Persian New Year is less than a week away and for many Iranian households preparations are well underway. Houses are being spring cleaned, new clothes are being bought, Sabzeh is being sprouted, Haft Seens are being set and many make the trip to Persian bakeries to buy sweets and cookies for the New Year celebration.
I must admit that growing up I was never a fan of the traditional cookies served during New Year. I think the main reason I haven’t cared for them is that often by the time people served them they are stale and dusty. But when these cookies are fresh, they are absolutely delicious! This year I decided why not try to make my own Persian cookies for Nowroz……straight out of the oven, fresh and tasty cookies to serve guests.
After some research and experimenting, I came up with with my version of Shirini Kishmishi (Persian Raisin Cookies). These crispy and slightly chewy cookies are a perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea. In my version I used currants but they would be delicious with regular raisins as well. The saffron is completely optional but I think it adds a fabulous aromatic element and as my husband states “makes them taste very Persian”.
(approx 4 dozen)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp ground saffron dissolved in 1 tsp hot water (optional)
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup currants (or you may use regular or sultana raisins)
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees celsius.
Cream together softened butter and sugar on medium speed of a stand mixer or hand mixer for 2 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and saffron water and beat until incorporated.
Slowly add the flour on low speed of the mixer. Mix until it forms a dough.
Gently fold in currants (or raisins).
Line a baking pan with parchment paper or a silpat. Drop small teaspoon full of batter on the sheet, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden around the edges.
Cool slightly on the sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!