Monday, March 19, 2012

Maple Persimmon-Caramel Drops

It's Maple Monday!!! Virtual Potluck wanted to get in on the sugaring time, where maple sap flows freely and maple growers are busy collecting it, reducing it, and making it into what we know as maple syrup and sugar! When I received maple sugar from Coombs Family Farms, I knew I wanted to make a "healthier" baked good. Maple Sugar, you ask? I found this site that explained how to make three types of maple sugar, which could definitely be a fun experiment to try in 2012. This particular sugar came from the folks over at Coombs Family Farm, and not only do I love it, but I love their commitment to sustainability and tradition. They express it better here:
Since the mid-1800’s, the Coombs family has been acting as responsible stewards of the forest, following a ‘sustainable’ approach to agriculture long before anyone had a specific name for it – or could conceive of any other way to farm. As part of a fabric of nearly 8000 maple farmers who are all preserving maple forests and keeping land free from sprawl, Coombs Family Farms is doing more than making maple. We are helping to preserve crucial habitat for thousands of distinct plants and animals that need large intact tracts of forest to survive.
When deciding what to make, I settle on a combination of flavors: persimmon, caramel and maple. These started out as cookies, but when eventually baked and tasted, I decided to call them drops. M. said I should call them sweet breakfast scones, and I while do think they resemble scones a little,  I hate calling something like this such a traditional name. 

Imagine a soft but dense muffin top, dotted with caramel bits and laced with a slightly sweet maple flavor. How did the persimmon pulp come to be an ingredient in this? We had two uber-ripe persimmons in the fridge and needed to use them, so why not add some extra fiber and health into these "drops"? The persimmon flavor isn't too intense, with slight undertones of fruity sweetness. Head on over to Thyme in Our Kitchen and check out the round-up of recipes!

Maple Persimmon-Caramel Drops
Adapted from Eat, Live, Run's Persimmon Spice Cookies

2 small, ripe persimmons, peeled
1/4 cup butter or shortening
2 1/2 tablespoons maple sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 egg, beaten
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup caramel bits

  1. Chop and puree the persimmons. Reserve. 
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together butter, vanilla and maple sugar. Add the egg.
  3. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder and reserved persimmon pulp. Fold in caramel bits.
  4. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350F degrees and grease a baking sheet. 
  5. Cookie dough will still be very moist, so scoop 1 tablespoon portions onto baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, until caramel starts to melt and drops appear golden brown. 
  7. Serve with butter or jam, warm out of the oven. 
This were a delicious and healthy treat, perfect for breakfast or as an afternoon snack with fruit preserves. Want to learn more about maple syrup and sugar? Connect with Coombs Family Farms on Facebook and head on over to their website to learn more about the craft of sugaring.
    Disclaimer: Coombs Family Farm kindly sent me maple products to recipe test with. No monetary compensation was exchanged and all opinions are 100% based on my personal testing.

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