I spent a nostalgic day going through old cookbooks. It seems I've been collecting cookbooks for a very long time without realizing how addicted I really was. There was a period of time that my affinity was for local lodges and ladies' guild type cookbooks that were representative of their rural community and the composition of the people who lived in the community. This recipe for fruit and nut drop cookies caught my eye for several reasons. Firstly, it's from a German community in Manitoba called Steinbach. Secondly, I can't remember the last time I actually used shortening in a baking recipe.
Thirdly, I rated this recipe and my notation said "really easy, large quantity and tastes decent".
2 cups dates or raisins
1 cup water
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1/2 - 3/4 cup nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans) chopped
1. Roughly chop dates (or raisins), combine with water and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Remove from heat.
2. Add baking soda to dates/water and allow to cool slightly
3. Cream well the shortening, sugar and eggs.
4. Add date mixture to mixer.
5. Add dry ingredients and nuts
6. Drop by heaping tablespoons on parchment lined cookie sheet
7. Bake at 350 F for 12-15 minutes (mine were done in 12 minutes). Allow to cool on wire rack.
Note: It's really okay to load these up with more dates and nuts. This recipe makes about 4-5 dozen cookies.
Note: These are soft cookies