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Grandma Lockett's Persimmon Cookies and a Love Story

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…


Click here for a printable recipe

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 egg
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.

Click here to ask a question or leave a comment

Reader Comments (74)

We always have persimmon cookies at Christmas too! My grandmother used to make a persimmon cake. I loved this post. Thank you!

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah G.

Love this. I can't believe you guys are old enough to be married 42 years! You look great!

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThea

Well, thanks so much, Thea!

December 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

This is just so sweet. Thank you for sharing that bit of your history with us. I think I'm going to have to try those cookies.

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFran

I lost my Mom's recipe for persimmon cookies. This look and sound very much like them. Thank you!

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKay

You're welcome, Kay. I hope these taste like them too!

December 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Our neighbor has a persimmon tree and is always trying to give me persimmons. I'm going over there right now and getting a bunch! These cookies look so good. And thanks for the love story. So sweet.

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRenee

That is the cutest story Patrice! You and your husband still look fantastic! 42 years is much to be proud of, and those persimmon cookies sound amazing, something I've never tried but want to now!

I was 19 when I got married and my husband was 20, we just had our 40th last March.

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

Congratulations, Marie! I don't often meet other couples who married as young as we did! Oh, and are still happily married, as I know you are. So nice to hear from you.

December 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I loved your story and recipe. My Dad has a persimmon tree in his backyard and we are loaded with persimmons ripening right now. Did you use the crunchy type of persimmons (that look like the picture) or the soft kind that practically melt when they are ripe? My Dad's are the soft type.

December 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPriscilla

I used the soft type, the fuju persimmons, Priscilla.. You're so lucky to have access to all of those persimmons! Enjoy

December 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Congratulations, and you are both even better looking now - but you were awfully cute in the 70s photo. We got married in 1969 in our senior year of college, but we also celebrated 50 years of dating this year - yes we started dating when we were 14. Geez! :)

I've never tasted a persimmon. :-O

December 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

Congratulations, Linda! 50 years sine the first date is so awesome! It all counts. Persimmons are so good, especially in these cookies? So nice to hear from you.

December 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

What a beautiful love story and so deserving of two of the most awesome people I know! So glad you get to make these wonderful cookies again.

December 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCousin Katie

Thanks so much, Cousin Katie. Means a lot coming from you and you know how good these cookies are!

December 29, 2012 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Patrice, that touched me in three ways - I've always been a sucker for a love story, a grandma and a persimmon cookie!

January 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJean | Delightful Repast

So sweet, Jean. Nice to hear from you!

January 4, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Thanks so much for the recipe and love story! We married when we were 18 and just celebrated our 37th! God is GOOD! I am baking your cookies as I write this, the house smells so good! Keep on sharing your life and love!

January 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Thanks so much, Laura. Enjoy the cookies!!

January 26, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

What a great story. I love persimmon cookies. My grandmother baked them for me as a kid and mailed them across the country to me while I was at college. Persimmon cookies are a great way to tell someone how much you care. Thanks for sharing your story.

February 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTenaya

You're so welcome, Tenaya. I enjoyed hearing your persimmon cookie history. So great to hear from you.

February 13, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Thank you soooo much! my grandma used to make me one very much like this. She passed when I was 16 and I was focused on my rocking chair and antique glass. My relatives didn't save her recipes. This will bring my children into my childhood.

November 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristy Lee

It seems that many of our grandmothers made cookies with persimmon, Christy. I hope your children enjoy them.

November 11, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Thank you. I started collecting recipes from both my family and my husband's when we married. I recently made a computeer recipee file and sent disks to kids and grandkids. Granma's Persimmon Cookie from husband's grandma was among them. I just collected persimmons today and will be baking shortly. It was a lovely story. I reccomend adding thosee into the. Heirloom recipe file.

November 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRose Hahn

So nice to hear from you, Rose. It's wonderful how persimmon cookies seem to evoke such special memories for so many of us. Check in this weekend... I have another persimmon recipe coming!

November 13, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Lovely story, beautiful smiles.

Just came across your blog a few days ago, and tried a few of your recipes already, love them. Thanks a lot!

November 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertanya

You're so welcome, Tanya! Glad you found us!

November 14, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I'm a single dad that knows very little about baking, but would like my children to experience the rewards of the baking process. I'm not real comfortable cooking with shortening..., so I was hoping someone could tell me if it makes a noticeable difference using butter?

November 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I do think these would probably come out just fine using all butter, David. I use Earth Balance shortening, (http://www.earthbalancenatural.com/product/natural-shortening/ ) which is a healthy vegetable-based shortening that you can substitute for regular shortening (like Crisco). You can buy Earth Balance shortening at many health food stores or Whole Foods. Spectrum (http://www.spectrumorganics.com/?id=87) also makes a healthy shortening alternative that you can find in most grocery stores. I've not made these with all butter, but if you try it, let us know how they come out, OK? Happy baking!

November 25, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Every fiber of my being adores this story! I grew up in Iowa and had never heard of or seen a persimmon. I got to Southern California via travel nursing in the 90's, met the man of my dreams and set up camp! We got married in 2003, bought out starter home in 2004, dog 2005, first baby 2006, last baby 2008, and forever home in 2010. The back yard was a ginormous orchard with a large tree bearing silly looking orange fruit that the squirrels and birds LOVE!! 3 years later, my husband has been wanting to cut down the tree, but now I am going to start a persimmon cookie Christmas tradition of my own with my kids!!! Thank you for your story and inspiration!!!

November 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermelissa

That's just one of the most moving and wonderful comments I've received, Melissa. I love the progression of your history from Iowa through forever home and your very own persimmon tree. I will admit to being quite jealous of that! Getting ready to make my traditional batch of persimmon cookies... I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Thanks for sharing all of this with us. Happy holidays to you!

