In a mixing bowl equipped with a paddle, mix softened butter on medium speed until creamy and light. Add brown sugar and beat until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on medium until smooth. Stir in apple sauce. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and combine just until smooth. Plump raisins in hot water for about 10 minutes. Stir in raisins.