Grandma’s Persimmon Cookies Recipe for Mom

by on January 10, 2011

This is an open letter of apology to all the mothers of those who work in the service industry. There is no substitute for the absence of hugs and shared holiday meals.  There is no explanation which will ease your hearts of our absence, and for that we are sorry.

There are many of us married to the service industry, in one form or another. For me, it was first began in the restaurant industry.  With pride and a slight sneer, I’d agree in Bourdain’s description of the people filling the ranks of restaurant workers as being the misfits and underbelly of society. We live our lives counter-current to “normal” society, often never feeling like we completely fit in anywhere except amongst our fellow deviants.

Pretty inspiration for our Persimmon Poem

We adapt and manage, finding personal solace and happiness through our own methods. Brooke at FoodWoolf, a long-time restaurant professional, recently gave a well-written account of her method of fending off holiday madness through the creation of Restaurant Christmas” on Jan. 25th every year.

Now that Diane and I are working together through the holidays at our portrait studio, the joy comes from seeing our craft bring tears to the moms and grandmas for whom their family has gathered together from their scattered daily lives to capture a moment.

It is easy for us to justify the 16 hour days, the sacrificing of our own holidays, and the removal from “normal” society in the face of such preciousness. By the time Christmas finally arrives we are exhausted, weary of people in general, and glad to turn another year. However, there is a glow in our hearts remembering and imagining the faces of our clients’ moms.

Which is all fine and dandy for us, but there is collateral damage. Our own families. Particularly the moms. Dads always seem to understand and accept in their own quiet ways, but it is hard on the moms. They accept our apologies and belated hugs with grace and love, but it really isn’t fair. My mom never complains about our distant holidays, but I can see it. Behind the Skyped greetings and cyber hugs, it is hard.  For that I am so sorry.

I’m not sure if this recipe is a consolation or more of an atonement. This recipe was one of my mom’s favorites made by Grandma. I’m tossing it up into the winds of our cyber world so it can scatter its seeds, never to be lost. Best made from home grown persimmons which were raised with love.

I love you Mom.


More Terrific Persimmon Recipes :

Simply Recipes – Persimmon Cookies with Orange Glaze
Pinch My Salt- Persimmon Cookies
David Lebovitz-Persimmon Bread
101 Cookbooks – Wheat Berry breakfast bowl with persimmons

Persimmon Cookies Recipe

Yield: 36 cookies

Total Time: 30 minutes

These are a gloriously soft, moist cookie.  This recipe is as written from my grandmother's recipe card, with the mere addition of grams added for ease in measurement.   Cranberries would be an excellent substitute for the raisins and chocolate chips are another great addition, both requests from Mom. She passed this on to me with the side note: " ****** from my mom's very old recipe box****** ".  The batter would likely make excellent muffins or as a cake layer. Dough freezes well.


  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) baking soda
  • 1 cup (260g) persimmon pulp
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 cup (145g) raisins
  • 1 cup (120g) chopped nuts


  1. Preheat the oven to Bake at 325 degrees F. Grease or line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg, and then add persimmon pulp and baking soda.  Mix well (the mixture will still be a bit clumpy)
  3. In another bowl combine flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and whisk together by hand until well combined, about 30 seconds. Stir the dry mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Stir in the nuts and raisins. (Chilling the cookie dough at this point will help give fluffier cookies.)
  4. Drop spoonfuls of the dough onto the prepared sheet pan.  Keep cookies small and far apart as they spread out. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until set and light golden around the edges. Allow to cool and serve.
Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kitt January 10, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Yum. And what a lovely post. There are lots of folks out there in many professions who don’t get holidays off. I like the idea of Restaurant Christmas as an alternative.

Was just thinking about you. Jan. 25 next year will find us in Vietnam for Tet!


2 White on Rice Couple January 11, 2011 at 5:38 pm

We’re so excited for you. Your trip is going to be amazing!!!


