Raisin and Nut Cookies

  • Serves

    makes 4 1/2 DOZEN COOKIES

(Pabassinas) These cookies, traditionally made for the Day of the Dead, November 1, are so popular that they're eaten year-round.



  • 4 cups type "00" flour
  • 34 cup sugar
  • 1 (7-gram) package active dry yeast
  • 34 cup lard
  • 12 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 12 cups shelled walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 cup blanched almonds, finely chopped
  • 12 tsp. anise extract


  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp. rainbow sprinkles


Step 1

For the cookies: Preheat oven to 475°. Combine flour, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a standing mixer. Add lard and anise extract and beat with paddle attachment on medium speed until mixture is flecked with pea-size pieces of lard, about 1 minute. Add baking powder and I cup water and beat until mixture is crumbly, about 30 seconds. Add raisins, vanilla extract, and I cup water and mix well. Add walnuts and almonds and mix until dough forms a ball.

Step 2

Divide dough into thirds. Roll each piece of dough out on a lightly floured surface into 6" x 9" rectangles. Cut each piece of dough in half lengthwise, then crosswise at 1" intervals. Using your fingers, press corners to round off edges. Put cookies on ungreased baking sheets about 1⁄2" apart. Transfer cookies to oven, reduce oven temperature to 325°, and bake until pale golden, 20-25 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 400° and continue to bake until cookies are golden brown, 2-3 minutes more. Remove cookies from oven and transfer to cooling racks. Cover with clean dish towels and set aside until completely cool, 30-45 minutes.

Step 3

For the icing: Beat egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form. 1 1⁄2-2 minutes. Add sugar and lemon juice and beat on high speed until icing is glossy, 1 minute. Spread about 1 tsp. icing on top of each cookie and sprinkle with some of the sprinkles while icing is still wet. Set aside until icing is hard.