This is the one recipe I will take with me to the grave. Or, I don’t know, maybe on my death bed I’ll whisper its secrets to someone. These cookies are so good, I just can’t give away the recipe. The only way you’ll eat one (or two, or three, or a dozen) of these is if I make them for you.
It’s actually my grandmother’s recipe. I suppose. Or sort of. This is the grandmother that I didn’t cook with – not the one who taught me how to make pierogi. My cookie-making grandmother managed to make it to the other side without teaching me much … although she did once tell me, rather in depth, the best way to soap someone’s windows.
Now, I don’t know if my grandmother made this recipe up, or adopted it. But I searched the depths of the internet and was unable to find a recipe or any description of this exact cookie – which is quite shocking, considering that you can type the most insane, rare, you’re-sure-no-one’s-ever-heard-of-it, even objectionable stuff into a search box and get so many results. But you will not find these cookies. So, I felt I had no choice but to barter my way into the underworld to bring Grandma back so she could make me a batch, but at the last minute, she looked back and was turned to stone. Actually, she was turned to Sharon Stone, and, honestly, I figured I was probably doing Hades a favor by extracting my grandmother, but there was probably no way he was letting Sharon Stone out of the underworld. They say he has his own private screening room that plays Basic Instinct 24/7. So I ditched her and I don’t know what became of her. Sorry Grandma.
When I got home – which was no easy task … I had to slay a bunch of demons, but lucky for me, I used to watch a lot of Buffy – I decided to reverse engineer this cookie. I know only a few facts about my grandmother’s methods, but this cookie’s taste, heft, texture, and appearance are etched in my memory. Ironically, I wound up abandoned most of what I knew:
- She used lard. I use butter and vegetable shortening.
- I distinctly remember that she put the raisins through an old-fashioned hand-crank meat grinder, which I remember looked inexplicably fascinating but at the same time looked like the kind of manual labor they might make you do in prison. I concocted a raisin-date mash instead: a billion times easier and just as good. I hear they frown on dates in prison, but then I saw Oz, and, well, I pretty much just hope I never wind up in prison … but if I do, I’m going to try to stick with raisins instead of dates.
I was able to nail this cookie’s recipe, to the best of my memory. In any case, they are hands-down, absofuckinglutely delicious. What’s more, I developed a couple of fantastic variations, using cherries and cranberries. If you want one, though, make friends with me, and then make sure to drop hints around Christmas, which is when I tend to crank them out.
Oatmeal Raisin Sandwich Cookies
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