By Madalaine McDaniels, founder of Lakeside Table
Persimmon cookies are a rare treat. They have all the cozy flavors you crave when the weather turns cool; cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves! Persimmons themselves (when completely ripe) are incredibly sweet with a touch of their own unique spice.
HOW TO MAKE BIG FLUFFY PERSIMMON COOKIES
The key to making fluffy persimmon cookies lies in the pulp. Do NOT cook the pulp down or increase the liquid to get cake-like persimmon cookies!
PERSIMMON COOKIE RECIPE
This recipe only calls for 7 ingredients. I love persimmon cookies that are thin and chewy. My husband likes them thick and cakey. To make them thin and chewy, add ¼ cup water to the pulp before adding to the recipe.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C.
- Extract pulp from persimmons until you have 1 cup. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift dry ingredients together: 2 cups flour (11 ounces), 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon ground cloves.
- In another bowl cream 12 tablespoons (1-½ sticks) of unsalted butter with 1 cup brown sugar and ½ cup white sugar. Then beat in 1 egg, and 1 tablespoon vanilla.
- Carefully stir the flour mixture into the creamed butter mixture.
- Add persimmon puree and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Use a spoon or a disher to place the dough (1-½ inch) on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes and cool on a wire rack.
NOTE: I’ve updated this recipe at the bottom of this post to make it simpler and just as tasty. It uses vegetable oil instead of butter and I’ve cut back on the sugar. Plus, you don’t need an electric mixer.
PERSIMMON COOKIE VARIATIONS
Add each of the following or any combination:
- 1 cup walnuts or pecans
- ⅔ cup raisins
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup chocolate chips
THE 3 TYPES OF PERSIMMONS & HOW TO MAKE PERSIMMON PUREE PULP
There are 3 types of persimmons: Fuyu, Hachiya, and a rare American variety. When completely ripe, the latter is the juiciest, sweetest, and best for baking!
You can find the Fuyu or Hachiya persimmons more frequently in grocery stores. However, the best persimmons for baking are not sold in stores. These are a small delicate American variety native to parts of the midwest and southern states.
- Fuyu Persimmons – These persimmons are round and squat. They can be peeled, sliced, and eaten raw! Sprinkle them with a little cinnamon and nutmeg for a nutritious and tasty snack. They have a mild sweet flavor. If you’d like to use these for your persimmon baked goodies, wash 10 Fuyu persimmons and cut them in half. Add 1 inch of water to a slow cooker with the persimmons and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Cook on low for 8 hours.
After cooking, scoop out the pulp and press them through a colander. This will separate the pulp from the seeds and skin.
- Hachiya Persimmons – Hachiyas are much more astringent than Fuyu persimmons. They also have an elongated, acorn-like shape. Prepare these as described above when they are very ripe and almost a mass of gelatinous goop.
- American persimmon – To express the most pulp from these beauties, clean them and remove any top leaves. Make sure they are extremely soft. Press ripe fruit through a sieve, colander, or food mill. These persimmons are also best when ripped to a state of goopy goo as that is when they outshine the other 2 types with their deep rich spicy sweetness.
Prep time 20 minutes | Cook time 12 minutes | Total time 32 minutes | Serving 24 cookies
1 cup persimmon pulp
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
¾ cup vegetable oil
2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves, ground
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves, and set aside.
- In another bowl, mix together the sugar with the egg, pulp, vanilla, and vegetable oil.
- Gently fold in the dry flour mixture until just combined.
- Spoon 1-½ inch drops onto the parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until the edges are lightly brown.
- Cool on a wire rack.
Be advised, preparation time is considerably longer if you are making your own pulp.
Salt: If you are using regular table salt, use ½ the amount called for in the recipe.
Variations – Add in any of the following or any combination:
- ⅔ cup raisins
- 1 cup walnuts
- ⅔ cup dry cranberries
- 1 cup chocolate chips
Edited by the GNL Editorial Staff