Golden Raisin Biscuit Cookies

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whole grain
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: about 3 dozen cookies

Recipe photo

These raisin cookies mimic the late lamented Golden Raisin Biscuits, formerly sold under the Sunshine brand name, and later by Keebler. These flat, not overly sweet, raisin-filled cookies came in perforated strips that you'd break apart into rectangles. Keebler purchased Sunshine in 1996, and unfortunately dropped Golden Raisin Biscuits from their lineup; many of us have missed them ever since. Thus this recipe. More evocation than clone, these cookies are sweeter and more crisp than the original, but a tasty reminder of a classic cookie of years gone by.

Golden Raisin Biscuit Cookies

star rating (26) rate this recipe »
whole grain
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: about 3 dozen cookies
Published: 04/11/2011

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 cup King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour or Unbleached All-Purpose Flour*
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water*
  • *If you use white whole wheat flour, substitute 1 tablespoon orange juice for 1 tablespoon of the ice water, for best flavor.

Filling

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups currants, or chopped raisins

Topping

Directions

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1) Lightly grease a couple of baking sheets, or line them with parchment.

2) Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter into small cubes, and work it into the dry ingredients using your fingers, a mixer, or a fork, mixing until the dough is unevenly crumbly.

3) Drizzle in the ice water (or orange juice and water, if you're using whole wheat flour), mixing until the dough is cohesive. Grab a handful; if it holds together willingly and doesn't seem at all dry or crumbly, you've added enough liquid.

4) Divide the dough in half, and shape each half into a rough rectangle. Press each of the four sides against your work surface to smooth any ragged edges.

5) Wrap the dough, and refrigerate it for 30 minutes. Towards the end of the refrigeration time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

6) Take one piece of the dough, and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Roll it into a rectangle that's about 10" x 14", about 1/8" thick. Don't worry about ragged edges; life is imperfect.

7) Brush the surface of the dough lightly with some of the beaten egg, then spread half the surface (one of the "long" halves — a swatch about 5" x 14") with 3/4 cup of the currants, pressing them in gently.

8) Fold the other half of the dough over the currants, and roll again, until you have a piece of dough about 6" x 15". Some of the currants may pop through; that's OK.

9) Brush the dough lightly with some of the beaten egg, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the coarse sugar. (If you don't have coarse sugar, use a couple of tablespoons of regular granulated sugar. The cookies won't look as nice, but will taste fine.)

10) Now, trim the ragged edges; these will be the "cook's cookies," the ones you spirit away and eat yourself because you don't care what they look like.

11) Use a baker's bench knife or a rolling pizza wheel, carefully cut the rectangle of dough into three strips, lengthwise. Then cut each lengthwise strip into five crosswise pieces; you'll have a total of 15 rectangular cookies. Note: Be very careful if you've rolled the dough on a silicone rolling mat; you don't want to cut the mat when you cut the cookies.

12) Transfer the cookies to one of the prepared baking sheets, spacing them close together; they won't expand much.

13) Repeat the entire process with the remaining piece of dough.

14) Bake the cookies for 14 to 18 minutes, until they're a light golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool.

Yield: 30 cookies, plus additional scrap cookies for the cook.

Reviews

1 23  All  
  • star rating 04/03/2015
  • Dan from Christiansburg, Virginia
  • Taste very much as I remember the "Sunshine " version did. I made these just like the recipe (twice), rolling the top layer onto the bottom, however the top layer of dough comes right off every time. Not staying intact as the originals did. Also, not quite as chewy as I remember. Will definitely try this recipe again, but would like any input you could give. I used fresh,moist raisins, but was wondering why they won't stay together and aren't so chewy as I would like. Though, they sure bring back the memories.

