I've heard of soaking them in alcohol to plump them, but this is just for a cookie recipes that calls for "raisins, plumped."
Hi at 828-
I learned from my stepmother, who's a very good cook, about plumping the raisins- I do what she did-
You can definitely just plump them by soaking them in very hot tapwater (enough water to cover them thoroughly), in a mug for a short while (probably 10-15 minutes). I do this for stuffing, as an alternate to using the alcohol. So I'd think this could work fine for baked goods.
Good luck! -dreamer
It's not always necessary to plump them but if you want to you can just barely cover them with warm or hot water for a a short while, OR use any other liquid you think might taste good in the recipe eg alcohol or orange, apple or any other fruit juice.
Are these old recipes that you're using? Raisins used to be dryer and more shrunken up than they are today, so old recipes are more apt to call for them to be plumped. Today's recipes usually only want them plumped if the goal is to have them absorb the flavor from the liquid, and if the directions don't tell you what liquid to use, apparently this isn't the goal. If your raisins are fresh, there generally wouldn't be any reason to plump them for cookies. But if you do, follow hAndyman's advice.
To plump raisins I just put the amount in an appropriate size glass measuring cup or any microwave safe dish, and fill to cover with water. I then put them in the microwave on high approx. 3-4 minutes until it starts to boil. Then I let them stand for 5-10 minutes until cool. This plumps them up quite nicely!
Hope that helps.
I have used the microwave method. I've put them in a pot and brought to a boil. I've covered with water and let them sit for several hours.
I always plump raisins. Even with water, they taste so much sweeter when they've been plumped. And, if you don't plump them they will soak up some of the moisture from the recipe. Also of people don't mind that. I can tell you though, that whenever I cooked with raisins I get lots of compliments. No matter what I'm cooking them in.
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