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Recipe: History’s ‘most delicious’ raisin drop cookies

The Daily Herald has received quite a few cookie recipes for the Forum, so I figured we’d share the most controversial one first: Raisin drop cookies.

Raisins are outcasts in the dessert world. When I worked at an ice cream shop, rum raisin was the flavor I scooped the least. I’ve witnessed people scoff when they realize a cookie’s dark morsels are in fact raisins, not chocolate. “Do you have chocolate chips instead?” they pleaded, while grimacing at the perfectly spiced cookie in front of them. I’ve even seen people eat around raisins, placing the shriveled little grapes in a little napkin to later toss in the trash.

They are the celery of dessert ingredients, and it’s a darn shame.

Raisins are a good source of potassium, iron and boron. They’re delicious too, especially when soaked in pineapple juice or rum. And in this recipe, water also does the trick of plumping them up into juicy, flavorful morsels.

“This recipe is hands-down the most delicious raisin cookie recipe in the history of the world,” wrote reader Jackie Noble, who shared the recipe. It was given to her by Marie Olson, the mother of one of her Noble’s close friends.

“She has long since passed, but her wonderful recipe lives on and the cookies get wild raves every single time I share goody bags of them with my friends!” Noble added.

In Olson’s recipe, raisins are truly the star of the show. She wrote at the top of the notecard (because all good recipes are handwritten on notecards): “NO SECRET INGREDIENT – HONEST!!” And it’s true. Olson uses shortening here instead of butter, yielding a tall, soft and tender cookie. Allspice, cloves and cinnamon provide cozy, warming flavors. The recipe is truly from, as Olson wrote, “Marie with TLC.”

The recipe yields six dozen (!) cookies, but it looks fairly easy to halve. You’ll just be left with half a beaten egg. You can also ball up a portion of dough, let them chill in the fridge until firm, then place in a bag and store in the freezer for a few months. That way, you’ll have a stash on hand whenever you get a cookie craving.

The recipe does not say how much dough to scoop for each cookie, but I’d suggest about a tablespoon.

The original recipe card for Marie Olson’s Raisin Drop Cookies, which she notes has “no secret ingredient – honest!!”

Marie Olson’s Raisin Drop Cookies


2 cups raisins

1 cup water

2 cups sugar

1 cup shortening

3 eggs

4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1.5 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a sheet pan (or use parchment paper.) Boil the raisins and water together for five minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. In a separate bowl, cream together the sugar and shortening, then beat in eggs. Mix in raisins and vanilla. Blend in flour mixture. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheet pan. Bake for 8 minutes or until firm and golden.

Have a recipe you want to share with The Daily Herald? Email food reporter Taylor Goebel at or call 425-339-3046. Twitter: @TaylorGoebel. Join The Herald’s food-centered Facebook page, SnohomDish.


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