This particular recipe is very special to us, as it comes directly from Grandma’s recipe box.

These moist, chewy, spicy cookies are a wonderful way to use up extra persimmons around the holidays.   To make these cookies you’ll need to use ripe persimmons, either Fuyu or Hachiya work well.  If you have an excess of persimmons at this time of year, or want to make these cookies after the fruiting season has passed, persimmon pulp can be easily frozen and stored for later use.

Yield: Approximately 2 dozen cookies

1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Shortening*
1 Egg
2 Cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour
Pinch of Salt
1/2 Tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
1 Cup Persimmon Pulp
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Cup Rough Chopped Pecans
1 Cup Chopped Dates or Raisins

*Note: Grandma originally used shortening in her cookies, but we often substitute 1/2 Cup of butter instead.  These cookies will bake almost as well with butter, but are best with shortening.  Shortening today, such as Crisco, now contains zero grams of trans-fat per serving.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Dissolve the baking soda into persimmon pulp in a small bowl, and set aside.

Sift the flour, spices and salt together and set aside.

Cream together the shortening and sugar until fluffy, and slowly beat in the egg.  Add the persimmon pulp into the creamed mixture, and mix well.  Fold in the reserved flour mixture until the flour is well hydrated.  Fold in the pecans and dates.

Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of the cookie mixture onto greased cookie sheets, two inches apart, and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.  Allow the cookies to cool, and enjoy!

Fuyu Persimmon (left), Hachiya Persimmon (right)

Persimmons are usually found in abundance at local farmer’s markets between Thanksgiving and Christmas each year.  Perhaps you’re even fortunate enough to have a persimmon tree in your own garden.  These trees look so festive in early winter, as the ripe orange fruits continue to cling to the branches, like holiday ornaments, long after the leaves have fallen.