    Before you brush on the egg wash, dust all the flour off. The combination doesn't adhere well together. Then use a thin layer of egg wash- a thick one can make the layers slip and slide. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  • star rating 04/01/2015
  • grace from pawcatuck,ct.
  • great recipe where you can vary the fillings and flavors. delicious biscuits!
  • star rating 03/26/2015
  • MrsDitalini from KAF Community
  • This is a WOW! I can't stop eating these cookies. I stumbled accross this recipe on the internet a few years back when my husband said he wished he could get the old rasin bar cookies he enjoyed as a kid. I saw the photo of what they were to look like and thought this looks good and it was far better than I could have imagined. Not real sweet, a perfect cookie to have with your tea or coffee. They ship well too! No breakage.
  • star rating 05/04/2012
  • cmarasco from KAF Community
  • There is no way I could get 30 cookies out of this recipe. I mixed the dough and the yield was so small! Then when I rolled out the dough it cracked everywhere even though I made sure to shape it into a rectangle before putting it in the fridge. I rolled it out on a Silpat and floured it and the rolling pin. I got perhaps a dozen and a half. I really wanted to like this recipe because it was fairly easy to make but can't.
    You maybe using too much four. Try our scoop/sprinkle/sweep method. Each cup of flour should weigh 4.25 oz. Traditional measuring methods use closer to 5oz of flour and can make recipes come out too "dry". betsy@kaf
  • star rating 10/25/2011
  • Linda from Lawrenceville, NJ
  • I can't remember what the Sunshine product taste like but these are AWESOME!! Not overly sweet like other cookies ... the sweetness comes primarily from the currents. I didn't think I was making them right smooshing all those currents in the dough but it works and works well. I made the whole wheat version. I know I will be making these often. Yum :)
  • star rating 07/11/2011
  • J. J. from KAF Community
  • I had a similar recipe and lost it! I gave this recipe a try and I'm very pleased with the results. A couple of changes to help streamline the process. Before you cut the dough into squares, roll it up on your rolling pine, like pie dough, and transfer to your parchment lined baking sheet. Apply the egg wash, sprinkle with sugar and then use a pizza cutter or an adjustable dough divider. I didn't separate the cookies and the baked up and separated just fine.
  • star rating 07/05/2011
  • angelainaz from KAF Community
  • I just took them out of the oven and the "cooks cookies" hardly had a chance to cool off. I was quite liberal with sparkling white sugar topping. I really like them and I think my Mom will too. I made these for her. I don't know how many I will part with for her to take some home.
  • star rating 05/30/2011
  • nanreyn from KAF Community
  • My husband and I grew up with the "Sunshine' raisin cookies. While this recipe does not duplicate those great cookies, it sure does remind one of them. I used the whole wheat white flour with the orange juice. The only other change I made was to replace the raisins with craisins, a delicious switch. The only issue I had with these cookies is that there was no way I could roll out the dough to the dimensions stated in the recipe. Maybe I should use a more generous cup of flour. My first roll came out at about 8" by 12". The second came out at about 5" by 14". I cut them into two strips instead of three giving me about 2 doz. cookies, instead of the 3 doz. listed in the recipe The thickness and crispness of the cookie are perfect cooking them for 18 minutes. I will make these again, however only for my husband and myself. There really aren't many here to share.
  • star rating 05/23/2011
  • extra04918 from KAF Community
  • I made these for a co-worker who is diabetic, but they got great reviews from a number of others at the office as well. (Because he is diabetic, I used all whole wheat, plus the recommended oj, and sprinkled them just very lightly with sugar -- about a tablespoon for the whole batch. One person thought they were bland and only so-so, but at least four others asked for the recipe and the entire batch was gone before lunch. I made them a second time and used dried apricots, also with great results. (Because apricots are a bit tangy, I sprinkled that batch liberally with sugar. Thanks for yet another winner!
  • star rating 05/17/2011
  • joannajw from KAF Community
  • Squashed Fly Biscuits!! YES! Finally a recipe for my favourite biscuit (ok, one of my favourite biscuits). Growing up in England we had them often (Garibaldi they are called) and you can still get them there - here too if you don't mind paying the price. I do, so now I can make them to my heart's content.
1 23  All  
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