Raisin Pillows

Its that time of the year again. Time to bake plum cakes and cookies, lavish meals being planned and families are eagerly awaiting the Christmas lunch with loved ones. Christmas trees are being decorated with star lights, there are carols being sung. All in all, its music and lights and laughter and sharing everywhere!

As part of the Christmas menu, these soft, melt-in-your mouth pillows are simply perfect! `Pillow‘ is the right word to name these cookies. For the outer layer is just that, soft and delicate with the delicious aroma of butter and vanilla. The `pillows` are sandwiched with soft raisins having a hint of freshly squeezed lemon that perfectly complement the butter-y-ness of the cookies.

Skip the filling and make plain butter cookies, adding flavorings of your choice – orange zest, lemon zest, all spice, vanilla and so on..
Happy baking & Seasons Greetings!

Raisin Pillows

Raisin Pillows

Makes about 7 to 8 pillows OR 15 to 20 plain butter cookies, depending on size

Ingredients

For the cookie dough
Butter – 100 gms, at room temperature
Icing sugar – 100 gms
Vanilla extract – ½ tsp
Maida/ plain flour – 200 gms
Baking powder – 1/8 tsp
Salt – a pinch, only if using unsalted butter
Milk – 2 to 4 tsps, as needed

For the raisin filling
Black raisins – 100 gms
Lime juice – 1 ½ tsp
Water – 2 to 3 tbsps
Sugar – 2 tsps
Cornflour – ½ tsp

 

Method  

For the cookie dough

In a mixing bowl, beat together softened butter and icing sugar (sieved in case of lumps) till light and fluffy, about 6 to 8 mins. Add in vanilla, beat again to blend.

Measure 200 gms flour in measuring cup, add in the baking powder  and salt if adding.

Seive the dry ingredients together into the creamed butter-sugar mixture. Beat lightly to mix the ingredients.

Then knead gently to a semi stiff dough, adding 2-3 tsps milk as needed to form dough. Do not over knead and avoid adding too much milk as it can result in a tough cookie. Add just enough milk do bring the dough together.

Wrap dough in cling film and let chill in refrigerator till the filling ready.

 

For the raisin filling

In a saucepan put in all the ingredients and stir once to blend well. Keep the pan over heat and simmer on low heat for 4 to 6 mins or till raisins are plumped up. There should not remain too much liquid but the filling must be moist and soft.

Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Proceed with making pillows

Preheat oven at 1800 C for 10 mins. Grease (and line if preferred) baking tray.

Unwrap dough and divide into 3 portions for easier handling. Roll out one portion by dusting rolling pin with some flour to avoid sticking OR keep the dough between 2 plastic sheets and roll out into 1/8 inch thickness.

Cut into desired shape/ size with cookie cutter. I used a 3” diameter cutter. Take one cut cookie, keep 1 to 2  tsp filling in the centre. Cover on top with another cut cookie and press very lightly at edges. No need to seal completely as it will stick on baking. Be careful as you sandwich them as the dough can be very delicate.

Repeat for entire dough.

Place the pillows on prepared baking tray. Bake for 10 to 12 mins or till just start to turn pale golden at edges. Remove and cool 5 mins in the tray and then transfer to wire rack and let cool completely. Store in airtight cookie jars at room temp for 2 to 4 days. These pillows are soft yet firm and buttery.

 

For making plain butter cookies

Preheat oven at 1800 C for 10 mins. Grease (and line if preferred) baking tray.

Skip the filling. Unwrap dough and divide into 3 portions for easier handling. Roll out one portion by dusting rolling pin with some flour to avoid sticking OR keep the dough between 2 plastic sheets and roll out into ¼” thickness.

Place cut cookies in prepared baking tray. Bake for 10 to 12 mins or till edges just start to turn pale golden. May go upto 15 too depending on your oven.

Remove and cool 5 mins in the tray and then transfer to wire rack and let cool completely. Store in airtight cookie jars at room temp.

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About Prathima Rao

Born & brought up in South India amongst hard core food enthusiasts, cooking & food has always been an important part of my growing years, with every family gatherings accompanied by a scrumptious & elaborate meals. A brief stint in an auditing firm and then later my increasing passion for food led me to explore the wonder world of vegetarian and vegan cooking full time. My forays into the culinary world involve recreating the almost-lost traditional Indian recipes to experimenting with easy to make international vegetarian dishes or making a pleasing yet simple and healthy home cooked meal. My style of cooking is simple to cook dishes from easily available ingredients peppered with the occasional indulgence with new techniques and ingredients. I try and look for healthier options wherever possible but do not compromise on the taste. This passion for cooking led me to start my own food blog Prats Corner which includes traditional recipes I grew up with, other Indian cuisines, fusion and international dishes, bakes and some of my own experiments in the test kitchen.
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