Nana's Persimmon Cookies

Growing up, my family would spend every Sunday afternoon at my grandparent's house.  It was on those afternoons that my grandmother taught me to sew, but that's not the only thing that I remember from those days.

My grandmother, who we all call Nana, use to have a cookie jar that never seemed to be empty.  My grandfather used to always ask me to get him a cookie, and then he'd wink and say, "And don't forget to grab one for yourself!"  Of all the cookies my grandmother made Persimmon cookies were my favorite.

Perhaps, it's because I always saw the persimmons sitting out on the counter, and it always amazed me that my grandmother could turn something that looked like a tomato into something as delicious as a cookie. 

Keep reading for the full disclosure, and the recipe!

A little while ago I was flipping through my family recipe cards when I found my grandmother's old recipe for persimmon cookies.  Remembering that I'd seen persimmons at our local farmer's market, I realized it might be time to take a crack at making the cookies.

Now before I tell you the recipe though, let me tell you one thing about my grandmother.  Cooking with my grandmother often involved some sort of shortcut.  A canned good of some sort, or a cake mix from a box.  Yet she never wanted any of the family to know.  So she'd have us sneak the "evidence" out to the alley to put in the trash bin before someone knew her cake wasn't really from scratch.  Ha!  (Of course everyone really did know, but we all just pretended we didn't!)

So maybe this recipe came off of a box somewhere.  Or maybe not.  I'm really not sure.  But I can tell you that making them brought me straight back to my childhood.  Want to give it a try?  Here's what you'll need:

½ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon each of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg
1 cup persimmon pulp (about 3 persimmons, skin removed and blended)
1 teaspoon soda
1 egg
1 cup raisins
1 cup nuts (I used chopped walnuts)

From what I've been told there are two types of persimmons, one of which is better for backing cookies like these.  This is the Hachiya variety.

Now let's get cooking.  Here's the recipe:

Cream shortening and sugar.  Sift flour and spices together and add to creamed mixture.  Dissolve soda in pulp and beat in egg.   Add to dry ingredients.  Fold in raisins and nuts.  Drop by teaspoons.  Bake 350 degrees 12-15 minutes.

Yum!  Delicious!  I hope you like these persimmon cookies as much as I do! They freeze great too.  I hope you've enjoyed a little sneak peak into my holiday baking!

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