To prepare filling: Combine sugar, butter, hot water, brandy raisins and a dash of salt. Cook over medium heat until thick. Set aside to cool.
To prepared cookies: Sift flour, salt and baking powder together.
Cream shortening and sugar together using an electric mixer. Add eggs and vanilla; stir well. Add flour mixture and milk; stir well.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface and cut into circles. Place a teaspoon of the filling on half of each circle, keeping it away from the edge. Fold the remaining part of the circle over the filling. Press together around the edge with tines of a fork. Place cookies on a baking sheet.