixture, a little at a time until well mixed.
  8. Stir in nuts.
  9. Using a cookie scoop or two teaspoons, drop dough on to greased or parchment lined cookie sheets.
  10. Bake in a 350ºF oven for 16 minutes or until lightly browned.
  11. Makes 5-6 dozen cookies.


  1. A really good old-time cookie. We called them Hermits. I like them more crispy than cakey, but I can't remember what I did to get them that way. Less flour? Help?


    1. I think I would try with less flour. I know that more flour and oatmeal produced a more cakey cookie with a homemade oatmeal mix I used to use. If it was me I would add 3 cups of flour, then add the last cup a quarter cup at a time and bake a couple of sample cookies after each addition. I know my Mom used to always bake a sample to check if she had enough flour. Probably because she sometimes used butter sometimes shortening depending on the butter supply on hand and it can make a difference. Good luck. I have seen discussions of how minor differences affect chewy versus crispy somewhere online, but I can't remember where.


  2. Yum!!! Love these old time recipes.

  3. Your mother was fastidious! I'll give that a go.

    In the meantime, does anyone here remember Raisin Pie? (Hint hint). Soooo good.


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