Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Persimmon Cookies

          With a spice glaze!

          The persimmon season is finally coming to a close.  This is probably a good thing as our antiquated oven has already cranked out 10+ loaves of persimmon bread in the past couple weeks.  If I make any more for my family and friends, persimmon bread will probably become the new fruitcake.  Although, I'd like to think it wouldn't be so greatly despised because it actually tastes pretty good.  This persimmon bread recipe uses fuyu persimmons which is strange since hachiyas are typically the preferred choice for baking. Maybe I will do a separate post on this bread later, but for now it's all about the cookies.
          These persimmon cookies use hachiya persimmons.  A quick differentiation: fuyus are shorter and flatter while hachiyas are longer with a more pointed bottom.  Hachiyas are also softer, whereas fuyus are more crunchy.  If you don't even know what a persimmon is, that's weird, but not completely unforgivable.  Click here to go straight to the persimmon Wikipedia page.
          My mom wanted me to bake some of these cookies to send to our grandparents who currently live in Hawaii and miss the persimmons on our ranch during the winter months.  Since I don't have many things better to do over break and since baking is pretty fun, I welcomed the task.
          It is the start of a new year and most people want to kick off January eating healthier so I decided to modify the typical recipe a little.  Below is the slightly changed recipe with original ingredients and amounts in parentheses.

Persimmon Cookie Recipe--makes about 6 dozen.  (My batch made 77!)
1 1/2 sticks butter + 1/4 cup mashed prunes (instead of 1 cup shortening)
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 cup peeled and chopped persimmon (about 2 large or 3 or 4 small persimmons)
1 cup whole wheat flour (instead of 2 cups all-purpose flour)
1 cup all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins
2 cups uncooked old fashioned oats
For Spice Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk (almond milk worked nicely)
1/4 tsp nutmeg and/or cinnamon (do both unless you really can't stand nutmeg)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease some cookie sheets. Combine the butter and sugars and beat until thoroughly blended. Add the egg and beat well, then beat in the persimmon pulp. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Add to the first mixture and beat until completely mixed. Stir in the walnuts, raisins, and oats. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies have puffed and browned slightly. While baking, make the Spice Glaze.  To do so, combine the powdered sugar, spices, and milk and mix well to dissolve any sugar lumps and to create a smooth, runny glaze.  When the cookies have come out of the oven and are still hot, brush or spoon on the Spice Glaze, then transfer to racks to cool. 

          If you really don't want to make this healthier version, just add the full two sticks of butter or 1 cup shortening and use 2 cups of all-purpose flour.  But really, you can barely tell the difference, especially if you've never even had persimmon cookies to begin with.  Plus, Ryo thought they tasted identical.
          This recipe really makes a lot of little cookies, so be prepared to share.  Or don't.  They're pretty good, we wouldn't blame you.


  1. you call for chopped persimmons then later talk about using the pulp -- which is it?

  2. Hi Kathryn! Ideally, the hachiyas should be very ripe so that they resemble a more liquidy pulp. If they're not quite this ripe, you may have to chop them a little and it should still be fine.