Pasta Frolla Raisin Cookies

Pasta Frolla Raisin Cookies. The other raisin biscuit, gluten free.

Anyone remember Garibaldi Cookies? Or Sunshine Raisin Biscuits? Yeah, me neither. But apparently they were a beloved little cookie way back when.

Vermont Country Store features the Garibaldi and sells them by the boat load (or so they indicate) to people with long memories and a fondness for cookies stuffed with currants. The Sunshine Raisin Biscuits went the way of all good things when Sunshine was acquired by the elf otherwise known as Keebler. The elf doesn’t enjoy raisins?

For some reason that I’ve long since forgotten, this became a baking challenge in my head. To make a raisin cookie, gluten-free that was similar to these retro treats, but also kind of reminiscent of a Fig Newton but not made with figs. And since I wasn’t wanting the cakey cookie that is a Newton, I found pasta frolla, the cookie that would be part shortbread, part crust, part Italian pastry and all really good.

This was going to be the perfect crust for this cookie. Though it’s slightly crumbly and can will develop little cracks, it goes quite well with the raisin filling.

Be sure to make small-ish sized cookies so they’re only a bite or two – that way crumbly isn’t much of a problem. Don’t skip the step where you flatten the dough right before baking because that helps keep the whole sandwich together. And the chilling is important, both for poking holes in the dough without it being too gooey and to keep the fats from melting too quickly once the cookie is in the oven.

These aren’t the kind of cookies you want to pack up and mail to anyone (because, fragile and slightly crumbly) but they certainly are the kind of cookie you want to offer to holiday guests who stop by. Think of these as sunnier than sunshine raisin shortbread-ish cookies. Take that, Elf.

Pasta Frolla Raisin Cookies. The other raisin biscuit, gluten free.

Pasta Frolla Raisin Cookies
  • 300 grams Canteen blend (2⅓ cups) (see notes)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 195 grams unsalted butter, cold and cubed (13 tablespoons)
  • 50 grams granulated sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 1 yolk (1 extra-large egg)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 240 grams raisins (1 ½ cups)
  • 1 extra-large egg (for brushing only)
  1. In the bowl of a food processor pulse together flour and salt. Add butter and pulse until mixture forms fine, but uneven crumbs. In a small container whisk together sugar, one whole egg, yolk, vanilla and zest and blend until mixture is combined. Add to the food processor all at once and pulse until dough forms a ragged ball. Turn out onto plastic wrap and knead so it comes together. Wrap well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and overnight is better.
  2. Divide dough in half keeping other half chilled. Roll to ⅛-inch thick between sheets of plastic wrap. Cut out circles or squares with a small cutter. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheets. Brush with egg wash and top with a single layer of raisins on each. Brush remaining cookie dough pieces with egg wash and flip over onto raisin coated cookies. Cover with plastic wrap and flatten each cookie slightly – some raisins might show through which is fine. Refrigerate plastic covered pan for 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove plastic wrap and brush tops of cookie with egg wash. Using a small fork, poke holes in the top of each cookie in any pattern you wish. Bake 18-22 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and bottoms are golden. Cool on the baking sheet for 20 minutes and then remove cookies to a rack to cool completely. Cookies are fragile. Makes 20-24 squares.
for Canteen blend see sidebar, click About Flour

Pasta Frolla Raisin Cookies. The other raisin biscuit, gluten free.


  1. OMG I loved the Sunshine Raisin cookies! Cant wait to try these. Judging from the picture, I would say the raisin cookie crust was a bit thinner, and the overall cookie shape ws more rectangular, not square. But otherwise, these sound like you nailed it. And yes, they always were a bit crumbly, altho you could pack them bec they also were crisp ( if that makes any sense.)
    Thanks so much.

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Sue – Yes, you’re right. The Sunshine cookies were bigger. And thinner. The GF dough cracked a bit too much when I tried a thinner batch. I think the dough could be a little soft in comparison. But hope you enjoy them.

  2. This is funny, my Mom called this cookie “fly biscuits”- and ate them ALL the time.

  3. I remember these cookies and can’t wait to try making these! Thank you for the recipe.

  4. king Arthur flour has a very good remake of the sunshine raisin cookies – I think if you are going gluten free it would be a super easy recipe to switch. will definitely give your version a try though!