October 3, 2016
Growing up this was my favorite cookie! As kids we called them “Grandma’s Raisin Pie Cookies” or “Deer Hunt Cookies.” This is a family favorite my mother often made in the fall – yes, for deer hunt. She made them year round, but especially made sure they were available for lunch packs. This 1940’s recipe is always better the next day… if you can wait that long. Watch how this recipe is made on Studio 5.
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.
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!
*You may substitute other favorite dried fruit for the raisins (cherries, craisins, figs, dates, blueberries). Note - freeze dried fruit does not work as well as sun dried; use dried fruit similar in texture to raisins. Cookies are excellent the next day when stored in airtight container.
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 lightly floured surface to flatten and increase diameter slightly. Cut into 14-16 rectangles 3x5-inches in size (a ruler and 3x5 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. Glaze should be spreadable; add additional milk as needed to create a spreadable consistency Spread glaze on warm pop tarts and immediately add sprinkles to decorate. Allow to cool and glaze to harden.
Follow recipe above for filling. Cool as directed. For cookie dough, increase flour to 5+ cups and add 1-teaspoon baking powder. Mixed cookie dough should be 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. It is helpful to lift sealed cookies from counter to a parchment lined baking sheet using a butter knife or spatula. Bake as directed above.