3 Haley Pham January 10, 2011 at 10:03 pm

You know what, when I have nothing to eat (because my fridge is always empty), I always go to this blog, and swallow my hunger, or … saliva … :)


4 Jen Yu January 10, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Awww, Todd. That is so sweet and thoughtful. Knowing you and Diane – you guys make every moment with your loved ones count. It’s one the reasons I love you guys so much. Also – I need to get my hands on some persimmons ;) xo


5 Blog is the New Black January 11, 2011 at 3:40 am

Simply beautiful! Dying to try a persimmon finally!


6 TheKitchenWitch January 11, 2011 at 6:31 am

What a beautiful tribute to your mom and the sacrifices we make for the ones we love. The pictures are mouth-watering, as always.


7 Cookin' Canuck January 11, 2011 at 7:39 am

What a beautiful post, Todd. I have a feeling this will bring a tear to your mum’s eye. Beautiful shots of persimmons. They make me wish I had brought back a crate from our California Christmas.


8 Winnie January 11, 2011 at 7:50 am

So lovely…they are Fuyu persimmons, right? I have the hardest time finding them here in NY :(


9 White on Rice Couple January 11, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Correct. The pride of our garden’s fall fruits. These are the Giant Fuyu persimmons, some of them getting up to 2 lbs.


10 Brian @ A Thought For Food January 11, 2011 at 7:51 am

A lovely post… and such a wonderful tribute to your mom. And, as always, these shots are beautiful!


11 Celia January 11, 2011 at 8:03 am

Sweet post and lovely recipe: I’ve been wondering how to use the persimmons in my local market


12 Olga @ MangoTomato January 11, 2011 at 8:04 am

Gorgeous. Absolutely love persimmons, but usually eat them like apples. I did make muffins with them once, but your cookies look a lot more indulgent (in the best way possible)


13 Chef Louise January 11, 2011 at 8:12 am

interesting cookie recipe, never seen fruit added with soda… nice
chef louise


14 Tracy Grant January 11, 2011 at 8:12 am

Aww.. Very sweet and I want to try the recipe!


15 Shaina January 11, 2011 at 8:46 am

These look absolutely delightful. We are rarely able to get persimmons here in Minnesota, so when I’m in California in the winter, I always make sure to grab them. I was so sad this December when I cancelled my trip, but I’m definitely adding this recipe to my list for the next time I’m there during the season or they magically show up in Minnesota.


16 justcooknyc January 11, 2011 at 10:12 am

i love this post, seeing something from another perspective. restaurant christmas is a great idea. the shot of the fruit on the branches is gorgeous.


17 Lael Hazan @educatedpalate January 11, 2011 at 11:46 am

Beautifully done, it brought tears to my eyes. We always celebrated the holidays on a “different” date so that we could get together as a family. The lesson I learned from my own mother was that it was important to mark the time together, the exact date was irrelevant.


18 dario @ foodpixels January 11, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Todd, thanks for sharing such a precious recipe; personally I love persimmon but don’t know many recipes which include them, so I’m happy to learn about this one.
I work in the service industry and my job took me very far from home…. this post shows your great sensibility, for which I appreciate reading even more.


19 marla {family fresh cooking} January 11, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Persimmon cookies sound wonderful right about now. Very sweet that this recipe was handed down from your mom. I will miss my kids deeply if they are one day very far away :( Learned so much from you both in Mexico. You are always inspirations!


20 norma January 12, 2011 at 7:37 am



21 Eleonora January 12, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Your blog is super. So are your photographies. They make me hungry. I have spent a nice moment when seeing them. Thanks a lot.


22 KarenLana January 12, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Cherished family recipes are the best. Thank you for sharing yours and the story behind it. Fuyu Persimmons were my mother’s favorite. Beautiful post and photos!


23 Amy January 13, 2011 at 10:48 pm

Really love the new layout of your blog. :) These cookies look delicious. I gotta try your recipe soon. I’m hosting my very first giveaway on my blog. Come by to submit an entry when you have time. Good Luck!


