Saturday, February 11, 2012

Persimmon Crunch Bars

Three Persimmon Bars on Plate
 Delicious Granola-like Persimmon Bars

Recipe by Robin

“Use persimmons in anything that you’d use pumpkin in,” I read on the internet recently. This sounded seductive until I thought of the persimmon pie “fails” I have had. Persimmons are considerably waterier and sweeter than pumpkin, a completely different texture. Still, I think this advice is worth considering, as long as you plan for the differences.

Sugar and Butter Blended with Electric Mixer, Eggs Added
Use Electric Mixer for Best Blending
Using a Pumpkin Cranberry Bar Cookie recipe, I tested this theory of “the same but different.” Bar cookies tend to be rather forgiving of variations, which is why I chose them to test my theory. Since persimmon is sweeter than pumpkin, I reduced the amount of brown sugar from 1 cup to ¾.  Because these are not-too-sweet granola-like bars, you could also choose to leave the amount of sugar at 1 cup. Most persimmon recipes call for combining baking soda with persimmons first, to bind up some of the liquid, so I increased the amount of baking soda to the traditional 1 tsp. for optimum de-liquifying. To further de-liquify I reduced the amount of yogurt slightly. I changed the spicing from all pumpkin pie spice to equal amounts of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, which are tried and true persimmon spices.

Baking Pan with Persimmon Bars Fresh From Oven
Pan o' Persimmon Crunch Bars
I also tested the idea I’d had for Pumpkin Cranberry Bars, adding some finely chopped nuts to the mix, in this case ¼ cup almonds. Along with the whole grain cereal (from Trader Joe's), they add a nice crunch. Like with the Pumpkin Cranberry Bars, substituting oatmeal will make the texture softer and less crunchy. Next time I’m going to substitute raisins for half or all of the cranberries, and then I think the recipe will be perfect. Success!

I’d love to hear your variations on these bar cookies.

Closeup of Persimmon Bars
Low fat, High Fiber Bar Cookies
Persimmon Crunch Bars
makes 18 bars

¾ -1 cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup butter, soft, at room temperature
1 cup persimmon pulp
2 large eggs
1/4 cup nonfat yogurt
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup wholegrain cereal or rolled oats
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup raisins and/or dried cranberries
¼ cup extra-finely chopped almonds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray, then dust lightly with flour.

Crush persimmons and stir in baking soda. Set aside to thicken.

In medium bowl, combine flour, oats or wholegrain cereal, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.

In a large bowl, cream sugar and margarine with an electric mixer. Beat in eggs. Stir in yogurt and persimmon mixture.

Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just until moistened, then add cranberries and/or raisins, and nuts if using. Mix together gently.

Spread batter in pan and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until center springs back when gently pressed. Cool and cut into 18 bars.

Note: Pampered Chef stoneware baking dishes bake bar cookies to perfection. You don’t need to flour the pan if you use one of these. Link for proper size pan below.


1 comment:

  1. Great recipe and love the use of persimmon and yogurt. I had ripe persimmons and was looking to create sort of a breakfast bar. I did not have AP flour on hand so used a combo of corn flour and dark rye flour (with a slightly more corn flour). For the cereal/oats I crushed two biscuits of Barbara's shredded wheat and topped with oats until I reached 1 1/2 c. I adjusted the spices to my personal preference by using 2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp each of ground nutmeg and clove. Then I went hog wild with generous amounts of about 3/4 c of the following: golden raisins, dried cranberries, coarsely chopped almonds, coarsely chopped walnuts, unsweetened shredded coconut, and semisweet chocolate chips.

    I loved the texture created by the shredded wheat and might try using a larger ratio of shredded wheat to oats next time. With all of the flour, there was still a sort of soft cakey texture. With all of the nuts and fruits it gave it chunkiness, and of course chocolate is always nice but did compliment the fruits and nuts very well.

    I am really excited about the foundation of this recipe and think it would be great to try other variations, not only when I am trying to get rid of stuff in my pantry and fridge but also when I need a nice quick and easy dessert for guests.