The oatmeal cookies in Aunt Dimity's Death are the oatmeal cookies my mother made when I was a child. When I make the now, they evoke loving memories of the laughter that warmed my mother's kitchen on cold winter days.
I knew that the same would hold true for Lori Shepherd. The cookies would not only evoke childhood memories, but also illustrate the strong bond between Lori and her mother, as well as reveal something special about Aunt Dimity's mysterious friendship with Beth Shepherd. Hence, Beth's Oatmeal Cookies became an organic, intrinsic part of Lori's story. They taste pretty good, too.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Makes approximately 6 dozen cookies.
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
2 jumbo eggs
5 tablespoons raisin water (see below)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raisins
2 cups water
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
In small saucepan, combine raisins with water and bring to boil; lower heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. When cool, reserve 5 tablespoons raising water, then drain raisins in colander.
In large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and raisin water and mix well. Blend dry ingredients into creamed mixture. Add nuts if desired. Add raisins and combine well.
Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto greased baking sheets. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown and firm on top when touched with your finger. Cool on wire racks.
Reprinted from AUNT DIMITY'S DEATH by Nancy Atherton by permission of Penguin Books, a member of Penguin Putnam, Inc. Copyright 1992 by Nancy T. Atherton. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.