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Poor Man's Cookies

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These poor man's cookies are an old family recipe - spiced bar cookies with plump raisins and chopped walnuts.
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Servings 24 bars
Calories 210


For the Cookies:

  • cups water
  • cups raisins
  • 8 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • cups sugar
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts

For the Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons warm water


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 baking pan.
  • Combine water, raisins, and shortening in a medium saucepan. Boil over medium heat, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, remove the lid, and let cool for 10 minutes.
  • While the raisin mixture is boiling, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a large bowl.
  • Pour the slightly cooled raisin mixture over the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until mostly combined and moistened (the batter at this point will have the consistency of a paste). Add the beaten eggs and again stir with a spoon, until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chopped walnuts.
  • Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until deeply browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean with some moist crumbs attached.
  • While the cookies are baking, prepare the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar and warm water in a small bowl. As soon as you take the pan out of the oven, drizzle the glaze over the cookies and quickly spread into an even layer.
  • Cool to room temperature before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.


Note: You can substitute unsalted butter for the vegetable shortening.
Nutritional values are based on one serving


Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 126mg | Potassium: 119mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1.1mg