We don’t have a persimmon tree, much to my chagrin, so every season I hoard persimmons. I can’t help it. If I see them at a roadside stand, I stop. At the store, I buy as many as the budget will allow. Farmer’s markets? In my CSA box? Of course. I only stop myself if I see them on a neighbor’s tree– unless the persimmon is on the ground! Then I think of them as fair game.
Unfortunately, the Fuyus I got at the store a while ago never truly ripened. They did, however, start to get kind of shriveled, and I don’t have it in me whatever kind of personality trait it is that will let a persimmon go to waste. I scoured the internet for a cookie recipe involving Fuyus, but all I could find were Hachiya recipes. So many of the blogs helpfully offered the knowledge that Fuyus are meant to be eaten out of hand– BUT I ALREADY KNEW THAT, THANK YOU. I got a little frustrated, probably partly because I’m still getting over a case of strep, and I’m tired and fussier than usual.
So, I turned to Facebook, which in spite of all its evils is still a really good way to talk to people when you aren’t the sort of person who likes to call a bunch of people on the phone to ask them such a random question. “Can you bake with Fuyus?” One friend said to blend them and leave them a bit chunky. Another said to bake them first– which probably would have deepened their flavor, useful when they weren’t particulary ripe enough already– but I was too sleepy to do this. I had a feeling I’d most likely end up with little burnt persimmon bombs. The food processor beckoned.
While the cookies were baking, my daughter got really excited. “I smell gingerbread from the back of the living room!” and she traipsed and bounced into the kitchen, nosey. We had just made sugar cookies the day before, cats and dinosaurs, but they were going fast and we hadn’t made very many of them, because she was getting over strep too, and I knew we’d be the only one eating these germ infested cookies, however tasty they were.
Fuyu Persimmon and Pear Cookies with Brandy Frosting
5 or 6 small Fuyus, as ripe as you can manage.
2 small overripe pears. (Together, the pears and persimmons should come to 2 cups after pureeing.)
1 T Saigon cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups white flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat white flour (You can use any combination of flours, really, but when you use whole grains, make sure you keep an eye on the stiffness of the dough. If it gets too dry, add a teaspoon of milk or water.)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Stir together the fruit puree, the spices, butter, sugar, and the egg. Add the flours and the baking powder and soda. Stir well, and add in nuts or raisins if you like, but I like them plain. When there are no more lumps of flour, drop by teaspoonfuls onto a parchment paper covered cookie sheet, and bake for 15 minutes in a 375 degree oven. The cookies should be firm to the touch, but keep in mind these will still be rather moist cookies. There’s a lot of fruit in them! It will make about two dozen cookies, depending on your teaspooning skills.
While the cookies cool, make the frosting. I used about 2 cups of powdered sugar, a tablespoon of soft butter, a capful of brandy, and a teensy splash of milk. Once the cookies are completely cool, go ahead and frost them rather liberally– especially if your Fuyus are unripe like mine.