Friday, November 5, 2010

Let the Cookies Begin - Weekend Cooking

It's a drizzly, foggy, rainy autumn day here in Maine - perfect for baking cookies.  Beth Fish Reads sponsors this weekly meme where we foodies can chat about cookbooks, cooking gadgets, recipes, or anything else gustatory. Be sure to stop over there to find other terrific weekend cooking posts.

Today's post is brought to you by the lowly but luscious persimmon.  Many of you are already puckering up your faces because this gorgeous fruit (or berry) is generally perceived as bitter and un-edible.  Think again.  Here's a quick lesson from Wikipedia:
A persimmon is the edible fruit of a number of species of trees in the genus Diospyros in the ebony wood family (Ebenaceae). The word Diospyros means "the fruit of the gods" in ancient Greek.[1] As a tree, it is a perennial plant. The word persimmon is derived from putchamin, pasiminan, or pessamin, from Powhatan, an Algonquian language (related to Blackfoot, Cree and Mohican) of the eastern United States, meaning "a dry fruit".[2] They are high in glucose, with a balanced protein profile, and possess various medicinal and chemical uses.
Now that we have that straight, let's quickly add that for this recipe, I've always used the Japanese Hachiya variety seen here- they are conical in shape as opposed to the Fuyu variety which is more round like an apple. Either variety works, but the Hachiya seems to yield more pulp.
   
40 some years ago, when I first married Mr. Tutu, his mother (may she enjoy eternal happiness in heaven) gave me this recipe indicating it was among her son's favorites.  To this day, neither of us can pass the produce department anyplace and not pick up persimmons if they're available.  They are generally in the stores in Nov-Dec, so these cookies are a notable feature of any Tutu cookie collection.  Earlier this week two of these beauties arrived at our house and have been ripening  ever since. This morning they were pronounced perfect to go, the recipe card was produced, the cookie sheets coated with parchment paper, and the glorious aroma of cloves, freshly grated nutmeg, and cinnamon began wafting through the air.

The hardest part of the whole recipe is keeping our hands off the just baked cookies until they have cooled enough to avoid burning our mouths. I wish there was someway to have this plate send the wonderful aroma out to the blogosphere. I guess you'll just have to make them yourself. They won't win any beauty contests, but they never stay around long enough to be admired.
 
The Recipe

1 C persimmon pulp (remove pit and cap, then peel VERY ripe fruit)
1 egg
Put these in a blender and puree 
.............................
1/2 C butter (1 stick) 
1 C sugar
Cream these in mixing bowl
............................
2 C all-purpose flour
1 Tsp baking SODA
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
Mix dry ingredients together
..........................................
Add puree and dry ingredients to the creamed butter mixture, mix briefly until everything is incorporated.
Stir in
1 C chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts work best)
1C raisins (the golden ones really look great)

Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet (I use parchment paper instead of greasing)

Bake 20 minutes at 325°F.  Makes 5 dozen.  Cool on wire rack before eating.  If there are any left on the plate at the end of the day, store in cool, dry cookie jar.  They freeze well also.

3 comments:

  1. as far as I know, I have never seen a persimmon, let alone eaten one. I really doubt somehow that my supermarket sells them.
    But I must say they sound delicious. Cloves, fresh grated nutmeg (I never buy the pre-ground)and cinnamon..yum.

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  2. I've never even eaten a persimmon either. Interesting choice for cookies. Have fun baking in the rain. It's even chilly in FL today - 48 degrees this morning.

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  3. What an interesting ingredient!

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