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How To Make Homemade Raisins & My Grandma’s Amazing Raisin Cookies

How To Make Homemade Raisins

I’m just going to come right out and say it – I think raisins get a bad rap. What’s isn’t there to like about raisins, I ask you? They’re sweet little bits of dried fruit deliciousness. (Sure, it can be a bit disappointing if you bite into a cookie expecting chocolate chips, only to find out that those dark bits are raisins, but that isn’t the raisins’ fault!) Not only are raisins a naturally sweet treat, they’re also a healthy choice, and are great to have in the kitchen to satisfy a sudden sweet tooth.

Since “raisin” is just a fancy name for dried grapes, I recently thought to myself, “Why doesn’t anyone just make their own raisins at home?” I thought I’d give it the old college try, and I was thrilled with the results! The raisins turned out big, juicy, and delicious! Much better than store-bought, hands down.

Here’s how you can make your own raisins at home, too. :-)

How To Make Homemade Raisins

Start by purchasing a bag of your favorite seedless grapes. Any color or variety will do!

Before drying your grapes, you’ll want to blanch them. You can skip this step if you want, but blanching your grapes first softens the skins and helps them dry evenly. And it only takes a minute!

How To Make Homemade Raisins

Drop your grapes, stems and all, into a pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and place them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.

Once the grapes are cool enough to handle, remove and discard the stems and pat the grapes dry.

How To Make Homemade Raisins

Arrange them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Now you’re ready to dry your grapes! You can do this 2 different ways.

How To Make Homemade Raisins

The easiest and quickest way to turn your grapes into raisins is to dry them in your oven. Set your oven to 180 degrees (or as low as your oven will go,) and place your tray of grapes inside. Let the grapes sit in the oven for at least 5 hours, tossing them once or twice to ensure even drying.

How To Make Homemade Raisins

Allow them to cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

How To Make Homemade Raisins

The second way to dry your grapes is to harness the power of the sun! Place a piece of cheesecloth over your tray of grapes and place it in a sunny location for 3-5 days. (We tried this method but didn’t have great results because the window we placed the tray in was not very sunny. If you have a window that gets consistent, direct sunlight, this method may work better for you!)

How To Make Homemade Raisins

When your homemade raisins are ready, you can enjoy them in your morning oatmeal, as a healthy and delicious snack, or in a batch of warm, delicious cookies. Mmmmm. :-)

If you’re looking for a good raisin cookie recipe, here’s my grandma’s. These cookies are big, soft, and oh-so-delicious! (I grew up simply calling them “Grandma Cookies,” because whenever we went to visit her house, she always had them in a big tupperware container on top of the fridge.) One of my fondest memories!

What’s your favorite way to eat or use raisins?

How To Make Homemade Raisins

GRANDMA'S RAISIN COOKIES

Jill Nystul
If you’re looking for a good raisin cookie recipe, here’s my grandma’s. These cookies are big, soft, and oh-so-delicious! Not only are raisins a naturally sweet treat, they’re also a healthy choice, and are great to have in the kitchen to satisfy a sudden sweet tooth. When your homemade raisins are ready, you can enjoy them in your morning oatmeal, as a healthy and delicious snack, or in a batch of warm, delicious cookies. Mmmmm. :-)
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 60 Cookies
Calories 86 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups raisins
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Instructions
 

  • In a small saucepan, combine the raisins and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  • Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; gradually add to creamed mixture.
  • Stir in nuts and raisins with liquid.
  • Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets.
  • Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Remove to wire racks to cool.

Nutrition

Calories: 86kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 1gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 68mgPotassium: 62mgSugar: 1gVitamin A: 100IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 8mgIron: 0.6mg

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  • I would love to make these cookies. Any suggestions on what flour (s) to use to make them gluten-free? I’ve tried your GF bread recipe and was hoping to find more yummy recipes from you! Thanks!

  • This sounded so interesting so we are trying it. We are now into hour 8 and they aren’t close to being “raisins” but I’m sure they’ll be good when done! Takes LOTS of grapes to make a container of raisins!

  • Love this idea! I know just what to do with all the grapes on our grapevines now. I think I’ll pull out the dehydrator and give it a try. My family loves raisins and nothing beats homemade.

  • My Mom always made oatmeal raisin cookies which gave them a yummy chew, although we did just use store bought raisins. This will make them perfect!!

  • Been making raisins in the back of my refrigerator for twenty years. Just ‘lose’ the bag of raisins in the very back of the produce drawer and wait. Makes great raisins that can be used for snacking or recipes.

    • My mom used to make a raisin cake and soaked the raisins in hot water before she used them and I always did that when I was using them in a recipe, never heard of making your own before (great idea)

  • OMG, wow, I can almost taste those cookies. I found it very amazing to see and read how you turn grapes into raisins. I love both! When I try to make them, I just hope they turnout the way your grandmother use to make them. Thanks for sharing,

    • Yes! Thank you for saying this. I have a food dehydrator and I make the most decadent of raisins in there–the purple or the golden–they are so good and there are no sulfites in homemade ones either! Yummy! Jillee’s way is fantastic though for those with no dehydrator! Thanks Jillee!

  • Thanks for this post, Jillee. I will make raisins for sure as you suggest. They would make a very clever simple gift with a few nicely wrapped Grandma’s raisin cookies! Do you know how long they last in the airtight container?

  • Going to try this. Store bought raisins can expensive and are not very tasty. I’ll watch for the grapes to go on sale and stock up. Do you know when grapes are normally on sale?

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