Holiday Cookies are a part of the Christmas season, they’re perfect for gifts, parties, or just to have on hand. These Persimmon and Ginger cookies are a special Christmas cookie recipe to me. When I imagine holiday cookies I think of these soft, chewy, and delightfully spicy cookies. They may look simple, but their texture is almost muffin like, and the flavor is so complex. Plus they’re made with persimmon puree so the cookie is actually pretty healthy.
As a small child in North Carolina we had a bounty of persimmon trees in our back yards. I would pretend to be a pioneer who only had the food I could gather to eat. I’d collect as many persimmons as I could and scoop out their flesh. I’d eat it until I was a sticky mess, and we would puree the rest and freeze it. A couple weeks later we would use the puree to make cookies and we’d give them out when we Christmas caroled friends and neighbors. I don’t know the exact recipe we used, but I’ve recently created my own version that brings back so many fun childhood memories. I can’t wait to pass it along to my children one day.
There are two types of persimmons, astringent and non-astringent. The most common astringent persimmon is the hachiya persimmon, also known as a Japanese persimmon, which you see on the left. They must be EXTREMELY ripe to be eaten, or they’re very bitter. If you get one that isn’t ripe to the point of bursting, just freeze it and then thaw it. You’ll find it mushy under the skin and really easy to use. The non- astringent persimmon is usually known as a fuyu persimmon, it’s the one on the right. Those contain less tannin and can be eaten firm or soft.
To make persimmon puree, simply cut the persimmon in half and scoop out the flesh. If you have a really ripe one you can even just cut the stem out and scoop the flesh out that way. Put all the flesh in the blender and puree until smooth. Add a little bit of water if needed but I didn’t find that necessary. Two persimmons typically yields a cup of puree. What’s your favorite holiday cookie recipe?
Persimmon Ginger Holiday Cookiesmakes 3 dozen
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 heaping TBS finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup persimmon puree
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream shortening and sugar together. Add egg and mix well.
In a large bowl mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sift into the creamed sugar and mix well.
Add chopped ginger, walnuts, vanilla and persimmon puree. Mix until smooth. Drop in heaping teaspoonfuls on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake 13-15 minutes or until tops are just turning golden. Should have a cake or muffin like texture.
Dust with powdered sugar, or use to make ice cream sandwiches with pumpkin pie ice cream!
Approximate cost/serving: These are so cheap to make, I got the persimmons for 50 cents each. It cost about $3.50 to make 3 dozen cookies, so 10 cents a cookie but I bet you can’t eat just one!
Vegetarian: Yes, and my grandma loves that they’re also dairy free cookies for the lactose intolerant.
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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.