She makes them every Christmas. I have very fond memories of my sister and I helping her to make them, and of eating them through April because I kept asking for batch after batch.
Once I grew up and moved out on my own, she gave me recipe. I have since attempted to make them every year at Christmas. Every year, my cookies come out like crap. I don't know what the problem is, other than that they require "my mother's love" as one of the ingredients.
So, this year, I have officially given up, and decided to try a variation. The originals wouldn't have worked, anyway.
My mom's original recipe calls for vegetable shortening, 1.5 cups of refined sugar, white flour, and egg yolk. These are all ingredients I try to avoid anyway, so maybe it's just as well to let her make them. I can enjoy them as a special treat when I visit her house!
My new version uses unsweetened apple sauce in place of the vegetable shortening, 1 cup of maple syrup in place of the refined sugar (I cut water from the original recipe to compensate for the additional liquid), whole-wheat flour in place of the white flour, and two egg whites instead of one whole egg.
The result is a cookie that is in absolutely no way reminiscent of my mother's oatmeal raisins. It's an entirely different cookie: more cake-y between the oats with a unique sweetness. But still yummy!
The one thing I didn't change: Letting my girls help me make them.
3/4 cup applesauce
1 cup maple syrup (still a whopping amount, but less sugar than the original)
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups uncooked oats (must not be "instant")
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup raisins
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine apple sauce, maple syrup, egg whites, and vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients (through baking soda).
Combine wet and dry ingredients. Stir well.
Add raisins and stir.
Drop by rounded teaspoon (about 1-inch balls) onto an un-greased non-stick tray.
Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.