Recipe: Top these spicy treats with orange icing
Orange icing tops cookies made with super-ripe persimmon pulp.
With ripe persimmons come persimmon cookies.
Off the tree, my Fuyus are quickly turning into sacks of jelly. That super-ripe pulp is perfect for making these old-fashioned drop cookies.
Angostura bitters intensifies the orange color of the dough as well as the fall flavors. The subtle icing tastes like orange but looks pale by comparison.
These cake-like treats can be served without icing or just a dusting of powdered sugar, too. Got lots of persimmon pulp? Make a double batch of cookies and keep some for later; these cookies freeze well.
Persimmon cookies with orange icing
Makes 3 dozen
1 cup persimmon pulp, pureed
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
¼ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon Angostura bitters
1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Scoop pulp out of persimmon and mash or puree. Stir in baking soda; set aside.
Sift together flour, salt and spices. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter, shortening and sugar. Beat in egg until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and bitters.
Add persimmon pulp mixture to butter-sugar mixture. Stir in dry ingredients until just blended.
Rinse raisins with hot water. Drain well. Add to cookie dough.
Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper. By rounded spoonful using two teaspoons, drop dough onto the prepared cookie sheet, allowing 2 inches of space between each cookie.
Bake in a 350-degree oven until golden brown on top, but still springy to the touch, about 13 to 14 minutes.
While cookies are baking, make icing: Melt butter. Add orange juice. Stir in sifted powdered sugar. Beat until smooth. Add a few drops more orange juice if needed.
Remove from the oven and let cool. Top with icing. Store in a covered, air-tight container.
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A recipe for preparing delicious meals from the bounty of the garden.
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Dig In: Garden Checklist
For week of March 26:
Sacramento can expect another inch of rain from this latest storm. Leave the sprinklers off at least another week. Temps will dip down into the low 30s early in the week, so avoid planting tender seedlings (such as tomatoes). Concentrate on these tasks before or after this week’s rain:
* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.
* Knock off aphids with a strong blast of water or some bug soap as soon as they appear.
* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.
* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.
* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.
* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to help corral blossom blight.
* Feed citrus trees, which are now in bloom and setting fruit.
To prevent sunburn and borer problems on young trees, paint the exposed portion of the trunk with diluted white latex (water-based) interior paint. Dilute the paint with an equal amount of cold water before application.
* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.
* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.
* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.
* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.
* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.
* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.
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