Persian Saffron Raisin Cookies

Some childhood memories can never be erased from our minds and no matter how old we get, we can still recall all the details as if they just happened yesterday. The taste and flavor of Persian raisin cookies that my dad used to buy from a little local bakery in Kerman are one of those memories.

My dad like most Iranian men loved to provide the best for us. He would not mind going to three to four different stores to buy the best meat, the best herbs, or the best pastries. Even though my mom was an avid baker, once in awhile he would enjoy buying pastries from a local bakery in Kerman.

I vividly remember the bakery, the sweet aroma of pastries, and the baker who was always happy to see my dad and greeted him with a firm handshake and a smile. His bakery was famous for the saffron raisin cookies because he would use real saffron, real butter and lots of raisins. Perfumed with saffron and vanilla, these raisin cookies were soft, moist, and they almost had a cake texture-like.

Today, I can't be farthest away from home and those days, but baking these cookies make all those memories so real. I feel like I have my dad next to me in my kitchen and we can enjoy these cookies with a freshly brewed cup of Darjeeling tea, his two favorites. And now onto the recipe....

Few points about raisin cookies:

-using a small size ice cream scooper makes placing the cookies on the baking sheets easier and they all come out uniform. 

-I've sprinkled some slivered pistachios on top just to experiment and what I've noticed that we the cookies are baked the pistachios travel to the sides of the cookies. Since I'm a very symmetric person that bothered me ;) but it might be OK for you.

-If you're oven runs on the hot side, place the tray on the top rack so you don't burn the edges while the center isn't cooked.

Persian Raisin Cookies | Time: 20 minutes | Serving size: 45 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 200g (1 1/3 cups) Flour 
  • 150g (2/3 cup) Butter; softened
  • 109g (1/2 cup) Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 110g (1 full cup) Raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon brewed saffron
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • A pinch of salt  
  • Slivered pistachios for garnishing; optional

Process:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and have two baking trays ready covered with parchment paper.  
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together, sift and set aside.
  3. In a bowl of your stand mixer, mix soft butter with sugar until sugar is dissolved, Add the eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated. Add saffron and vanilla. Use a spatula and slowly add the flour mix. Use an ice-cream scooper to scoop up the dough and drop it on the baking sheet 2 inches apart as they expand a little bit. Sprinkle with slivered pistachios and place in the oven.
  4. Bake at 350°F for about 8-10 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Cool on a rack.
  5. These raisin cookies are delicious with a freshly brewed cup of tea or you can serve them with ice cream. 

To store: keep the cookies in an airtight container in a dry place up to two weeks. The cookies are soft and tender and tend to stick to each other if they're not fully cooled or are in a humid area, so you might want to place parchment paper in between layers; when storing them.