Soak the dried husks in water for about 30-60 minutes while preparing the batter and filling.
Batter: Blend the masa and baking powder together in a mixing bowl. Add the shortening into the masa using a mixer until well blended. With mixer still running, add the oil and sugar along with the hot water and beat the dough for 2 minutes or until well mixed. If the dough is too dry, add a little Toad Sweat or hot water.
Filling: Combine the apples, raisins/cranberries and Toad Sweat in a medium skillet. Add a few tablespoons of water, stir well and cover with a tight fitting lid for 5 minutes. Uncover and stir over medium heat until the juices are thickened, about 5 minutes more.
Assembly: Remove the husks from water and blot on towels to remove excess moisture. Pick out the largest husks. Spread about a 1/4 cup of batter inside the cut portion of each husk. Spread to the edge of the straight side and up towards the pointed end, leaving at least 2 inches on the pointed end. Then place a generous amount of filling on the dough. Roll the tamale up, and fold the pointed end of the husk over. Place tamale in a dish and proceed to the next one. This takes a while so put on some good tunes.
Cooking: After they are all assembled, place in a steamer for one hour. A large kettle with a colander will work as long as the lid fits tightly. Remove from the steamer and allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes prior to serving. These freeze nicely and can be microwaved for 1-2 minutes without removing the husks to make them taste freshly prepared.
Serve with additional Toad Sweat drizzled over the top for a dazzling experience!