Shirini Keshmeshi is what Persian Raisin Cookies look like. Persian children grow up eating and loving Shirini Keshmeshi the same way that American children love chocolate chip cookies.
The word Shirini is used in general for any Persian pastry, and the exact translation of the word “shirin” is sweet. Keshmeshi means with raisin. There is another version of this cookie that is thinner and chewier, and that recipe will be posted in the future as well.
These Persian Raisin cookies have a very different texture from the oatmeal raisin cookies. They are pillowy soft and slightly chewy with a kind irresistible texture that makes me keep eating them! They are perfumed with vanilla and loaded with plump raisins. The cookies are very moist and light the day that they are baked and keep their softness for several days when stored in an airtight container in the room temperature.
These cookies are made with unsalted butter and I would not recommend any substitution. The buttery flavor is what makes them very special. I have used pure vanilla powder in my cookies. The pure vanilla powder is a little pricey and can be purchased online or from the specialty food stores. Pure vanilla extract tastes great in this recipe as well. I would not recommend using the artificial vanilla flavoring.
These cookies are baked with simple but real ingredients. Unsalted butter and pure vanilla for a delicious buttery flavor perfumed with real vanilla. Mix all of the ingredients, except the raisins, with an electric mixer according to the recipe until you get a very smooth dough. Use a spatula to fold in the raisins. Make sure you also bring up the dough from the bottom of the bowl and mix it uniformly with raisins.
Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Use a 1-tablespoon scoop to drop the dough on the lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake in a preheated 400 F oven for 10-12 minutes, just until the edges turn golden brown. The top is not going to turn golden brown. Do not overcook or they will lose their soft chewy texture and become dry and crumbly. Cool on the cookie sheet set on a cooling rack for 3 minutes before removing them with a spatula. Cool the Raisin Cookies completely on the rack before storing them in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days at room temperature. Like all the butter cookies these Shirini Keshmeshi raisin cookies are best when served at room temperature. If you have to refrigerate or freeze them, bring them to room temperature before serving them.
These Shirini Keshmeshi’s are my favorite childhood cookies that I still adore, hope you will love them as much as I do. Just brew some fresh steaming hot Persian tea and ENJOY these soft buttery cookies.
Bake time: 10-12 minutes, or until the edges turn golden brown
Yield: About 4 dozen cookies
You will need: 3 baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats
- 6 ounces unsalted butter (1½ sticks) softened at room temperature for at least an hour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs (added one at a time)
- ¼ tsp pure vanilla powder, or ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup raisins, I've used Sunmaid brand California raisins
- Preheat the oven to 400 F, center rack [for best results the cookies should be baked in 3 batches]
- Add the flour to a small bowl and whisk it with a pinch of salt. Set aside.
- Using the beater attachment beat soft butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy (1-2 minutes)
- Add the pure vanilla powder or extract. Add eggs one at a time and beat after each addition only until blended.
- Add the flour mixture gradually on very low speed until it stops spewing. Then increase the speed to medium and beat only until you get a very smooth dough.
- Remove the mixing bowl and use a spatula to fold in the raisins. Bring up the dough from the bottom of the bowl as well and mix to combine uniformly with raisins.
- Use a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop to drop the balls of dough about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake each batch of cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges turn golden brown. The tops will not turn golden brown, do not over bake or the cookies will dry out.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set it on a cooling rack. Leave the cookies on the baking sheet for 3 minutes before transferring them with a spatula onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.
- These butter cookies are best when served at room temperature. If you need to refrigerate or freeze them, bring them back to room temperature before serving them.
- These cookies taste amazing with a glass of fresh brewed Persian Tea.
J Carman says
Looks yummy! Now all I need to do is show my children the recipe, and they’ll make them for us… 🙂
Dear J Carman
what a lovely idea 🙂 I am certain they will be able to do a wonderful job. I would love to hear all about it!
Fae's Twist & Tango says
Yes, I love them as much as you do! I wanted to have a great recipe for Shirini Keshmeshi, and here it is! The cookies look so~ pretty and yummy! I look forward to the recipe for another version of the cookies.
That is great to know! So glad you like the recipe. Thank you for your kind words 🙂
These are my favorite childhood cookie! I look forward to the crispy version.
Dear Avery, I am so glad to hear that, thank you for your comment!
I’m very, very confused. I took one look at the photo, and got excited. These look exactly like the Persian saffron cookies I’ve only rarely been able to find. But you’re not using saffron!
Yet some inner drive led you to photograph them in a yellow-ish light, so they look like they do totally have saffron in them.
Can you explain?
Love your blog, by the way!
Your comment made me laugh! I looked at my pictures and some of them might look like they have a golden hue to them, especially to someone who loves saffron cookies 😉 . I grew up in Iran and never had raisin cookies with saffron; however I have seen some recipes with saffron. There is a quick remedy for this dilemma, you could add 1/16 to 1/8 teaspoon ground saffron to the batter right after adding the eggs. Thank you for your comment, and I hope you will try these cookies with saffron and tell me all about it 🙂
Thanks! Not raisins, but I have seen saffron cookies with currants (which are similar!). I appreciate your quick first aid suggestion!
There is (or, at least, was) a great Persian bakery in Toronto (Arzan, 6103 Yonge St, Yonge Centre Plaza, 416-590-1234) that sold lemon-washed pistachios and also unroasted pistachios, and also almonds in the shell. I’ve never saw any of those things before or since!
But the best thing were their house-baked ambrosial saffron cookies, which I dream of almost every day (it’s been over 10 years!). They’re thin, bright yellow with browned edges, studded with a few currants, and devastating. So light and sunny as to be nearly insubstantial; they disintegrate in your mouth into a wisp of buttery, saffrony magic.
