I.LOVE.PERSIMMONS. What’s not to love about the crisp, vibrantly orange, lightly spicy-sweet fruit? It wasn’t so long ago that I didn’t understand why you would choose a strange piece of fruit after Thanksgiving dinner over traditional desserts like pumpkin pie and ambrosia (alright, alright, I probably don’t ‘choose’ so much as make room for both or all). My uncle always has a plate of fresh Fuys out and, one year, they just looked so perfectly plump and pretty that I had to try one…and I’m so glad I did!
Now, I always look for them in the fall and buy them in numbers. Usually, I’m the only one in my household eating them and this year I actually let a few get <gasp!> overripe. What’s a girl to do with overripe fuyus? Same thing you do with bananas – bake ‘em up! Perusing the web, I came across this lovely photographic blog and a persimmon cookie recipe that sounded pretty tasty and decided to give it a whirl (literally!). The original recipe (and most persimmon baking recipes) calls for Hachiyas but the Fuyus worked out great; whichever variety you choose, just make sure the persimmon is so ripe that the skin is almost translucent and bursting at the seams. The flavor and texture of the finished cookie reminds me of fall with flavors very similar to pumpkin spice. Tasty little guys either on their own or with ice cream…butter pecan, anyone?
- 1 cup persimmon puree (about 3 persimmons)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
For the persimmon puree, remove the stems from the persimmons and cut the fruit into chunks. Puree the chunks in a food processor until the mixture is smooth. Use a sieve to strain pulp and remove skins.
Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in the the orange rind, egg, vanilla, and persimmon pulp.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients in 2-3 batches, mixing until just incorporated. Stir in the walnuts and cranberries.
Drop the dough, using a small ice cream scoop onto the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake cookies for 20 minutes, depending on the size, rotating pan halfway though. Allow to cool and enjoy!