Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Persimmon Cookies

A lot of people are familiar with persimmons as an ingredient in holiday cookies and breads.  For these recipes you use the pulp of persimmons that have become very soft, like the hachiya persimmons in the photo aboveHachiya is  a type of persimmon that is astringent with tannic acid when hard, but is very sweet when the fruit becomes soft like gelatin.    

Any type of soft persimmon can be used in recipes for baking, but hachiya is most commonly used because it's large, flavorful and has smooth pulp.  Gyombo is a similar variety of persimmon also good for baking.  Gyombo tends to be sweeter than hachiya and has more water content, so if you use gyombo in a recipe you might need a little more flour.  We also use both hachiya and gyombo to dry for hoshigaki.

Here is a recipe for persimmon cookies based on a recipe from The California Persimmon, a persimmon cookbook published by the University of California Cooperative Extension, Placer and Nevada Counties.  To see a nice photo of persimmon cookies that someone posted on Flickr, click here.

Persimmon Cookies Recipe

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup persimmon puree
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp each of cinnamon, cloves & nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup nuts

Cream together the butter and sugar.  Add the egg.  Dissolve the teaspoon of baking soda into the cup of persimmon puree and stir together. 

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, spices and salt.  Add raisins and nuts, then mix this together with the first mixture.  Drop spoonfuls of the batter onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

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