BTW, I’m a food writer (I founded the popular Chowhound web site) and will be highly recommending your great blog in a upcoming book I’m working on.
Thank you Jim, you are so kind! The cookies that you are describing sound amazing and a great recipe that I would love to recreate. On a different note, recently a friend sent me some roasted inshell almonds with very thin shells, that are very similar to the almonds that I used to get in Iran, here is the address: http://www.stewartandjasper.com/Store/inshell-almonds.html
Thanks for the link!
Another question. There are a number of soups with lentils (often red lentils), tomato, and something tangy (tamarind sauce, dried lime, or lemon juice ). The most common names seem to be Dal Adas or Adasi.
Can you please help identify? Are both those names used for the same dish?
You’re very welcome!
Adasi and Dal Adas are both types of a thick soup with spices, garlic and onions that is cooked with tomatoes or tomato paste. As far as I know the only identifying difference is that Adasi is usually made with green lentils and Dal Adas is from southern Iran and is made with red lentils.
I’d love to see your version of it, if you ever feel like posting a recipe! In the Middle-East, they make a pretty dull version…once you’ve had Persian lentil soup with the tangy-ness, it’s hard to eat any other…
I’m so sorry, I thought I had responded to your comment! I do appreciate your words of confidence. I actually do have a recipe for Adasi that I used to make a long time ago. I’m putting it on the list of recipes to make again and post in the near future per your request. Thank you so much for your comment!
Hello, i wanted to make these and would like to know if i can incorporate zafron in it. If so, how?
Hi Sarah, you could add about 1/16 to 1/8 teaspoon ground saffron powder, or 1 teaspoon brewed saffron at the same time that you’re adding the eggs.
could we add cardamom as well?
You could, though I have never had Shirini Keshmeshi flavored with cardamom
Salaam Homa jaan,
That is my mothers name, btw. 🙂
Just wanted to thank you for this recipe as I am about to try it out and it is too late to call my mom. 😀
Will let you know how it works out!
Salam Norcaljohnny; I’m sure by now you’ve tried one or two of them and I hope you’re enjoying them. Thanks for your comment my dear 🙂
Salaam Homa! They were perfect! Just like the ones my mom and Bijan’s Bakery make. I am grateful and again want to thank you, Cheers!
Salam Norcaljohnny; so glad to hear that you’re pleased with the recipe, and you’re so very welcome 🙂
I am afraid I do not understand what you mean by sweet butter. Please explain.
Carolyn, that is unsalted butter.
Great recipe!! This cookies are so delicious. Thank you
It’s a pleasure Inga; so glad you like them my dear 🙂
Thanks for the recipe Homa joon! I am thinking of making them for office tonight! How many cookies would you say this recipe make?
It’s my pleasure Nasrin joon; if you use a 1 Tablespoon scooper, this recipe will yield about 48 cookies. Have fun and enjoy
Homa Jon, thank you for all of the fantastic recipes! I’m so excited to have found this cookie recipe. They’re my favorite Persian cookie. Your recipes are very easy to follow and understand when I make my them for my Persian husband.
Hello Sheri aziz; Thanks for your lovely comment! I’m delighted that you’ve found my recipe and instructions helpful. I would love to hear back from you when you try this keshmrshi or any other recipes! Have a great weekend ?
What is the difference between granulated sugar and reg. Sugar
Dear Taylor, the regular sugar is also called granulated sugar. Have a great weekend. Happy Baking 😉
I was not a big fan of raisin cookies and I used your recipe to surprise my husband who loves shirini keshmesh. It was so easy to make and this is my favorite cookie now??
Thank you for the recipe ??
Yasaman jan, thanks so much for your comment and your lovely picture! I’m very happy to hear that you have joined the shirini keshmeshi crowd 😉 Warm regards to you and your husband, please keep in touch!
Wendy Woolf says
Where do you get your vanilla powder? I want to get the best! Thank you! I am making these for my daughter’s boyfriend for Nowruz. Hopefully they will mail well as they live in Texas and I live in California!
Hi Wendy, I get it from Iran. I have seen it sold online, but have never tried it.
I have a picture of the vanilla powder in this link: https://persianmama.com/all-about-spices-2/
If you look closer you’ll see that the specs are shiny. Avoid any powder that have sugar or anything else added to it. If you’re unable to find the powder, please do not hesitate to use the pure vanilla extract; I have baked these with it and I know your daughter and her boyfriend will love them! The cookies should ship well, they are solid and soft. Just pack enough cookies in a small box so there is no room to shift, and place a parchment paper in between each layer. Then ship it in a larger box with lots of bubble wrap or Styrofoam around the little box! Good luck and Happy Nowruz and Spring to all of you 🙂 Please keep in touch..
Wendy Woolf says
I would add saffron
Hello, instead of butter can I use something like Crisco Shortening? I tend to avoid butter because I don’t like that overly buttery taste in my pastries. Any advice?
thank you xx
Hi Alex, both butter and shortening work in most baking recipes, but please keep in mind that the result will not be the same in appearance or flavor. Happy baking and let me know how this recipes works for you
Neelma Kohli says
Thank you so much for a PERFECT recipe! I made this for Nowruz today and they came out absolutely perfect!!!
Hi Neelma, I appreciate your comment with the news of your successful shirini Keshmeshi. Nowruz Mobarak, Happy New year 🙂
your recipe was on mark with the wonderful buttery cake-like consistency I remember from childhood. Thank you
Noosh e joon Ladan jan, so glad you like this recipe and it brings back good childhood memories for you! Please take care and keep in touch. Have a great weekend 🙂
Kathryn Payandeh says
Is it plain flour or self raising flour you use?
Hello Kathryn, I have used plain all purpose flour.
Have fun baking, take care and Happy Nowruz 🙂