Saturday, December 19, 2009

12 Days of Christmas - Persimmon Cookies

Since we have a persimmon tree these are always a must for the holidays...I never make them any other time of the year, even when I freeze the persimmon puree to use later...I never do...they just are better between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

More than you ever wanted to know about persimmons:
There are two kinds...the Fuyu, that can be eaten crisp like an apple, and the Hachiya, which is the kind we have and must ripen to the consistency of a water balloon before scooping out the soft pulp to use in cookies and breads. We pick them soon after Thanksgiving when they turn bright orange. But they are hard as rocks and can take three weeks sitting out on a counter to soften. To speed up the process I've usually put several in a plastic bag with an apple and then put it in a paper bag in the pantry. The apple gives off ethylene gas (I think) which promotes ripening in 5 or 6 days. Another quicker way is to just put them in the freezer over night and then let them thaw out...I don't know if they develop quite as good a flavor that way.
So when you get some soft persimmons, pull off the stem, cut down the middle and scoop into a blender with a little lemon juice. (a few persimmons will have a seed so remove it before blending). You need 2 Cups puree to make a batch of cookies...about 4-5 persimmons.

Grandma Janiece's Persimmon Cookies

Mix and set aside:
2 C persimmon pulp
2 t baking soda

1 1/2 C shortening (I just use Crisco)
2 C brown sugar
add 2 eggs

Add the persimmon mixture to the creamed ingredients.
Then stir together and add:

4 C flour
2 t baking powder
2 t cinnamon
2 t nutmeg
1 t cloves

Then add:
2 C raisins
2 C chopped walnuts

Drop onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 about 10-12 minutes. They are great glazed with a little powdered sugar, milk and flavoring.

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