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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

persimmon cookies

My seven-year-old is a cub scout. Despite the fact that there are certain philosophical differences between myself and the Boy Scouts of America, I can't deny that it has been an amazing experience for him.

I am watching a group of boys learn to do new things -- cute cub-scouty things like tying ropes, folding the American flag, and building model cars, as well as things I never could have predicted like preserving a stamp collection and making ice cream with nitrogen.

All in all, this is a group of rough and tumble boys who much prefer running and shouting to sitting still. They will cooperate long enough to make a chore chart or a poster about how to protect nature, but before long they are back to wrestling, climbing, and tumbling over each other. At summer camp, almost all of them named BB gun shooting and rock climbing as their favorite activities, and I am pretty sure none of them claimed to love the craft center.

We had the chance to host the boys last Saturday night for a Christmas Caroling evening. I had my doubts as to how well it was all going to go, but I didn't need to. These guys were amazing! They remained calm, sang their little hearts out, and melted my neighbor's hearts. Other than some choice add-ons to "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer", I might have thought that somehow we had lost our boys and found angelic replacements.

My job for the evening was to supply the cookies and hot cocoa. Not knowing how many boys to expect exactly, I wasn't exactly sure how many cookies to bake. I basically went with the idea that each boy could eat about 2 dozen cookies (depending on how closely his mother or father was watching). I therefore decided to do 2 dozen cookies times up to 20 boys, which clearly equals: Bake as much as you can all week long, and then hope that it is enough.

Chocolate chip cookies-- one of about 8 platters of cookies I baked.These are my old favorite.

Of course, I couldn't let an opportunity like this go by... it was the perfect chance to share some of the AHO produce!

Since my persimmons are continuing to ripen a bit more each day, I had plenty that were ready to be used. I decided to make a double batch of persimmon cookies.

These cookies, like all persimmon recipes, use persimmon pulp. To get the pulp ready to bake, you just take a persimmon, cut the top off, and puree the fruit in a blender. You may need a couple of teaspoons of water to get the blender going, but then just let it puree until all of the fruit is smooth. Go ahead and puree all of your ripe persimmons. Even though the recipe only calls for 1 cup, the rest can be frozen to use later... or you can make persimmon fruit leather out of it. It's really easy, and I will show you how tomorrow.

Isn't that a beautiful orange color? It's amazingly sweet and yummy too!

Persimmon Cookies
This recipe makes 4-5 dozen small cookies. They are very cake-like, and taste like fall, what with all the cinnamon and whatnot. I based my recipe loosely on the one I found here.

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup persimmon pulp

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture. Stir in the persimmon pulp; mix well. The batter is very soft, and a beautiful bright peach color.

  • Drop by the teaspoonful on a cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool.