Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Monday, January 17, 2011

Grandpa's Favorite Raisin Filled Cookies

My Grandpa lived to be almost 95 years old and was born in 1901 in a log cabin built on his grandfather's homestead.  During the depression he hopped freight trains to California in the winter to work in the orange fields.  In the summer he worked in the sugar beet fields and lumber mills.  He married my grandma, the only woman he ever loved, at the age of 30, was married to her for 55years, and mourned her for 18 long years after her death.  He never remarried, even though he was reportedly the most sought after widower in the county (I'm told he could dance).  He lived his whole life on the same block on his family farm, where he later built a house for my Grandma and Mom, until my mother moved him to my parents house (he was 93 at the time).  He grew berries and a bountiful garden, kept an orchard, and always had 5 or 6 sheep in the pasture between the house.  He won many awards for his beautiful Spencerian penmanship (Grandma always made him sign the birthday cards), but left school to work after the sixth grade.  He was active in his church, was a city councilman, served as the President of his local service chapter of the Lion's Club three times, and only ran into trouble with the law once.  The city cited him for operating a barber shop without a business license, but the charges were dropped once Grandpa explained that his only clients were his four brothers who met at his house every Thursday evening for a get-together and a free trim.  Seems that the local barber felt Grandpa was stiff competition and turned him in.  My Grandpa loved his God, his family, his neighbors, and his country.   His favorite things were fishing, soda pop, The Lawrence Welk Show, buttered/salted popcorn (generally eaten while watching The Lawrence Welk Show), butter rum Lifesavers, and raisins. 
This cookie is not very sweet and a bit time-consuming to make.  Mine don't taste nearly as good as I remember my Grandma's being.  Maybe because she's not here to make them for me and my Grandpa.
Grandpa's Favorite Raisin Filled Cookies

¼ cup of butter flavored shortening
¼ cup of butter, softened
1 cup of granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 Tablespoons of heavy cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of salt

Raisin Filling:
1 ½ cup of raisins, chopped
½ cup of granulated sugar
½ cup of water
2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

For the dough:
Cream the shortening, butter, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well. Add the heavy cream and vanilla, blend well. Sift in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir just until the dry ingredients are mixed in. Chill the dough for 1 hour.

Make the filling:
Put all of the ingredients into a saucepan. Cook slowly, stirring constantly until the liquid has thickened and become syrup-like. Cool and set aside until needed to fill the cookies.

Preheat the oven to 375 ยบ F.
Sprinkle some flour onto a pastry board. Roll half of the cookie dough to 1/16- inch thickness. Choose a round cookie cutter, and evenly space filling in 1 Tablespoon amounts across the dough to accommodate the size of your cookie cutter. Roll out the remaining dough to 1/16-inch thickness and carefully and gently lay on top of the first dough.
 Cut out rounds over the dollops of filling and through both layers of dough. Place the cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.
Gather the scraps and roll again to use all the filling.

Makes: Depends on the size of your cutter.  My three-inch cookie cutter made 2 dozen.


  1. These look good to me but probably more work than I want to do to make a cookie. I like to just drop them on the sheet if possible. I love Butter Rum Lifesavers, do they still make them? My mother use to carry those in her purse when we were kids. Yum. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. He sounds just like my great-grandpa, who lived to be 104. My grandpa (his son), would absolutely love this. I might need to send a care package back to Salt Lake! :)

  3. Hi Bonnie -- my Grandma made a really similar recipe and from the looks of these the assembly was the same -- just a great old-fashioned kind of cookie. I have her recipe but have never made them. I don't know why, but I did enjoy eating hers. Your grandfather sounds like he had a very peaceful and fulfilling life...my kind of life. I believe I did see Butter Rum Lifesavers at Christmas. Did you get the dancing gene? Joni

  4. What a coincidence...I just met(sat next to)a woman at my husband's Christmas work party last month, and she ended up telling me about a cookie recipe that has been in her family for generations and I asked her for the recipe, since I had never heard of the cookies. Her husband finally gave it to mine. They're called "Raisin Filling Cookies." :) They are a little different than yours, but I am happy to have a tutorial and oven temp.(hers just says "bake in moderate oven." We'll see how mine turn out. Yours look really good!
    Your grandpa sounds like a great guy, and interesting fellow. Industriousness runs through your genes":)

  5. Hi Bonnie! Thanks for visiting my blog and the sweet comment you left. I loved reading about your grandpa, and the cookies look terrific.

  6. What a cute post! He sounds like a wonderful man. How fun that you have you grandma's cookie recipe.

  7. Wow, how wonderful to know that much about your Grandpa. It's a wonderful story.