I don’t know about you guys, but baking is a huge part of the holiday season in my family. From Thanksgiving until New Years, our house is stocked with pies, cookies, chocolates, fudge, magic cookie bars, and so many other delicious treats. While eating these goods is obviously great, it’s really the kitchen and family time that make it truly special. My family makes the same recipes every year, and while I’m certainly not complaining, this year I wanted to throw my own recipe into the lineup.
I know I’ve been putting persimmons in/on basically everything I eat lately, but I have a good reason (besides the fact that they’re delicious)! My mom, stepdad, and I recently moved to a small walnut farm on the north end of California’s Central Coast. In addition to about 57 producing walnut trees that surround the house (and a rogue pecan tree), we have an incredibly prolific fuyu persimmon tree in the backyard. We just happened to move in right as the tree started producing fruit and we able to harvest until about two weeks ago. Our one decent-sized tree produced approximately 600 persimmons in just about two months. We couldn’t keep up! The family harvested as many as we could, but some ended up rotting on the tree. We tried to eat a couple every day and ended up giving buckets of persimmons away. Needless to say, I’m trying to find any good, delicious way to use these sweet orange fruits.
So, with the family baking season in full swing and tons of fuyus at my disposal, I decided to try my hand at persimmon cookies. However, I didn’t want to make just any persimmon cookies. I wanted them to be (relatively) clean and healthy, and, of course, they had to have chocolate. After a bit of research, I decided to try my hand at developing a vegan, gluten free persimmon chocolate chip cookie. And I was not disappointed.
These babies are dense, moist, and oh-so-sweet. They hold together incredibly well and the texture is as good as the flavor. They almost have a banana muffin top-like texture to them, but the bottom is slightly caramelized. The persimmons add natural sweetness and moisture, so sugar, maple syrup, or honey are not required. The almond flour, flax egg, and coconut oil are the perfect vegan and gluten-free base ingredients to allow for a fluffy, rich cookie. The little bit of cinnamon adds a hint of spice to compliment the sweet persimmon and chocolate chips perfectly for a warm, wintery flavor. I chose to use Enjoy Foods mini chocolate chips because they are completely free of major allergens include gluten, soy, and dairy, keeping this recipe vegan* and gluten-free. They are also the only source of cane sugar (refined sugar) in the whole recipe, so to make it refined-sugar free, or if you simply have different chips on hand, you can use other chocolate if you’d like!
If you are looking for a warm, naturally sweet treat to add to your holiday festivities, these cookies are for you! Enjoy!
Vegan, Gluten-Free Persimmon Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 15-17 cookies
- 2 tbsp softened (not melted) solid coconut oil
- 3/4 cup fuyu persimmon purée (3-4 persimmons puréed in blender or food processor, depending on size)
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax meal, 3 tbsp water, let set up in fridge 15 min)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cup natural almond flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup Enjoy Foods mini chocolate chips (plus a few for topping if desired)
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk together coconut oil and persimmon puree until combined.
- Add flax egg and vanilla extract. Whisk until combined.
- Combine almond flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in separate medium bowl.
- Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until fully combined.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- Use teaspoon (or small spoon from silverware set) to scoop cookies. Roll dough into balls and flatten slightly on baking sheet.
- Bake for 12-15 min, or until slightly crispy around edges. The cookies will be dark and soft.
- Allow to set up for a 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*Note: The Enjoy Life Foods mini chocolate chips are NOT certified vegan as they are produced in a facility that may also produce products made with dairy. If this is a concern for you, please use different chocolate! Just another reason/friendly reminder to read the packaging on your food/ingredients!