These Raisin Filled Cookies are soft cookies filled with a sweet filling packed with plump raisins, chopped nuts, and dates. This is a great Christmas cookie recipe to bake this holiday season. Make these old classic Christmas cookies and pour yourself a cup of Ponche Navideño, because it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

a closeup of a raisin filled cookie sliced in half to show fruit and nut filling on top of other freshly baked raisin filled cookies on a wooden cutting board     

What is the origin of these cookies?

This raisin-filled cookie recipe is not a Mexican recipe. It’s actually an old recipe that Dottie, my late mother-in-law, made for years that originally came from the Pennsylvania Dutch Cookbook. They are my hubby’s absolute favorite cookie. My mother-in-law made these cookies every Christmas and adapted the original recipe by adding walnuts and extra dates to the filling.

I will always treasure the memories of enjoying a couple of these cookies with a slice of her Christmas fruitcake.

My hubby knew where to look to find her cookies. He would constantly steal a cookie (and blame me)! She stored a handful in a Christmas cookie tin on her kitchen counter. If the container happened to be running low, more would magically appear the next day. She stored plenty of cookies in the freezer. Cookies were abundant at Nana’s house!

I love these cookies so much because they look like a little quilted pillow or mini pie and remind me of empanadas. They’re delicious and so darn cute! 

Key Ingredients

This raisin-filled cookie recipe is twofold — the fruity filling and the soft cookie dough.

For the filling, you’ll need: two cups raisins, a dozen or so chopped dates, all-purpose flour, water, granulated sugar, and chopped nuts like walnuts or pecans.

an overhead view of the ingredients needed to make these raisin-filled cookies in white and clear dishes and measuring spoons

For the vanilla cookie dough, you’ll need: granulated sugar, shortening, an egg, milk, sifted all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, and pure vanilla extract.

How To Make These Cookies

First, make the fruity filling for these raisin-filled cookies by adding all of the ingredients listed for it above to a medium-sized pot and cook over medium-high heat on your stove. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Cook until it’s a jammy consistency, then remove from heat and allow it to cool before adding to the cookie dough.

Next, make the vanilla cookie dough. Cream together the shortening and sugar until smooth. Add your egg and milk, and mix until incorporated. Then, add the sifted dry ingredients. Once combined, add the vanilla. That’s it for the dough!

an overhead view of the dough for these raisin-filled cookies cut into rounds being filled with the fruit and nut mixture before baking all on top of a wooden cutting board

Now, assemble these raisin cookies. Roll out dough on floured surface until thin and cut with round cookie cutter or canning jar ring. Drop a tablespoon of the filling in the center, and top with another cookie round. Crimp the edges with a fork by pressing the two rounds together to seal the filling inside. Puncture each cookie with a fork to allow steam to escape while baking. (Similar to empanadas!)

a closeup of the raw raisin-filled cookies being filled with the fruit and nut filling and topped with the second layer of cookie dough and crimped with a fork around the edges before being baked

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 to 18 minutes on a lined cookie sheet. Enjoy!

several raisin-filled cookies on a wire cooling rack fresh from the oven

Storage, Freezing, and Reheating Instructions

  • Store any cooled, leftover raisin-filled cookies in an airtight container or plastic bag at room temperature for up to five days. 
  • Freeze the raw dough and raisin filling separately for up to a month, or cooked (and cooled) cookies for the same amount of time.
  • Reheat by letting the frozen dough and fruit filling thaw in the fridge overnight until malleable enough to assemble and bake.

Tips and Variations

  • Top or dip these raisin-filled cookies in a sweet glaze made of water and powdered sugar for extra sweetness. You could even add sprinkles and sliced almonds for some festive flair!
  • Serve with a warm beverage like Ponche Navideño, Mexican hot chocolatecafe de olla, or spiced mulled wine.
  • This is a great cookie to use as a blueprint for more fillings. Try cherry pie filling or your favorite fruit preserves in place of the raisins and dates, if desired.

several raisin-filled cookies on a wooden cutting board on top of colorful fabric with nuts and raisins around them

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use another dried fruit instead of raisins?

Sure! Dried blueberries or cranberries would also work well in this recipe. You could also use golden raisins, if desired.

How do I make these raisin-filled cookies nut-free?

Simply omit the chopped nuts from the raisin and date filling! The texture will be different, but they’ll still be delicious!

How can I give these cookies a Mexican twist?

Add some fresh-squeezed orange juice, a pinch of anise (extract or seeds), and cinnamon sticks to the fruit filling while it cooks. You could even replace sugar with piloncillo and add a splash of rum!

More Dessert Recipes To Try

If you made these raisin-filled cookies this holiday season, make sure to leave a comment rate and review this recipe below!

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Raisin Filled Cookies

5 (1 rating)
Packed with plump raisins, chopped nuts, and dates, these raisin-filled cookies are perfect for Christmas! 

Ingredients

Cookie Filling:

  • 2 cups raisins
  • 12-16 dates, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • ¾ cups water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup walnuts or pecans, chopped

Dough:

Instructions 

Cookie Filling:

  • Mix all the above ingredients and cook until thick but be sure to stir to prevent burning. Cool before putting onto the cookies.

Dough:

  • Cream the sugar and shortening. Add the beaten egg and milk.
  • Into this creamed mixture, sift the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the vanilla and mix well.
  • Roll out dough on floured surface until thin and cut with round cookie cutter or canning jar ring. 

Assemble and bake cookies:

  • Drop a tablespoon of the filling in the center of the rounds and top with another cookie round. Crimp the edges with a fork by pressing the two rounds together.
  • Puncture each cookie with a fork to allow steam to escape while baking.
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 to 18 minutes on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Notes

  • Don’t like raisins? Use cranberries or dried blueberries. 
  • A regular size canning jar ring is a perfect size for the circles.
Calories: 179kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 23mg, Potassium: 144mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 12IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 26mg, Iron: 1mg