Check out these ingredients: persimmon purée, cinnamon, cloves, raisins, walnuts, nutmeg, and candied orange peel. Sounds like the winter holidays, right?
Each ingredient plays a role in Nana’s Persimmon Cookies. So yummy. Persimmons, bright orange and sweet, usher in the season and lend themselves to so many treats – breads, tarts, jams, muffins, and salads. For this recipe, I used very ripe Hachiya persimmons (pictured below). However, either Hachiya (astringent) or Fuyu (non-astringent) work well in this recipe. The riper the better as we blend the persimmons into a smooth purée.
One of my most cherished family heirlooms is my Nana’s recipe collection and I do remember her love of persimmons. I plan to work my way through as many as her recipes as humanly possible.
In the meantime, for the recipe below, I used all-purpose flour, but I often make these cookies using gluten free (GF) flour and am happy with the results. I actually prefer the GF flour because it gives the cookies have a nice chewy consistency and the pumpkin spice and sweet persimmon flavor come through just fine. My favorite brand is Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend which can be swapped 1:1 for all-purpose flour. I imagine the concept of GF flour never existed in Nana’s lifetime!
Drop cookies are cookies that are not shaped but “dropped” by teaspoonfuls or tablespoonfuls onto the cookie sheet and have a rustic shape. I used the smallest cookie/ice cream scoop (1 teaspoon – size #100) to make about 2 dozen cookies. Alternatively, use two teaspoons – one to scoop the dough and the other to push it off onto the cookie sheet.
The candied orange peels are optional, but they add a nice finish to the overall flavor.
Making your own candied orange peel is really easy. I like this recipe from Epicurious. I find candied orange peel handy to have around during holiday baking and is a good way to utilize something we might normally discard!
Nana’s Persimmon Cookies
- 1 cup persimmon pulp – about 2 medium very ripe hachiya persimmons
- 2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. each, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ cup butter, room temp.
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- ½ cup candied orange peel (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 °F
- Cut persimmons into large chunks. Blend into a puree with a hand or stand mixer. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients: flour, salt, spices, and baking soda. Set aside.
- Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until a creamy texture is achieved, about 3 minutes. Add the persimmon pulp and egg and continue creaming for 2 minutes until well mixed.
- Add in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and stir in by hand until thoroughly mixed.
- Stir in raisins and nuts.
- Drop by teaspoons onto a parchment paper-lined or greased cookie sheet. Add a slice or two of candied orange peel to the top of each cookie.
- Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until cookies are slightly golden brown. Cool on a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container. Cookies freeze well for up to one month. Enjoy and buon appetito!
Persimmon Tart – also super yummy!