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 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.