Persimmon Cookies

BakingCookiePersimmon

Persimmon cookies! Cinnamon kissed, and speckled with orange zest, walnuts and dried cranberries, topped with a persimmon orange sugar glaze.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Fall is the season for persimmons, and with persimmons you can make the most wonderful cookies!

These persimmon cookies are cake-y and filled with walnuts and dried sweetened cranberries. I’ve topped them with a sugar glaze that includes persimmon purée and tangy orange zest.

What type of persimmon to use? While wild native persimmons grow throughout the midwestern states, commercial persimmons come in two Japanese varieties—Fuyu and Hachiya—with very different properties.

Acorn Shaped Hachiya Persimmons

Acorn-shaped Hachiya persimmons

The Difference between fuyu and hachiya persimmons

Fuyu persimmons are short and squat. You eat them like apples, peeling them and slicing them. They are meant to be firm.

Hachiya persimmons (those pictured here are hachiya) are shaped a little like an acorn, and are larger than the shorter, squat Fuyu persimmons. Hachiya persimmons need to be completely ripe before you can eat them. Unripe hachiyas are extremely astringent and will make your mouth pucker if you try to eat them.

Ripe Hachiya Persimmon

Hachiya persimmons are squishy soft when ripe

When a hachiya persimmon is completely ripe, it’s squishy, like an overripe tomato, and its insides are more liquid-y than pudding. That’s when the persimmon is ready to eat! Cut it open from the top and use a spoon to scoop out the sweet pulp inside.

How to Make Persimmon Purée

For this persimmon cookie recipe (and for many baked goods using persimmons) you will need persimmon pulp. You can use either ripe hachiya persimmons or fuyu persimmons, but hachiya are the best variety to use for pulp, because they get so soft.

For hachiya persimmons you’ll want to scoop out the pulp with a spoon, discard any seeds and peel, and pulse the pulp with a food processor or blender to make it smooth. (Note that if a hachiya persimmon isn’t completely ripe, it will be too astringent to eat, so make sure your persimmons are squishy soft!)

For Fuyu persimmons, you’ll want to use very ripe (no longer crunchy) persimmons. Peel them, chop them, remove any seeds, and process the chopped persimmons in a food processor.

hachiya-persimmon-horiz-b-1800

Can you freeze persimmon pulp? Yes! In fact freezing the pulp is a great way to save the purée for making cookies all year long. Just portion out 1 cup measures of pulp into freezer bags, and lay flat in the freezer to freeze.

Photos and recipe updated December 7, 2017, first published 2005.

Persimmon Cookies Recipe

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  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 14 minutes
  • Chilling time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Makes about 2 dozen cookies

If using a hachiya persimmon, it should be very ripe and completely soft to the touch. Use a spoon to scoop out the pulp. Discard any seeds that might be there. Each hachiya persimmon should yield anywhere from 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of pulp.

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 1 cup very ripe persimmon pulp
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz, 1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 cups (270 g) flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup chopped dried cranberries, raisins, or dates

For the glaze:

  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp persimmon puree
  • 1 tsp grated orange peel

Method

1 Prepare persimmon pulp: Using a blender, food processor, or mini chopper, purée the ripe persimmon pulp until smooth. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.

2 Beat together the butter and sugars in a large bowl. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Mix in the persimmon purée and orange zest.

3 In a separate bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ground cloves, and salt.

4 Make cookie dough: Add dry ingredients to persimmon mixture a third at a time, stirring just until flour is incorporated. Stir in nuts and dried fruit.

5 Chill dough for 1 hour.

6 Bake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Drop cookie dough rounds on stick-free cookie sheets, leaving at least an inch between the cookies.

Bake for 13 to 14 minutes or until cookies are browned around the edges and spring back when lightly touched in center. Let cool on baking racks before frosting.

7 Prepare frosting: While the cookies are cooling sift confectioner's sugar and then whisk with 2 Tbsp of orange juice until smooth. Add 1 Tbsp of persimmon puree and 1 teaspoon of orange zest and mix until smooth. Dip spoon into glaze mixture and dribble over cookies. Let harden before serving.

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Links:

All about Hachiya and Fuyu persimmons here on Simply Recipes

Showing 4 of 22 Comments / Reviews

  • Elissa

    Hi Elise,

    I just received a giant bag of persimmons from a neighbor and I KNEW I’d find something on your site. They’re still pretty firm right now but I can’t wait to try making these. They sound like delicious holiday type cookies. I’ve been using your banana bread recipe for years and I know these will be so yummy. Thanks for always providing awesome ( and easy!!) recipes :):)!

    -Elissa

  • obachan

    Hi
    I made persimmon mousse a few weeks ago and felt the same way… it was rather plain. I thought about making persimmon sauce or something to add more flavor next time, and your persimmon glaze gave me some idea. Grated orange peel really sounds good!

    Obachan – are the Hachiya popular in Japan? When I lived in Kyoto the only persimmons I found were the Fuyu. We used to peel them and serve them in slices with toothpicks. I was told that they were best if picked on a night with a full moon. They were so delicious. ~Elise

  • obachan

    Hi again,

    Hachiya are not very popular, but we do have some. My parents have 2 hachiya trees. To eat Hachiya, they wet each persimmon partially with some distilled spirit while still firm and bitter, then put all of them in a plastic bag and keep at a warm place (usually Kotatsu). After several weeks, they turn very sweet and a little softer than Fuyu, but not too soft. This sarashigaki is my favorite. Never heard about picking persimmons on a full-moon night, though. Are you sure that the story isn’t about stealing persimmons?? ;P

    Hi Obachan- Perhaps that’s how people discovered they were so good! Actually my friend has a persimmon tree in his yard. He’s noticed over the years that the persimmons picked on the night of a full moon have many more of the small dark brown speckles in them, and those speckles have something to do with the sweetness. Who knows? He laughs at this old wives tale, but can’t explain why his persimmons are different on full moon nights. Thanks for the tip on Hachiyas. I’ll try dampening them with some spirits next time. ~Elise

  • Ramah

    I recently moved into a house with an enormous Hachiya persimmon tree and a magnificent crop of persimmons. My favorite way to eat them is when they’re not entirely soft, but about the texture of very soft peaches–and they’re good with a little lemon juice. I’ve been drying them in a fruit dryer (sliced, with the skin removed), and the dried fruit, covered with dark chocolate, is a real treat. The persimmon pudding recipe in “Joy of Cooking” is a good one, and it is wonderful with some whipped cream laced with a little Grand Marnier Liquor. Persimmon ice cream is also a good idea–with the sweetness cut with lemon juice or lemon zest. More ideas? Please share them.

  • Paulette

    I’ve been making persimmon cookies for years…my recipe has been handed down through generations of Butte County pioneers. I add cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg and raisens, these are a Christmas tradition which my friends and family love. I’ve found that placing the persimmons in the freezer over night makes them ripen immediately.

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