Does this sound familiar to you? You want to bake cookies. It could be for a holiday or a special treat for someone, and without question, you know the exact recipe you’re going to make. Do you have that cookie pictured in your mind? In an instant, Grandma Heiligenstein’s Raisin Oatmeal Cookies come to mind. This cookie is soft, chewy and the flavor builds with every bite.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
This recipe gives you the perfect foundation for an oatmeal cookie. By foundation I mean you can add your favorite ingredients like nuts, chocolate chips, or even coconut. My mom would change up the recipe and split the dough making half with raisins and half with chocolate chips. I know you might think I’m a sentimental fool, but for me, there is a comfort knowing that grandma’s recipe is in my file. I know that when I pull the brown stained piece of paper out of my file, it’s accompanied by tradition, stories and an endless supply of LOVE! My mind spins just thinking about: who made the cookies, when they were made, where they were kept and how they were eaten.
I know that all four of my sisters baked or bake these cookies. I don’t know about the boys, but sisters, yes! My mom was not one to bake cookies in advance and freeze, so I remember the big rush before the holidays trying to get the basic family favorites made. When you have a bunch of kids and then grown kids, cookies have to be hidden. Well, let’s just say they were back in my parent’s bedroom, out of site. Sure, there was a bowl with a few that didn’t make the cut and we were allowed to eat, but the rest – off limits. Not only does our family loves to ooh and ah over food, no seriously, we also have a special relationship with butter. My brother Michael (#4) smears butter on cookies and has done this for years. I consider this the biggest compliment ever! I’m sure you have someone like that in your family.
Plumping Your Raisins
My mom and my sister Mary Beth (#1) first introduced me to soaking raisins before adding then to a recipe. I call it plumping. Plumping is probably not a word but it works for me. Soaking the raisins helps moisten the cookies and yes, it makes a difference. I also do this when using raisins in bread. The picture above shows the raisins after they’ve been soaked and I usually soak them while mixing the batter.
It’s always great to have my neighbor Myla, pop into the house when I’m working in the kitchen. She’s always full of questions and even suggestions and on this particular rainy day, she was an extra set of hands. I didn’t think I needed to picture the ingredients for this recipe and when you have an assistant, why not show the process and let the face and hands tell the story. She’s adding heaping teaspoons of cookie dough to the pans. We were experimenting that day forming balls of cookie dough and then some not-so-perfect drops of cookie dough. Check out her concentration.
Out of the Mouths of Babes
I’ll never forget Myla’s statement, “the aftertaste part is good”. Tom and I got the biggest charge out of it and another huge compliment! I grabbed a piece of paper and wrote it down. It was definitely one for the books. I might even write it on my recipe.
We have a family reunion scheduled for this summer and I think these cookies will have to make an appearance. Actually, there are a couple of other family food favorites that are in the plan. Well, I hope you’ve thought about your favorite cookie and all the memories that go along with it. Do you have one and what’s the memory? Please consider sharing with the Sock Box 10 community in the comments below.
Another Grandma Heiligenstein Recipe Grandma’s Refrigerator Dough
Thanks for stopping by, Rose
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup shortening (I used Crisco)
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of hot water
- 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
- 1 cup raisins
- 2 cups oatmeal (I used quick oats)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place raisins in a bowl and cover with water. Soak the raisins while preparing the batter.
- With your mixer, cream the brown sugar, white sugar and shortening until smooth.
- Add the eggs one at a time and beat on high for 1 minute after the last egg.
- Add vanilla and teaspoon of water and blend.
- Combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the flour mixture gradually to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
- Pour the water off the raisins.
- Stir the oatmeal, raisins, and nuts (optional) into the batter until all is incorporated.
- Drop by heaping teaspoons onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.
- Bake for approximately 15 minutes. The time may be less depending on your oven and how brown you like your cookies.
- I switch my cookie sheets half-way through the baking time.
- Notice the 1 teaspoon of hot water. This is the original recipe from my grandmother and baking soda was diluted in the hot water before adding to the batter. It was probably done for 2 reasons: 1. dissolving the baking soda, which is sodium bicarbonate, helped disperse it evenly throughout the other ingredients. 2. Dissolving the baking soda in water helps if it's hard and clumpy. I have never done this. I always combine all the dry ingredients and add the teaspoon of water when mixing the sugars and shortening.
- I lightly grease my pans at the beginning and do not add any additional grease through the baking process.