This post goes out to my friend Sam. She's not a vegan but is interested in vegan food, and wondered if I could veganize her great grandmother's persimmon cookie recipe. It turned out to be very simple-- it's an awesome recipe to start and all vegan except for two eggs. And of course, I can replace eggs!
As the recipe has a lot of nuts and fruit in it, I decided to try out ground flax seeds in place of the eggs. This time last year, I experimented with flax seeds for the first time, with great great trepidation... but the chocolate chocolate chip cookies in Veganomicon convinced me that flax seeds aren't the tool of the devil, and that in fact, they make for an absolutely wonderful cookie texture. I know they don't work in everything (everything is overrated anyway) but just had a feeling they'd work here...
And they did. The cookies turned out AMAZINGLY good. Photographic evidence:
The texture is delightful... soft and light, yet pleasingly chewy. The flavor is quite excellent. My husband says they remind him a lot of gingerbread... that's not too far off. They taste kind of like pie, too. Delicious spicy persimmon pie. I'm in love.
The ONLY thing I'll change next time I do this is the nuts-- I only had cashews on hand, so that's what I used. But, as Sam told me when she gave me the recipe, these would be bitchin' with walnuts.
Here's the recipe! Make them OR ELSE! (Unless you don't have persimmons. Then you're excused.)
Someone Else's Great-Grandma's Persimmon Cookies
makes 3-4 dozen
1c pure unrefined cane sugar
1c vegan margarine such as Earth Balance, or vegetable shortening
1c chopped nuts
1c chopped figs, or raisins, or dates, or Craisins (I used figs)
3 persimmons, peeled
2 tbsps ground flax seeds
6 tbsps water
1 tsp baking soda
2 c light whole wheat flour
1 tsp each - cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 375 and line a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Cream the cane sugar and vegan margarine together.
3. Mix the nuts and figs into the sugar-margarine mixture.
4. Puree the persimmons in a food processor. This should yield around 1c puree.
5. Add the ground flax seeds and water to the puree and process again.
6. Now add the baking soda to the puree and stir well. Leave it for a few minutes, then marvel at how radically the texture has changed.
7. Mix the puree and the remaining dry ingredients (flour, spices) into the sugar-margarine mixture.
8. Drop the batter (like it's hot) by the tablespoonfull onto the prepared cookie sheets.
9. Bake for 13 minutes. They should be fairly dark in color once they're done, but they'll still feel a little soft... don't worry, they'll firm up when they cool.
10. Cool on wire racks (or whatever) for about 10 minutes, then eat the hell out of these.
If you don't love some permutation of these cookies, you probably do not have a heart. Sorry, but those're the facts.