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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Raisin Drop Cookies

This one is a bit tricky.  Looks like Helen grabbed an envelope to write this one down.  Here is a picture of the original recipe:
So a couple of interesting things that I found frustrating right off the bat.

1) 1 1/2 eggs is tough to do.  I know you can measure it out, but what do you do with the other half?  I wasn't about to just throw it away.

2) The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of water, but at the bottom it says "should be 1/4 cup of liquid"...umm...1/2 does not equal 1/4.

3) What the heck is a nutmeat?  I originally thought it must be nutmeg, not nutmeats, but nutmeg is listed immediately above it.

4) What is this a recipe for?  There isn't much liquid so I didn't think it could be a batter.  So, maybe a coffee cake or a scone (the raisins tipped me off there), but nothing about chilled fats or cream so it's probably not a scone.

Ok so some investigation is needed before I mix this one up.

Findings:
1) This one is pretty easy, I'll just double everything.  Looking at the ingredients list it looks like there are a lot of 1/2s in there so doubling the amounts would make a lot more whole numbers anyway.

2) This took a bit of time, but I found a recipe for "boiled raisin cookies" which had similar ingredients and it mentioned boiling the raisins and saving the remaining liquid.  A-hah it must be that you boil the raisins in 1/2 cup of water and reserve 1/4 cup for the final mix.  Mystery solved!

3) nutmeats...nutmeats...nutmeats...it gets funnier every time I say it.  Anywho, as it turns out, nutmeats is just another name for the meat of a nut, as in the part that you eat instead of the part that you don't eat (like the shell).  Ok so I'll just put in whatever nuts I have in the cabinet (walnuts would certainly work just fine).  What I found even more intriguing is that the recipe here calls for only 1/4 tsp of nutmeats.  That's not even an entire nut!  So, I speculate that she meant to write 1/2 cup of nutmeats so that's what I used.

4) Finally the mix, what is this a recipe for.  From my research find the boiled raisins, I found that this is most likely a cookie.

So assembling the recipe as such I got a dough that looked like this:
When spooned on a cookie sheet with my handy dandy disher, it looks like this:
Certainly looks like a cookie to me.  Next step, baking.  A typical chocolate chip cookie bakes at 350 for about 12 minutes so I figured what the heck, I'd do that.  And the results weren't bad at all:
So here is the final recipe after multiplying the ingredients and fixing the amount of nutmeats (hah nutmeats).

Helen Reilly's Raisin Drop Cookies:

Ingredients:
2 c. Raisins
1 c. Water
1 1/2 c. White Sugar
1 c. Dark Brown Sugar
1 c. Shortening
1 tsp. Vanilla
3 Eggs
4 c. Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Nutmeg
1 c. Nuts

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Boil raisins in water for 5 mins, remove from heat and allow to cool.  When cooled strain and reserve 1/2 cup of liquid.
3) Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and nuts together and set aside.
4) Cream together shortening and sugars.
5) Add eggs and vanilla and cream until well blended.
6) Add flour mixture and stir well.
7) Add raisins and reserved liquid and stir well.
8) Drop by teaspoon onto cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes.

Makes approximately 6 dozen cookies.

I can see why she wanted to half the recipe.  6 dozen is a lot of cookies.

So there you go, a little investigation and even a list on an envelope becomes cookies...nutmeats!