November 26, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

My mom loved to make persimmon pudding, I assume because her mother did. She died on Christmas Eve two years ago - four days after my brother, eleven months after my dad and fifteen months after my mother-in-law. I am finally ready to bake again. My daughter brought me a container of persimmon pulp this month. I was looking for a pudding recipe when I found your cookie recipe and story. As we did not relish persimmon pudding like Mom, I think I will try persimmon cookies. I hope it will be a way to pass Mom's love of persimmons on to her five granddaughters.

November 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKim

What a beautiful story....I was looking for my great grandmas recipe(I lost it and tears began) With a little prayer I came across yours and the sweet love story.....My great Grandma we used to call her Gem she made these cookies always my favorite and would freeze them too and made sure I always had one for sad times...Well I am having one of those times compounded by a lost recipe that was found by your post and story so not only did Gem still look after her cookies for her great granddaughter I was given a beautiful story and ran into an old letter I wrote her when I was 9...Turns out I am no longer sad and have my recipe back...Blessings to you and your post and years of marriage....Blessings

November 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlauri

I'm not sure I even have the words to respond, Kim, but I am so very sorry for all the losses you have experienced over the past few years. Just one of those would be devastating, but to lose your Mom, Dad, brother and mother-in-law in such a short amount of time is unfathomable. I hope you and your daughters enjoy the cookies and that they will get to experience your Mom's love for persimmons. So nice to hear from you.

November 26, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I'm so glad you will be able to make your Great Grandmother's cookies again, Lauri, and thank you for those thoughtful, kind words. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

November 27, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

So I sit here looking for a persimmon cookie recipe and what do I find but the recipe and a wonderful family story that I had not heard before. The internet does have its perks. I'll let you know how I fare with the cookies. Let us know when you are here on the coast. Happy holidays from California and the Kaylor's.

November 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiana

Enjoy the cookies, Diana! So great to hear from you!

November 29, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Thank you for sharing your lovely story and recipe!
Blessings to Grandma Lockett and all of the wonderful mothers out there who continue to enriched our homes with their love and traditions shared! Happy Holidays to all!

December 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVeronica

Thank you for the recipe! My grandma used to make these and I used to help.
Good memories...
Thank you for sharing your story. ;) Nice to hear about marriages working I enjoyed seeing your photos. Cant find grandmas recipe, but I will use yours. Thanks again! Happy Holidays. Tanya

December 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTanya

Such great memories, Tanya.... you and your Grandma making persimmon cookies. I love this about cooking and recipes. They have the power to connect us to our history and wonderful memories. So nice to hear from you.

December 5, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Well, it is certainly a SMALL world after all! I was searching the internet for a good persimmon cookie recipe since I have never made them and I have all these persimmons that I have NO idea what to do with. I always like to use recipes from people's personal sites, rather than foodnetwork or any of those other "big box" food sites. Anyway, I'm scrolling down for the recipe when I see the picture of you and your husband and I think to myself, "I know them". I my name is Lindsay (Varni) Parry and I went to school with Erin at AJHS and AHS. I can't believe how small this world is sometimes! I hope you and all your family are doing well. Please tell Erin I said hello. I look forward to making your cookies today. Your home and surroundings looks absolutely beautiful. Definitely a different beauty than out here in CA, but beautiful just the same! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

December 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay Parry

Wow, Lindsay! So great to hear from you!! It really IS a small world and there's nothing like good recipes to bring us all together. I hope you enjoy the persimmon cookies and I'll be passing your comment on to Erin. I know she'll be happy (and surprised) to have heard from you!

December 13, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

So I made the cookies-YUMMY!!! Great recipe that I will certainly use again. A hit with all the kids. I did not put in the dried fruit or nuts since those are not well liked in our family. So, since I didn't put in all of those other textures I added about 3/4 cup of oatmeal. I'm sure it didn't change the flavor, just added a substitute texture. Thanks Patty! I will definitely be back on your site for other recipes!

December 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay Parry

So glad you liked the cookies, Lindsay. And I like all of your substitutions too. Adding the oatmeal was a nice touch and bumps up the nutrient quotient. Hope to hear from you again! Happy holidays!

December 13, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

A friend of ours has two huge persimmon trees and said help yourself. So my wife and I picked about 75. They all were firm but ready for picking. My wife and I are both retired married 47 years. Anyway, I decided to look for recipes for persimmons. I found one for persimmons bread and
persimmons pie. I baked both. Then tonight, being close to Christmas, I decided to try and find something special and found your Grandmother's
cookie recipe. I read your story and it is so special like the cookies. I just finished baking the last of 4 dozen. My wife said delicious!
I agree. The are the best cookies we have ever tasted. So, so special. We live on the West Coast and will be visiting our son and family in
London, England next summer. We have a 3 1/2 year old grandson, and guess what? We will be introducing them to this marvelous

December 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBiagio Cacciatore

What a wonderful thing to hear, Biagio! Congratulations on 47 years of marriage and I'm so glad you liked the cookies. They're a very special holiday treat around here too. You picked a lot of persimmons!! The pulp freezes beautifully, as do these cookies. Thanks so much for sharing that with us!

December 14, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I got persimmon every year from my neighbor and I use your recipe and it was wonderful. I gave some to my neighbor and he loves it. He said it remind him of the persimmon cookies that his mom use to made.

thank you

December 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkc

You're welcome, KC. So nice to hear from you.

December 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I made the persimmon cookies. They were wonderful. I did substitute candied kumkwats for the dates and craisins for the raisins. We so enjoyed as did all with whom I shared .

January 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDiana

So glad you liked them, Diana!

January 7, 2014 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

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