Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Guy hates raisins. He had a cook in the Navy who had a surplus of raisins and put them in everything, even the meatloaf. He never ate raisins again after he was discharged. I'm kind of neutral on raisins. I can take them or leave them. But this cookie recipe could make me a raisin lover (Guy is hopelessly prejudiced against raisins, so these weren't even offered to him). The original recipe is called "Orange Raisin Drops," and it was a senior winner in Pillsbury's 3rd Grand National Recipe and Baking Contest, by Mrs. Park S. Avery, Grand Rapids, Michigan. I updated the spices from cinnamon and nutmeg to a Chai Spice Blend, and added a Chai butter cream frosting. It's hard to just eat one of these because the flavor and texture are so outstanding. They're slightly crisp on the outside and soft and chewy inside with lots of raisins, and a few nuts.

Chai Orange Raisin Drops
2 cups all-purpose flour (I used half AP, half whole wheat)
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. McCormick Chai Spice Blend
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup quick rolled oats
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter (3/4 cup)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar (I used 1/2 cup brown sugar + 1 Tbsp. Stevia)
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp. grated orange rind
2 Tbsp. orange juice (I used 4 Tbsp.)
1 cup dark raisins coated in 1 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans or walnuts
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter (I used Smart Balance buttery spread)
2-4 Tbsp. orange juice or milk
1 cup 10X sugar
1 tsp. McCormick Chai Spice Blend
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 375F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper that have been greased. In medium bowl, combine flour, soda, spice blend, salt and oats. Set aside. In large mixing bowl of electric mixer, cream butter and sugar till well blended. Add eggs, orange rind and juice and beat well. Stir in the dry ingredients; mix thoroughly but do not overbeat. Fold in raisins and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes, or till cookies are set. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool.

Spice Icing: In small microwaveable bowl, melt butter with 2 Tbsp. juice or milk. Whisk in sugar, spice and vanilla and whip well by hand or with electric mixer. Add additional liquid, if necessary, to make a thin frosting. Drizzle over warm cookies and let icing set while cookies continue to cool. These freeze well. Yield: About 3-1/2 dozen

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