Toasted Raisin Biscuits

So many people have problems with raisins, I began to think that I didn’t like them. But that’s crazy, I love them.

My love was unexpectedly affirmed shortly before Halloween when Bryan and I stopped by Hoosier Mama (the best pie shop in the world) to buy a pie. They had a sour cream and apple pie that looked amazing and seemed like the obvious choice. But for some reason I told Bryan he could pick. He picked a funeral pie which I found out was an Amish raisin pie (Hoosier Mama’s version had a healthy dose of rum). I spent the rest of the day asking Bryan: What kind of weirdo picks a raisin pie?! Well, you can see where this is going. Pie in my face. The funeral pie was incredible and it got me thinking about raisins.

I think part of their problem is that raisins get put in stupid places, like brownies and oatmeal cookies. When I was a kid there was a bakery near our house that sold Pac-Man shaped donuts complete with a bright yellow glaze. They were rad. The problem was they used a raisin for the eye. WTF? Why not a chocolate chip? So, every time I got one of those donuts I would start by savagely gouging out the Pac-Man’s eye and throwing it in the garbage. I now wonder how many raisins were thrown in the garbage of that bakery by annoyed kids.

It wasn’t the raisin’s fault.

Enter this totally amazing recipe. Seriously, this one is really special. It is from the recently published Rustic Italian Food by Marc Vetri and David Joachim. While many recipes in the book look good (although, honestly, not so easy for the home cook), this simple biscuit recipe stood out. It is a strange one. You mix the batter on the stove top, heating it gently. The egg white heavy batter is then spread into a pan and baked. After baking, you cut it into rectangles and (here comes the magic!) toast them with a little butter. The toasting transforms them into something really quite special and a perfect showcase for raisins. They are totally buttery and delightful.

It is a great recipe for this weekend or any weekend you have friends and family around. Bake the biscuits before guests arrive and then whenever you want to sit down for a snack and a cup of tea you can toast up a few of these.

Happy thanksgiving, everyone! I hope it is a great weekend.

Toasted Raisin Biscuits (adapted from Rustic Italian Food)

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks)unsalted butter, softened, plus more for toasting
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 13×9-inch baking pan.

Cream the 3/4 cup butter and the confectioners’ sugar in a large saucepan with a wooden spoon. gently warm the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring in the egg whites, flour and salt. Do not let the mixture simmer. Remove from the heat and fold in the raisins. Immediately scrape the thick mixture into the prepared pan.

Bake until the top looks dry and the edges are lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Prick the biscuit all over with a fork about halfway through baking to prevent it from puffing up.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into 1 1/2 by 3-inch rectangles. To serve, melt a little butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the rectangles and toast until both sides are browned, 1 to 2 minutes, adding butter as needed.

You can keep the un-toasted biscuits (well wrapped) for up to 4 days. Toast as needed.


38 comments to “Toasted Raisin Biscuits”

  1. Wow, what an interesting technique. I am a huge fan of raisins and like it when they are thoughtfully added to dishes – sweet or savory. I am excited to give this a whirl.

  2. These look amazing! I am definitely a raisin lover, so I will have to trythese! :)

  3. What an interesting recipe – I simply adore raisins and these pretty little biscuits seem like the perfect carrier for sweet raisin goodness. Thanks!

  4. This is a great post! I love both the stories. And the idea of a buttery raisin biscuit. Pain aux raisins is what started to make me a raisin fan, and I’ve sort of been getting in golden raisins lately–thought I still feel a little suspicious. I’ll definitely give this a shot though! It sounds too neat to pass up.

  5. THAT LOOKS AMAZING, and what a perfect shape and color!

  6. These look like they’d be absolutely delightful with coffee or tea! In Australia, we normally slice the Christmas Pudding for breakfast on Boxing Day and toast it in a pan for a wonderful take on toast. I’d like to make this to satisfy my pudd craving I’ve been having lately, thank you!

    And as for raisins, my grandfather’s favorite pie was always sour cream and raisin. When it came out on Thanksgiving, he could be assured that no one else would want a piece, and the entire pie would be his. We always thought it was part of his strategy.

  7. Sophie, your grandfather is a smart man!

  8. My initial thought was also, “What kind of weirdo chooses a raisin pie?” And, I like raisins! These look great…….

  9. “I think part of their problem is that raisins get put in stupid places” made me laugh- so true! I also love the imagery of you digging out the eye! My grandmother used to buy us some kind of snack cakes that were two raisin-y cakes with creme in the middle, and I remember diligently burrowing my fingers into the cakes to pry out the raisins and how she’d lecture me about the Great Depression when she saw my pathetic pile of discarded raisins. I’ve made peace with raisins now and I have been curious about raisin pie.

  10. Who puts raisins in a brownie? Wolf!
    I do love raisins though, especially in our stuffing this Thurs!!
    Happy Thanksgiving Tim!

  11. This is funny, I was just having a conversation with a friend the other day about this very thing- we were contemplating making chutney and I complained that most recipes call for raisins. I think part of my aversion comes from being given those little boxes of Sun-Maid raisins as a snack when I was a kid. They were always too dry and had little gritty, stemmy parts that I hated. As an adult, I have come to use golden raisins occasionally in my cooking but have yet to fully embrace the regular dark ones. Sounds like I need to try that pie.

