Seasonal treats are part of what makes Fall special.
Becky Low shares this recipe that takes her back to mom’s kitchen.
Raisin Filled Cookies
3 cups raisins, dates, or other dried fruit *
3/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon lemon zest, optional
1 tablespoon lemon juice, optional
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar (may use all or 1/2 white)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk
4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Raisins may be left whole or chop/grind (I prefer grinding raisins). Combine raisins with white sugar, 3 level tablespoons flour and 1 cup water. Stirring over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, cook 2-4 minutes or until mixture is thick and a boil cannot be stirred down. Remove from heat, add optional lemon zest and juice; cool filling completely, mixture will continue to thicken as it cools. NOTE: cool filling rapidly by placing pan in a larger pan or bowl filled with ice water.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Beat together butter and brown sugar until creamy and light; add eggs and vanilla and beat well. Beat in milk. Stir in 4 cups flour, salt and baking soda; mix well.
Drop generous tablespoonful of dough on lightly greased cookie sheet. Using fingers or the back of a spoon create a hollow in the center of each cookie (it is helpful to dampen finger in water to make hollow). Drop one teaspoon of raisin filling in the center of each cookie hollow. Place 1/2 teaspoon of cookie dough on top of filling. Bake 10-13 minutes or until cookie is lightly browned. EXCELLENT with a glass of cold milk!
Rolled Filled Cookies Variation
Follow recipe above for filling. Cool as directed. For cookie dough, increase flour to 5+ cups and add 1-teaspoon baking powder. When mixed cookie dough should be just stiff enough to roll. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes to help firm dough. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to ⅛-inch thickness. Cut into 3-inch circles. Spread 2-teaspoons filling on half the circles, leaving uncovered space around edges. Dip fingers in water and lightly dampen the outer edge of circles with water. Place a second circle on top each filling and gently press edges to seal. Cut a vent in top of each filled cookie. Bake as directed above.
Homemade Pop Tart Variation
Increase oven to 425 degrees. Follow directions above for filling and cool as directed. Use one package refrigerated pastry for 2 crust pie (may use your favorite pie crust recipe). Roll pie crust out on slightly floured surface to flatten and increase diameter slightly. Cut into 14-16 rectangles 3×5-inches (a ruler and 3×5 card are helpful tools to keep shape and size consistent). Spread approximately 2-teaspoons filling on half the rectangles, leaving untouched space around edges. Dampen finger in water and brush edges lightly with water; place second rectangle on top each filled rectangle, gently press to seal edges. Use tines of fork or a pastry wheel to finish sealing and add a decorative edge. Cut a vent or use the tines of fork to prick vent holes on top. Bake about 15 minutes or until light golden brown.
If desired, stir together until smooth 1-cup powdered sugar,1-2 tablespoons milk and ½-teaspoon vanilla. Spread glaze on warm pop tarts and immediately sprinkle with sprinkles to decorate. Allow to cool and glaze to harden.
Becky Low represents The Dairy Council of Utah/Nevada. For delicious dairy recipes and nutrition information go to www.dairycouncilutnv.com or Facebook www.facebook.com/DairyUTNV. For nutrition research go to www.nationaldairycouncil.org.