It’s that time of the year where everyone seems to find themselves baking sweet confectioneries in the kitchen. Whether for gifts or a midnight snack for Santa Claus, nothing beats homemade treats made with love. Cookies are my kids’ weakness during the holidays. My kids help me bake all varieties of cookies, and of course, they especially love decorating the cookies.
But not all delicious cookies need icing, sprinkles or decorations. Some of the best cookies, are the simple ones. These Persian Saffron Raisin Cookies may not seem simple, but they really are. Saffron is a very special ingredient coveted by Persians Europeans alike. Priced more per pound than gold, saffron can be intimidating for some home cooks. But the beauty of saffron is that very little goes a long way, assuming you are using a good quality saffron.
I like to use only Persian saffron threads. I do not trust powdered versions, as they can be mixed in with food colorants and lesser quality ingredients. Look for long, red threads, not orange or yellow. When crushed and steeped in water, you will have a wonderful orange-liquid that is very aromatic. These butter cookies come out from the oven bright golden yellow with crispy orange edges, studded with naturally sweet raisins. It’s a wonderful combination of flavors and really a beautiful cookie to share with your friends and family. I hope you like it!
Saffron Raisin Cookies
1/4 tsp saffron, ground
2 tsp hot water
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup plus 2 TBS granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup raisins
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- In a small bowl combine ground saffron and hot water. Let it sit and steep. If you have saffron threads, use a mortar and pestle to grind the saffron. You will need approximately 1/4 tsp of ground saffron.
- In a large bowl whisk together melted butter, vanilla and granulated sugar.
- Whisk in eggs until just combined.
- Stir in the saffron mixture and raisins.
- Stir in flour and mix until a soft dough forms.
- The cookie batter spreads while baking so drop 1-2 teaspoonfuls of batter for each cookie on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Space cookies up to 1-2 inches from each other.
- Bake until edges are golden, 10-15 minutes.
- Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a cooling rack. Let cookies cool completely on a cooling rack before serving.
Laura Bashar blogs at Family Spice, and is the photographer and co-author of the cookbook: Cooking Techniques and Recipes with Olive Oil. She’s also chaos manager of a family of five while soaking up the sun in San Diego, California.