Shake Them ‘Simmons Down!

Shake them 'simmons down

Ms. Lisa’s Dad! Here he is in the persimmon tree in their yard in California where Miss Lisa grew up. Can you find him? He’s “shakin’ those ‘simmons down!”

Have you ever eaten a persimmon? I, like Miss Lisa, I grew up in California, and someone was always giving us a paper bag full of them in the Fall–hey! maybe it was Mr. Muratore!

This delicate oriental fruit is native of China. It spread to Japan very long ago and later was introduced to California during the middle of nineteenth century. Although a strange little fruit, they’re actually quite tasty and extremely nutritious! Persimmons are a great source of vitamin A, C, beta-carotene and soluble fiber–a great baby food, for sure!

A Fall, family tradition for us is baking Persimmon Cookies! I still pull out the old newspaper article that my mom gave me when I was married. At the top it says, “Monday, Nov. 23, 1981 THE FRESNO BEE.” I love the nostalgia of the recipe, but I also love how the smell of these cookies baking makes it impossible not to say, “Ahhhh, it’s Fall!” Smells like that are such a strong memory connection, right?

You don’t need more than two or three persimmons for this recipe and the cookies are like little pillows of spicy goodness. Try something new and make these in the coming weeks. And, make sure you sing along, “Shake them ‘simmons down!”

Persimmon Cookies

1 cup persimmon puree (just peel and drop them into the food processor, raw)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons brandy or orange juice
3 c. flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

Mix together thoroughly the persimmon puree and baking soda; let stand while creaming together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla, lemon juice and brandy. Then add persimmon puree and mix until blended. Sift four, measure and sift again with baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Gradually blend into creamed mixture, then add nuts and mix just until well blended. Drop level tablespoonfuls of dough 2 inches apart onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees 12-14 minutes or until browned. Makes about 5 dozen.

This post brought to you by Jenny Leggett, who would be better off if she could just smell the cookies and not eat them all.

 

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