Persimmon Cookies for Halloween

Baby pumpkins? No Persimmons! Everyone thinks of pumpkin cookies at Halloween and there’s not a thing wrong with that. I love pumpkin cookies, but these lovely, luscious persimmons were sitting there begging to be taken home with me and I recalled PK’s mom’s wonderful persimmon bread. So I grabbed a few, then grabbed a few more at a different store because they were on sale.

Then I began searching for the basic persimmon recipes and I learned something right off. I had purchased Fuyu persimmons, which are normally an eating variety. What you want for cooking is the Hachiya variety, which “they” say is the more common one. So why didn’t I see any of those in the grocery? The Hachiya are the more astringent one and needs to ripen until it feels like a water balloon before you use the pulp inside. It’s got kind of a pear shape in that it is longer than it is wide. The Fuyu are more squat and can be eaten when they are barely softened. You can just peel and eat them like an apple and they are sweet and tasty. So like an apple, I decided to use my Fuyu’s in a cookie recipe, just as I would a golden delicious instead of a Granny Smith in a pinch.

The result is one delicious cookie and although it is low carb, I have to say that it is not an approved fruit on the Atkins Phase I, II or III sections, although I think they are like a mango in sugar and you’ll need to see how your body reacts to it.  Like  peaches and pears, it is high in natural sugars. I’ve used a lower quantity in the cookie recipe to keep the carbs per cookie down to under 2 carbs a cookie. The trick is to keep from eating more than one cookie at a time.

You only really see fresh persimmons in the fall, so grab them now. For this recipe, I used three small persimmons that were feeling pretty soft, peeled them and then put the pulp in the food processor to make a puree. They made almost exactly one cup of puree. The purees can be frozen for later use. For a bread recipe, dice the persimmon, par boil and put in a freezer bag with as little air in it as possible.

Spiced Persimmon Cookies

1 cup Persimmon, Fuyu
3/4 cup Shortening,  – I use butter flavored
1 large Egg
1 1/2 cups Low Carb Flour
1/4 cup Almond Flour
1/4 cup Protein whey powder* (optional)
1/2 cup Sugar Substitute
1/2 cup Brown Sugar Substitute
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground
1/2 teaspoon Clove, ground
1/4 cup Pecans, chopped
1 teaspoon Cardamom spice

* If you don’t use the whey protein powder, then increase one of the other flours by 1/4 cup.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Prepare two cookie sheets by either spraying with cooking spray or putting a sheet of parchment paper over each and spraying that. One advantage of parchment paper is that you can slide the paper, with the cookies on it, off the pan and use the pan again for another batch without having to wait for the cookies to completely cool.

In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, sugar substitutes, persimmon puree and egg together. Add the seasonings and mix well.

In a smaller bowl, mix the flours, salt, baking powder and baking soda together. Gradually add to the creamed shortening mixture until all the flour is mixed in. Add the chopped nuts and mix them in to distribute well.

Drop dough by the spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet, allowing about 2″ between cookies. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the cookies are lightly browned. Let cool completely before moving them. Low carb flours are delicate and break apart easily when they are warm.

Makes 36 cookies

Nutrition Info per cookie:
Calories: 70.6 Fat: 6.5 g Net Carbs: 1.4 g Protein: 1.3 g

For those who don’t care about the calories or carbs in the cookies, you can make the recipe with regular all purpose flour and sugar. The rest of the recipe is the same.