These are definitely not your Grandma’s persimmon cookies, unless your Grandma liked brandy-soaked golden raisins and brandied pecan caramel glaze.
The persimmons my dad brought over on Thanksgiving are ripening three at a time, which makes it convenient for baking. I decided the ones that ripened today would be used to make persimmon cookies.
I have made a bunch of persimmon cookies in my lifetime. My first husband’s family had persimmon trees and we were always gifted with the fruit by the bagful. I made persimmon cake, bread, and once even tried a steamed persimmon pudding. But I mostly made persimmon cookies, lots and lots of persimmon cookies. I took them to work and passed them out to neighbors. I once threw a Christmas party for all the kids in the neighborhood complete with a rented Santa. The treat table was full of plates of persimmon cookies.
You may be familiar with the soft, cakey, spicy little treats. Decades have gone by since I baked all those cookies every winter. Today I wanted to best that familiar old cookie, not because it isn’t good, but to see if I could. And, I did.
Today’s version is still soft, cakey, and spicy, but a little tipsy from the addition of brandy (twice).
If you are lucky enough to have a few ripe persimmons lying around, or a 90-year-old father who can still climb a ladder, make these cookies. Heck, rent a Santa and invite the whole neighborhood over. Tell Grandma it’s still her recipe, you just tweaked it.
- For the cookie:
- ½ cup softened butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup persimmon pulp
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground clove
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- For the topping:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons brandy
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- For the cookies:
- Grease or line a cookie pan with parchment paper.
- Place the raisins in small bowl and pour enough brandy just to cover the raisins. Heat for 20-30 seconds in the microwave until warmed up. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.
- Cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until combined. Add persimmon pulp and baking soda. Mix well.
- In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, whisking to combine. Stir the dry mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Do not overtax! Strain the raisins, saving the brandy. Stir in the drained raisins and the nuts. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Drop small scoops of the dough onto the prepared cookie pan leaving adequate space between them. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until just set and light golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven to wire rack placed over wax paper or parchment.
- For the topping:
- Melt two tablespoons butter in a heavy bottomed nonstick pan. Remove from heat and pour in the brandy and granulated sugar. Stir and replace on stove over low-medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Add the pecans and stir well. When sauce has simmered a couple of minutes, add the heavy cream and whisk until combined well. Remove from stove. Use a teaspoon to pour the pecan topping over the warm cookies. Allow cookies to cool and set before serving.