In years past, Christmas would never be complete without a batch of Grandma Lockett’s persimmon cookies. Grandma Lockett was my husband’s grandmother and without fail, every Christmas we would get a tin of her persimmon cookies. For me, they became the flavor of Christmas, and after she passed away, I continued to make them every year in early December, not only because I loved them so much, but for another very special reason that I’ll get to later.
Several years ago, The Husband stopped eating cookies, and I stopped baking them. All cookies. We were a cookie-free home. It wasn’t until about a month ago that he decided that if he were to allow himself one kind of cookie, it would be Grandma Lockett’s persimmon cookies. Well, people, it didn’t take me more than a nanosecond to hunt down some persimmons and get these made. I can’t even tell you how much I’ve missed them. I know, I know, I could have been making them all of these years, but it seemed sort of cruel to infuse the kitchen with the aromas of persimmon cookies when he was trying to cut back.
Anyway, by now I know you’re wondering what the love story part of this is, and since I honestly cannot eat a persimmon cookie without remembering this, I thought I’d share it with you.
Our story begins almost 45 years ago when I met this adorably cute guy in high school. He was a senior and I was a junior, and after dating for a few years, he proposed and I said yes and our parents were actually pretty happy for us, which is still to this day amazing to me because we were only 19 and 20 years old. (and no…. our first child was born 4 years later). Which brings us to the point of all of this…
(1970 on the steps of the court house)
...sorry about the photo quality...pretty old photo
So it was almost exactly 42 years ago that we went to the county court house to get a marriage license, but neither of us being old enough to sign the dang thing, my future mother-in-law had to come with us to sign for the license. Sigh. Still hard to believe.
So The soon-to-be Husband and I get on over to the court house to meet up with the soon-to-be-mother-in-law to get this marriage license taken care of, and we find not only his Mom, but Grandma Lockett is there too. Holding a tin of persimmon cookies. As you can see, I have never forgotten this, but I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone how much that meant to me. It just felt like Grandma Lockett’s way of welcoming me to the family, and turning this little moment in our lives into a bit of a celebration.
Six months later we were married and in a few months we will be celebrating our 42nd anniversary. It is a love story that continues unabated to this day.
And after so many years of not making or having a persimmon cookie, I got to fill the cookie jar this year. With persimmon cookies, lots of love, and some very happy memories. Here’s the recipe…
GRANDMA LOCKETT'S PERSIMMON COOKIES
Of course, Grandma’s original recipe did not include a food processor. It just said, mix all of the ingredients together and bake at 350. So, if you don’t have a food processor, no worries. Just cut the shortening into the flour with a pastry blender or two knives. This is the way I did it for years. I do love my processor though.
1 cup persimmon pulp (about 4)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon each cinnamon and nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup shortening (or butter)
½ cup sugar ½ cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
In a small bowl, mash the persimmon and stir in the baking soda, the mixture will congeal. Set aside.
Place the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Add the shortening (or butter) and pulse several times until the shortening is the consistency of small pebbles.
In another bowl, cream together the egg and the sugars. Add the persimmon/soda mixture and mix well. Stir in the flour mixture and combine well. Add the dates, nuts and raisins. Drop by spoonfuls on the greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until slightly browned and puffy. Cool on wire racks.