Lemon Raisin Cookies

I hate those days when I eat the last of whatever pie or dessert. It means I either have to bake something new or heaven forbid succumb to buying a container of Ginger-O’s, delicious cream filled ginger cookies. Ginger-O’s are my one weakness in life. If I have a cup or more of raisins sitting in my cupboard, I will always make the cookies I had as a child.

Growing up there were few cookbooks in the house. Most recipes were handwritten, tattered notes left in an old black binder or part of the “recipe box”. I’ll get to the recipe box in another post. One cookbook that we did have, was Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book published in 1963. These were the recipes we made if or when cookies were made. I don’t want to get slack from my mom, but between you and me, cookies weren’t often made and if they were, I wasn’t allowed to eat any. I remember at a pretty young age (between 6 and 8 years old), I decided to make cookies for myself. I couldn’t even reach the counter, so standing on our wooden kitchen chairs, I went about making cookies all by myself. What’s really amazing is that I tried to double the recipe while I was at it. Like mom always says, if you’re going to cook something, might as well make a whole bunch and freeze the rest for later. All I remember is that upon doubling the recipe, I botched up the amount of sugar and ended up with ruined cookies. That was the first and last time I’ve ever messed up a cookie recipe.

Our family’s go-to recipe is Betty Crocker’s, Raisin Crisscross Cookies, a cookie I still make today. I know, I really don’t like chocolate chip cookies as they’re just too sweet. The lemon raisin cookies (as I refer to them) have a wonderful taste of citrus that makes the cookie refreshing and the soft raisins add the bit of needed moisture and chewiness. I literally never get sick of them. What is fantastic is that they are always a crowd-pleaser, people go gonzo over them. The next time you need to bring cookies to a function / gathering, these are the cookies you should make.

Lemon Raisin Cookies


  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 teaspoon soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 cup raisins


  • Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Whisk together flour, cream of tartar, soda, and salt in a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl or in the bowl of an electric mixer, mix thoroughly the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Add egg and lemon extract, mix until well blended.
  • Slowly and carefully mix the dry ingredients (flour mixture) into the wet ingredients (butter mixture).
  • Stir in raisins.
  • Using a #40 (1.5 tablespoons) scooper, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart.
  • Flatten with fork dipped in flour, making a crisscross pattern.
  • Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until edges turn golden but centers are still soft.
  • Let cool on sheets on wire racks 2 minutes.
  • Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely.
  • Cookies can be stored in airtight containers in your freezer.

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