The Holiday Table’s Most Versatile Ingredient: Eight Ways to Leverage Raisins and Other Dried Fruits at Every Course

(BPT) – The holidays are nothing without spending time with friends and family — and, of course, decadent treats! Whether you and your loved ones prefer a sweet or savory dessert, there is something we can all agree on this holiday season: versatility is key when it comes to pleasing all taste buds and palates!

Raisins are an incredibly versatile dried fruit and can be used in the sweetest or most savory of dishes. They perfectly complement the flavors of beloved holiday desserts, adding depth, complexity and delicious taste. From cookies and cakes to puddings and donuts, raisins infuse a delicious burst of rich flavor that will elevate this year’s holiday dessert table.

To demonstrate the imaginative possibilities when cooking or baking with raisins, Sun-Maid teamed up with celebrity pastry chef, TV host and recipe matchmaker, Duff Goldman, to create exciting new recipes that put a fresh spin on festive favorites.

“Raisins are a tasty addition to any breakfast, entrée or dessert as they bring a natural sweetness and chewy texture to any dish,” said Goldman. “If your family and loved ones are anything like mine, there will always be opinions on what to include in the seasonal spreads. Using raisins in my favorite dishes and sides this year has been a huge hit, and truly elevated my dinner and dessert tables. This versatile ingredient will not only broaden taste bud horizons but also give holiday classics the burst of flavor they need.”

Must-try holiday menu items from Sun-Maid and Chef Duff include:

  • Forget Fruitcake Cookies: The perfect fusion of apricots and golden raisins with a scrumptious jam filling sandwiched between layers! This indulgent and flavorful alternative is a colorful addition to any cookie tray.
  • Bacon Raisin Cornbread Chicken: If you’re looking for a tasty main dish, look no further than this mouthwatering blend of savory and sweet that will effortlessly become the star of any dinner party.
  • Peanut Butter and Raisin Halvah: This Middle Eastern confection gets an appetizing upgrade with peanut butter, peanuts, milk chocolate and raisins. Each bite-size piece will leave you grinning from ear to ear.
  • Pinwheel Cookies: With a fun swirl design perfect for holiday festivities, pinwheel cookies are an enjoyment for the eyes and the taste buds when they feature your favorite dried fruit — raisins!
  • Sweet and Savory Golden Lamb: Whether it’s a brunch, luncheon or multi-course meal, this recipe featuring ground lamb, dried fruit and a delightful blend of flavors will be the highlight of any gathering.
  • Truce Cookies: Are you a chocolate chip cookie kind of person or do you prefer oatmeal raisin? With this dish, you don’t have to choose. Each cookie features half of each, so you can enjoy every bite to the fullest.
  • Crown Challah: Whether you make it solo or with family, this traditional bread has long been part of holiday gatherings across the world. This version is a subtly sweet take on a classic, thanks to ingredients like raisins, honey and cinnamon.
  • Holiday Biscotti: No matter if you prefer tea, coffee or hot chocolate, these biscotti made with dried apricots are the perfect complement to a hot beverage and meaningful conversation with friends and family.

“Whether it’s a tasty treat or a hearty main dish, let these ideas inspire you in the kitchen throughout the holiday season!” Duff adds.

For full recipes and more innovative ideas, visit