To prepare filling, cover raisins with water in a saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add ½ teaspoon vanilla and sugar. Thicken with cornstarch and water. Cool.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Beat together shortening, eggs, and sugar. Mix dry ingredients and add to mixture alternately with buttermilk and remaining vanilla to form a dough. Roll out on floured surface to ⅛ inch thickness and cut into circles. Top a circle with raisin filling, cherry pie filling, or berry jam. Cover with a second circle; no need to press edges. Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.