Persian raisin cookies

Persian raisin cookies, originally uploaded by c(h)ristine.

I often bring goodies to the office–it’s my way of getting yaya’s out and baking, while not consuming all those calories (of course I keep a few for myself)! I mean, there is just no dessert or cookie recipe out there “for one” (or two or three or four). It’s quite difficult, especially with cookies, to pare down those recipes to a few cookies, too.

A couple weeks ago I went to Elat Market in Los Angeles and bought my usual stash of really thick good pita, a big bag of delicious Persian nougat, and various Persian cookies. I fell in love with the raisin cookies that I bought, and got a real hankering to make more Persian food at home (where oh where can I find a recipe for Persian nougat, the kind that is soft and perfumed with rosewater?).

So when my new Persian cookbook called New Food of Life by Najmieh Batmanglij arrived, I immediately thumbed through it looking for my favorite dishes.

It just so happens that a couple employees who usually work remotely are visiting the office–these same employees usually miss out on the homemade treats I bring into the office. So I decided to make some raisin cookies.

Though I love chocolate chip cookies, these are a welcome break from the usual. These cookies are very crisp and buttery–and the raisins are an unexpected yet very welcome texture. I used currants, which I like even better than normal raisins in these cookies. The ingredient list is very short and the cookies are easy to make, using very familiar ingredients in a Western pantry. The key to making these crisp cookies is melting the butter beforehand–it makes a very goopy cookie dough so you will get your fingers a bit messy when you drop the teaspoons onto the cookie sheet.

Persian raisin batter

The book says the recipe makes 90 cookies–I halved the recipe and ended up with about 50 cookies.

Recipe follows after the jump…

RAISIN COOKIES (or Nan-e keshmeshy)
From New Food of Life by Najmieh Batmanglij
Makes: 90 cookies
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes

1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 cups raisins (I used currants)
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spread out wax paper on a cookie sheet. (I used a silpat liner)

2. In a mixing bowl, combine melted butter, vanilla, and sugar; then add the eggs one at a time. Mix well until creamy.

3. Add raisins and mix well.

4. Fold in the flour until a soft dough forms.

5. Drop teaspoonfuls of batter on the wax paper, leaving about 2 inches between each spoonful.

6. Place the cookie sheet in the center of the oven and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until slightly golden.

7. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool. Gently lift the cookies off the wax paper.

Persian raisin cookies

34 responses to “Persian raisin cookies

  1. They look delicious. But I keep thinking those are chocolate chips.

    Me no like cooked raisins.

  2. oh yummy! they look really delicious. This reminds me of a cookie I found some years ago. I think it was called market house cookies and it used carob raisins.

    Too bad my hubby and daughters don’t like anything with raisins in them. I’m the only one in my house 😦

  3. Please please if you find a recipy for Gaz persian Nougat, yes with rosewater, can you share it with me? Thank you so much

  4. lm: thank you so much! I’ve been looking for this recipe, high and low.

  5. lm: thank you SO much–I finally made the recipe (yes, months later) with my own adjustments (I found it was lacking at least one spice and didn’t have enough rose water) to the Great Approval of a family member who grew up on nougat in the Middle East! YES. You have made this cook and her family very very happy!

  6. My son has a school project where he needs to bring to school a food from Iran, this recipe looks easy and delicious, as soon as he gets from school today we are going to start making them.

  7. oh my gosh,

    i totally grew up eating these cookies at every family gathering, holiday, and just because. the photo of the one you made looks EXACTLY like the ones we used to buy from glendale bakery.

  8. at last! lm thank you so much–thanks to you, I was able to make my own Persian nougat here (

    Lucero: I hope you enjoy the cookies! They are really buttery and wonderful.

    samin: Yay! I’m so glad I brought back a good childhood memory for you…!

  9. The ingredients from the book (2001, 2nd edition) are as follows:

    1 cup unsalted butter, melted
    4 eggs
    1 cup oil (you left this out)
    1 3/4 cups sugar
    2 cups raisins
    2 1/3 cups all-purpose flower

    I think you owe it to your readers to point out the specific changes you made to the recipe (leaving out oil and adding vanilla) that you cite.

