What’s orange, delicious, and available in the produce section from fall to winter? Persimmons! They look like very firm, plump tomatoes, but taste like a peach-pumpkin combo you will love. My easy persimmon cookies give you another reason to enjoy these produce stars!
Persimmons Make Wonderful Cookies!
I didn’t grow up with persimmon cookies, though old-timey persimmon pudding was standard on my grandmother’s table and at farmers’ markets when I moved back to Greensboro, North Carolina after my Peace Corps service.
While researching my cookbook on Southern fruit, I found persimmon cookie recipes in abundance, and not only from Southern sources. Indiana cooks love wild persimmons with a passion, and their cookie repertoires bear this out.
Simple to make, these cookies make a perfect way to put extra persimmon pulp to use, after you’ve made enough for persimmon pudding, pie, pound cake, ice cream, and more. Nothing fancy-looking about these little gems, but they deliver flavor, comfort, and the pleasures of spice and cake in hand-held form. Comfort food all the way, with the flavors and spirit of winter in every bite.
How to Make My Easy Persimmon Cookies
I like to skip the mixer for these old-school treats, and stir everything together by hand. First step is mixing the flour with the spices, and then stirring the chopped pecans and raisins in with these dry ingredients.
Then mix the sugar and butter together well, add the egg to soften this thick mixture, and finally stir in persimmon puree. Last step is to gently mix the flour spice mixture into the golden persimmon mixture, just until basically combined.
Any Substitutes for Persimmon Puree?
Pumpkin puree works fine if you don’t have persimmon puree; and I’ve had great success with both wild persimmon puree and mashed persimmon pulp made from fuyu persimmons and hachiya persimmons.
These big, beautiful fruits are available at many grocery stores and at Asian markets and farmers markets, throughout the winter months. Switch out pecans for walnuts or hazelnuts if you prefer, and try currants or dried cranberries in place of raisins.
Look for fuyu persimmons, which are shaped just like tomatoes, plump, squat, shiny and very firm, even when they are ripe. Core, peel, cut in chunks and and mash or blend the flame-colored flesh to a smooth puree, for use in recipes like this one.
Baking and Keeping My Easy Persimmon Cookies
Bake these gems in big-little cakes as a hand-held treat, or make them into petite little bites to stretch the batch and please many people. The cookie dough keeps for 2 days in the refrigerator, so this is a great recipe to mix up and have on hand all winter long.
I love them so much that they don’t last long enough to be a storage challenge, but I find that they maintain moistness especially well.
If you like them more chewy, set them out on a plate for an hour or two before serving them if they’ve been in an airtight container for a day or so. They are rustic, sturdy, beautiful, and satisfying.
How to Make an Easy Vanilla Icing for Drizzling on Your Easy Persimmon Cookies
Plain or fancy? A festive drizzle of vanilla icing gives these homespun cookies a fancy flourish. I like this post on the subject of cookie icing from BHG.com. Their icing calls for one cup of powdered sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and a tablespoon of milk or orange juice. For the details and BHG’s cookie-beauty ideas, click HERE.
Look for 2 types of persimmons: Fuyu and Hachiya
Check out the two types of persimmons you’ll likely find in supermarkets and Asian stores from fall through the winter months. Fuyus are short and squat like tomatoes, while hachiyas are oblong.
You don’t eat the peel of either type. And keep in mind that fuyus are firm when ripe while hachiyas need to soften up almost to a puree. I’m talking spoonable for hachiyas, and sliceable for fuyus.
And Here’s a Quick Treat: Persimmon TV!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped walnuts, or chopped pecans (optional)
- 1 cup raisins (optional)
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup butter, softened (1 stick)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup persimmon puree
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Heat the oven to 350°.
- Set out a baking sheet and grease it generously, or line it with baking parchment or waxed paper. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Use a whisk or a fork to stir these dry ingredients together evenly and well.
- Add the walnuts and the raisins, if using, and stir to mix them into the flour.
- In a large bowl, combine the butter and the sugar, and use an electric mixer to beat them together well. When they are soft and completely combined, add the egg and beat until the mixture is soft, fluffy, and smoothly combined.
- Add the persimmon puree and the baking soda and beat to mix them in completely.
- Add the flour mixture to the persimmon mixture, and stir gently, using a wooden spoon or a spatula, to mix everything together into a very thick batter or dough. Gently now: Stir just until the flour disappears.
- Scoop the dough into rounded 2-inch portions and place them on the prepared cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.
- Bake at 350° until the cookies have risen and are plump, shiny and nicely browned ,10 to 12 minutes.
- Remove to a cooling rack or a large platter and let cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container for 2 - 4 days.
Peel either type, and prepare firm fuyus by grinding them up in food processor, blender, or chop well and use a potato masher. Persimmon puree freezes well, so stock up so you can make these delightful cookies all year long!
I love walnuts and raisins in these cake-like cookies, but you could leave out one or both. Or use pecans instead. Omit the raisins and stir in dried cherries or dried cranberries in their place. Adding nothing works, too! Lovely little spiced cakes are fine as is. These are easy-going variable cookies, so do your cookie thing here, and let me know your favorite way in the comments!
Nutrition InformationYield 3 dozen Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 1581Total Fat 86gSaturated Fat 25gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 56gCholesterol 143mgSodium 1050mgCarbohydrates 197gFiber 14gSugar 109gProtein 23g