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.
Why are the above persimmon cookies so flat?
Truth be told, getting the pulp from these tiny fruits is a real pain the in butt. It’s worth it, but it’s not easy. So I started experimenting with different ways to do it.
When I was making this batch, I cooked the persimmons down with a little water then ran them through a food mill. I believe this process modified the fiber structure and increased the liquidity of the pulp. The cookies still had lots of deep rich persimmon-y flavor, but the texture was completey off!
How to Make Big Fluffy Persimmon Cookies
Yesterday Deb came over with 3 cups of persimmon pulp and 2 giant zucchinis. We spent the day making cookies and zucchini bread. YUM!
Since did not cook down the pulp and I did not increase the liquid, we ended up with big fluffy cake-like persimmon cookies!
Classic Persimmon Cookies Recipe
This recipe only calls for 7 ingredients. I love persimmon cookies that are thin and chewy, like these pictured in this post. My husband likes them thick and cake-y. To make them thin and chewy, add 1/4 cup water to the pulp before adding it to the recipe.
- Preheat oven to 350F / 175C.
- Extract pulp from persimmons until you have 1 cup. Set pulp aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift dry ingredients together: 2 cups flour (11 ounces) , 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.
- In another bowl, cream 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) of unsalted butter with 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar. Then beat in 1 egg, and 1 tablespoon vanilla.
- Carefully stir flour mixture into the creamed butter mixture.
- Add persimmon puree and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Use a spoon or a disher to place dough (1 1/2 inch) on 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 follow or any combination:
- 1 cup walnuts or pecans
- 2/3 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup chocolate chips
The 3 types of persimmons
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!
Occasionally you can find either Fuyu or Hachiya persimmons in the grocery store. However, the best persimmons to use for baking are not sold in stores. These are a small delicate American variety native to parts of the mid-west and southern states.
These persimmons are not sold commercially because they are extremely soft and delicate at the height of ripeness. The ripe fruit is terribly ugly but the pulp is incredibly sweet and slightly spicy. A true novelty!
On the other hand, the unripened fruit is gorgeous but extremely unpleasant to eat. An article from Purdue University puts it best:
Unripe persimmons have a high tannin content that makes the fruit very astringent – I describe it as feeling like your head is shrinking while simultaneously trying to expel a glue ball from your mouth!Purdue University – Forestry & Natural Resources
Where to Buy fresh Indiana persimmon pulp
As of this writing, the Indiana farms I’m familiar with (Turtle Orchards and Persimmon Acres) are not selling & shipping pulp. It is unclear if they will have a harvest to sell this fall or not. Please check their sites or back here for updates. – 9/21/20
How to harvest fresh persimmons
The best time to harvest ripe persimmons is after the first hard frost. My friends Deb and Steve are lucky to have a large persimmon tree in their backyard. When the weather turns cold, they lay down a clean tarp at the base of the tree. At the peak of ripeness, the fruit falls and they are able to gather them in the morning.
How to make persimmon puree pulp
Fuyu 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, the persimmons, and 1 teaspoon 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.
Hachiyas are much more astringent than Fuyu persimmons. They also have an elongated acorn like shape. Prepare these like described above after they have lost their unripe astringency. They should be very ripe and almost a mass of gelatinous goop.
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 are also best when ripened to a state of gloopy goo. I know that doesn’t sound appealing, but that is when they outshine the other 2 with their deep rich spicy sweetness.
I never had persimmon pudding or persimmon cookies until I moved to southern Illinois. If you get your fill of pumpkin lattes, pumpkin pies, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin cookies, treat yourself to these persimmon cookies. These are a lovely and different way to enjoy the flavors of autumn!
Persimmon cookies are a rare treat. They have all the cozy flavors you crave when the weather turns cool: cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves!
- 1 cup persimmon pulp
- 1 egg
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves ground
Preheat oven to 350F/175C 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 dry flour mixture until just combined.
Spoon 1 1/2 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 1/2 the amount called for in the recipe.
Add in any of the following or any combination:
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2/3 cup raisins
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup chocolate chips