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These are cookies my grandmother used to make for Christmas every year. We always filled them with pre-made mincemeat or the filling in the recipe, but she has down two others in the recipe as well - ground raisins with cinnamon, cloves and sugar/orange juice/sweet wine, and almond paste with brown sugar and rum flavoring (meant to be sweet). Be creative with the frosting colors and sprinkles - that was the only part I was allowed to help with and we always tried to make them as "pretty" as possible.
- 3 1⁄2 cups pastry flour
- 1⁄2 cup flour
- 1⁄8 teaspoon salt (says a pinch)
- 1⁄2 cup shortening
- 1⁄3 cup shortening
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1⁄2 cup walnuts, finely chopped (pecans work too)
- 1⁄2 cup raisins, ground (in a food processor)
- 1 tablespoon water (optional)
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted (optional)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
- Sift together flours and salt.
- Cut shortening into flour mixture.
- Melt 1/2 + 1/3 cup sugar in 1/2 cup water and pour into flour mixture and mix.
- Roll out and cut into circles the size of a large can like fruit comes in, about 2 1/2 inches in diameter.
- Make the filling by mixing together nuts, 2 tbsp sugar, and raisins.
- Place a tablespoonful of filling on one side of each circle.
- Wet the edges of the circle, fold over (should look like a half moon), and seal with a fork.
- Prick the top of all assembled cookies with a fork to vent.
- Bake at 400F for 7-10 minutes, until just turning golden.
- Let cool.
- Dust lightly with powdered sugar or make frosting by mixing 1 tbsp water, powdered sugar, and vanilla. If desired, frosting may be tinted with food coloring and sprinkles may be put on cookies immediately after frosting.