24 Nourhan @ Miss Anthropist's Kitchen January 14, 2011 at 1:08 pm

This is delightful, and the photography is beautiful, as always. Thank you for sharing :)


25 Jennie @ Oh, Sweet Day! January 14, 2011 at 6:18 pm

These are so interesting and inspiring!!! I would love to try one, or some!


26 Rose Silver January 15, 2011 at 7:12 am

This looks great! I love how this was made. I’ve been trying to bake new cookie recipes but I never thought of trying persimmon cookies. Maybe this is the time to try this one.


27 LucyLean January 15, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Lovely post – brought tears to my eyes – hubby hates holidays to this day because it always meant more time in the kitchen for his papa – I like the idea of coming together being the thing and not the date – x


28 Mei Teng January 16, 2011 at 6:05 am

Excellent cookie photo.


29 Melanie Schoenhut January 17, 2011 at 9:57 am

I love the cookie and the idea of the new flavor for me. I think persimmon is not used as an ingredient for making cookie so I’m really interested in trying this one. Thanks for the recipe.


30 Jackie Alpers January 17, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Love the story and the photos.


31 Irene January 18, 2011 at 12:25 am

Wow. Persimmon cookies. Who would have thought? Very inspirational! The cookies look really yummy and i’m definitely printing out the recipe and trying them! Thanks for sharing..


32 Jackie ( January 18, 2011 at 1:26 pm

I love the photo with the persimmons hanging on the tree. Oh my, I would love to have this variety in my garden (I only have the hard kind). As a child, I could eat these by the dozen until I get a cotton mouth lol! I’ve made persimmon custard, never tried cookies using the pulp. Will do. Thanks!


33 Mikky Tallman December 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm

My mother makes me persimmon cookies every year around my birthday, I loved to share them with my kids but now that I am divorced and 33 years old I only share them with one of my clients and a few friends.


34 Charlean Marsh December 18, 2011 at 11:44 am

The recipe calls for “soda” – baking soda or drinking soda????


35 White on Rice Couple December 18, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Baking soda. Normally we’ll write that out, but in this case we were writing out the recipe verbatim of how my grandmother had it.


36 Aimee@thegirlwiththewoodenspoon September 29, 2012 at 5:36 pm

I just pulled the first batch of these out the oven. Mine didn’t really spread out so I had to eat 3 of them still warm from the oven for quality assurance purposes. They are just so great! Thank you for the wonderful recipe.


37 Linda Davis October 29, 2012 at 9:18 am

Just made these cookies from persimmons off the tree in our backyard. There are few things as beautiful as the glistening orange pulp of a perfectly ripe persimmon. These cookies are spectacular and will be a long time family favorite. I added some icing made with confectioner’s sugar and persimmon puree to intensify the flavor. Thank you very much for sharing, and thanks to your mom and grandma for the recipe.


38 Dorothy Morris December 13, 2012 at 12:00 am

Can you freeze the pulp of the persimmon until you have a chance to make the cookies?


39 White on Rice Couple December 15, 2012 at 7:51 am

Hi Dorothy,
We personally haven’t tried freezing the pulp but we’ve read of others having no problems doing it that way. Good luck.
T & D


40 Quynh January 6, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Hi Todd& Diane! What kind of flour did you used? Does it have to be a specific kind of flour?


41 White on Rice Couple January 9, 2013 at 9:09 am

We used all-purpose flour. Different flours (such as cake flour) will affect the texture, but not necessarily adversely.


42 Debra Weisberg December 20, 2013 at 2:08 pm

My 2nd cousin, now deceased, had a persimmon tree. Every year she would load our family with them. My mom, now deceased, had this recipe. This is the first year I’ve had persimmons in a long time. I couldn’t find her recipe. Thanks for posting.


43 Staci December 7, 2014 at 2:23 pm

This is a great recipe. I don’t know if it’s my elevation or what but I had to add about 1/2 cup more flour. The cookies were completely flat. The second time I made it I added pecans instead because I was out of walnuts. I definitely prefer pecans in this recipe. Thanks!


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