  12. I am a raisin fan but you are right that the halfhazard use of raisins has given them a bad wrap. The toasted raisin biscuits look so good! I love recipes like these made on the stovetop.

  13. My dad just loved toasted raisin bread, which I then loved as well, but it’s been years since I’ve had any. This reminded me of that, only better! Boy, do they look tasty. I’ve gotta try this one! P.S. As far as raisins go, as long as they’re plumped up, not dry and shriveled, I’ll take them in just about anything.

  14. woah – how unique and deliious-looking!

  15. These toasted biscuits look great. Right now I wish I could pick one off the computer screen.
    Since Funeral Pie gave you a new found love for raisins, you should also try Eccles Cakes. I’d have to dig out my recipe, but this one looks pretty similar.

  16. I’m going to make these on Thanksgiving to have for breakfast after Thanksgiving! Yay

  17. Yes! That is perfect, Ash. Some salty butter might be nice on top. Love you!

  18. What an odd an wonderful recipe.! I will see if it works out with gluten-free flour (usually recipes with a lot of egg do) I love raisins, especially if they are almost burnt. They taste like caramel. I also like them plumped up with booze. At thanksgiving I often make a cranberry raisin pie and these too odd ingredients balance each other perfectly.

  19. Tim, slightly curious about the funeral pie. By any chance did you guys take pics of it?

    In an anti-raisin phase right now (I buy rum raisin choc and pick out the raisins!), perhaps I’ll try the recipe with dried cranberries.

  20. I totally agree – raisins are great as long as they are in the right place. Not a chicken salad for example! I love this recipe. My fabourite is toasted hot cross buns with raisins and a fried egg oon top…wierd but good. Unlike the chicken salad.

  21. Tian- I’m working on it. No pictures of that pie, but I will follow-up.

  22. These remind me of my childhood favorite: toasted, buttered pound cake slices. Best breakfast ever. Best tea time snack. Best midnight snack.

  23. lovely light in those photos! i’ve been baking oatmeal raisin muffins recently (my own recipe)…friends say the muffins look too healthy… but they wind up liking the raisins :)

  24. Love your site and totally making these (Erikka Yancy turned me on to you guys). Must find a way to include booze in these!

  25. Hey Lush! I don’t know about adding booze, but they sure would be good with booze! Wine and cheese would be a good pair for these. Erikka is the best!

  26. Anything toasted with butter is awesome! I can only stomach raisins when they’re chocolate-covered. It always feels like the worst betrayal when they show up in Moroccan-style couscous without warning. Like “Moroccan-style” is synonymous with raisins. Lovely blog!

  27. This is why I love your blog…I, too would shame my husband for selecting a raisin pie, because really, who does that? Happy Thanksgiving, Tim.

  28. ex-Montrealer says:

    November 23rd, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Poor Brian! I felt for him back when you wrote that he, too, was an ex-Montrealer, but now? I really feel for him! I hope, after you nagged him about picking a raisin pie–which, btw, sounds absolutely delicious to me!–you said a few mea culpas. You’re still in “the honeymoon phase”!

    Tim, I clicked through to Hoosier Mama’s website. They don’t deliver, and they likely wouldn’t deliver to Canada anyway, but I didn’t see “funeral pie” listed. Maybe they sell different pies in the store than what can be pre-ordered? Anywho, any time you want to provide a recipe for rum-soaked raisin pie, I’ll be here, drooling over the pics. Happy American Thanksgiving!

  29. ex-Montrealer says:

    November 23rd, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Oh gosh…so sorry, Bryan! (I just now noticed I’d spelled your name incorrectly; I’ll have to say a few mea culpas now.)

    I think I might make these “biscuits” with your mac ‘n’ cheese soon. Wouldn’t that be an amazing Thanksgiving dinner, with a lovely butternut squash soup to start and an amazing salad to go along with your famous mac ‘n’ cheese ‘n’ bacon dish?! Delish!

  30. This would be amazing with a ginger chai tea that I’ve been making frequently. It’s getting chilly, so this little snack would be perfect. Kudos to you Tim!

  31. I’ve got your back. I love raisins, too.

  32. after reading your cute commentary on the donuts down your childhood street…why not toasted chocolate chip biscuits?

  33. Tim! Well, the thing is, one chocolate chip is about my max (although when I was a kid I was more tolerant). That being said, I suspect chocolate lovers might like these biscuits with chocolate. I’d be wishing for raisins. ; )

  34. I have a love/hate relationship with raisins, but I think your reasoning might explain this. Some things are just not meant for them (ah-hem, pac man donuts), and some things are. Like these toasted biscuits. They look amazing! What a clever cooking technique, too!

  35. What a novel recipe, something totally new that sounds amazing. How do you find such things!!

  36. um… i need to make this immediately.

  37. Never underestimate a raisin! I will be making these for my Christmas hampers. Thanks.

    Anna x

  38. This will be just the recipe for using my favorite JUMBO GOLDEN RAISINS!

What do you think?