Thursday, December 27, 2018

Persimmon Walnut Raisin Cookies by Mrs. Alice Vartanian

I must admit that I’ve never eaten a persimmon.
As I’d walk to class at Chico State (CA) back in 1969-70, I’d see numerous persimmon trees which studded front yards of homes near the campus. I was curious about the fruit hanging from those trees, but not curious-enough to taste one.
Persimmons - they look like tomatoes, but they're not!

My loss. According to Sheri Castle, writer, recipe developer,  cooking teacher, and public speaker,the silky pulp of persimmons tastes like a patchwork of fresh apricot, dried peach, guava jam, roasted pumpkin, and a speck of spice or nuts.”  Who could resist something that sounds so luscious?

New Year’s resolution is this: The next time I come across a persimmon tree or at least a persimmon in the store, I promised to myself to try one!

Fortunately, Mrs. Alice Vartanian, mother of my friend Christine Vartanian-Datian, knows about persimmons and offers us her recipe for Persimmon Walnut Raisin Cookies.   
Alice Vartanian
Fortunately, Mrs. Alice Vartanian, mother of my friend Christine Vartanian-Datian, knows about persimmons and offers us her recipe for Persimmon Walnut Raisin Cookies.   
Alice Vartanian's Persimmon Walnut Raisin Cookies

Persimmon Walnut Raisin Cookies by Mrs. Alice Vartanian
Yield: About 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup persimmon pulp (from 2-3 persimmons), skins removed, pureed
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup shortening or unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, beaten
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon orange or lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon each ground cloves, nutmeg and ginger
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins or chopped dates
1 cup dark chocolate chips, optional

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two baking sheets and set aside.

In large bowl, cream the sugar and the shortening until fluffy. Add the egg and mix to combine.

Add the flour, baking soda, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, zest, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger, and mix to combine.
Add the persimmon puree, nuts, raisins (or dates), and chocolate chips, if desired. 

Drop by the rounded spoonful on baking sheet and bake until cookie top springs back when touched, for 12 to 14 minutes.

Remove cookies from oven and cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Alice Vartanian’s Notes
This recipe can easily be doubled. 
Also, once cooled, dip half the cookie in melted dark or white chocolate and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Dried cranberries, dried cherries, chopped pecans or almonds may be added to this recipe. Or use 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice to replace the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger for this recipe. Cookies may be glazed with orange or lemon glaze, if desired.

For health and nutritional information on persimmons, go to: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/persimmon-nutrition-benefits. For recipes, go to: http://www.californiagrown.org/blog/perfect-uses-for-persimmons/

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