  10. Hi Farhad

    You are right, when I make changes to a recipe, I owe it to my readers to point out the changes.

    I will doublecheck the recipe in my edition of the cookbook when I can find it–and while I could have added the vanilla on my own (because I just lurrrv vanilla), I don’t remember the oil at all in the recipe I saw!

    I am pretty sure I followed the recipe word for word, because this was a post about the first time I made the cookies (and when I make something for the first time I tend to follow the directions to a T).

    Anyway, will get back to you soon.

  11. Hi Farhad

    I just doublechecked the recipe (p. 301 in the 2006 edition of the cookbook) and there is NO oil and there _is_ vanilla in the recipe. So I did not make any changes to the recipe as stated by the writer, Najmieh Batmanglij.

    She must have made some changes herself between 2001 and 2006.

    Her cookbook, btw, is great.

  12. Just a quick follow-up to say that I used the updated 2006 recipe you posted and the cookies got the seal of approval from my family. “As good as the Persian bakery!” sez my wife. Thanks for setting me straight!

    Now to brush up on my rusty Farsi and write a letter to Najmieh Batmanglij asking which other recipes she made huge changes to between 2001 and 2006! πŸ™‚

  13. this is a great cake

  14. Thanks for recipe, I spend alot of money buying these cookies, now I can make them for myself.

  15. I made the above recepie. It tastes great but it is not the same as what you buy in the shops in Iran or the persian sweet shops in London! Why?

  16. I made the above recepie. It tastes great but it is not the same as what you buy in the shops in Iran or the persian sweet shops in London! Why?
    I also had to turn it down a little for the last 2 mins.

  17. Replace butter in the recipe for clarified butter and add a pich of salt.

  18. Help – The first time I made the cookie recipe they were awesome! family loved them – the second time I made them – they turned out puffy – I followed the recipe to the letter- anyone know what happened?

  19. hi Chris–maybe the temperature of your butter? i’ll try to do some research as to why…

  20. First of all, I’m so excited to try this recipe. These are our favorite cookies from a local bakery. Second of all, the puffiness might have been caused by beating the batter too much. I make a great soft ginger cookie recipe and one time they were dense and flat (the way they’re supposed to be) and the next time they were puffy and weird. My recipe specifically says DO NOT BEAT the eggs and now I know why. It must have put too much air into the batter. Hope that helps!

  21. O- kay.. well.. i made them today.. they don’t look as good as yours! how come yours came out SO yellow??

  22. @Shuvawn: thank you!

    @Henga: quite honestly, i think the cookies are so yellow bc of the camera settings. πŸ˜‰ I hadn’t figured out, at the time, how to balance the whiteness! lol.

  23. hahaha..ok.. got ya! ;-))))))) thank you for the reply.

  24. I just love these cookies! Tried them once from an ethnic grocery in the area & thought (before I ate one) that the raisins were chocolate chips as well. Thankfully I love raisins.

    One question, could I substitute oil for butter? I almost never have butter in the house.

  25. Never mind, I answered my own question! lol The oil worked perfectly. Also, I switched out about 2/3 cup of flower for chocolate protein powder to help increase the health factor. And since I only have one baking sheet I made blondies instead of cookies! πŸ˜€ I am quite pleased with the result. Thanks for posting the recipe!

  26. hi, i was wondering if u could give me a recipe for 25 cookies instead. I usually dont make cookies 90 at a time πŸ™‚ thx

  27. I like that with sultana, But they are looks very yummy.

  28. I don’t like raisin in food, just on its own, but I’ve always LOVED these cookies.

  29. ok so I tried this recipe today but mine never came out that round in shape and were not flat, they were more thick. How come?

    • Possibly the kind of flour that was used. I would get the same thing till I switched flours. Hope this helps~

  30. Cant wait to try this recipe today! If I can remember to, I’ll repost with the outcome πŸ™‚ I love that you respond to your commentors with questions and suggestions. FEEDBACK ROCKS! πŸ™‚

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