Persimmon jam dots

Nothing beats homemade cookies during the holiday season. Imagine offering your guests an assortment of scrumptious vegan cookies with flavour combinations like cinnamon and sugar, persimmon and spice, and chocolate and peanut butter, along with a warm mug of vegan Bailey’s.

No time to bake all these sweet treats? That’s what friends are for! This year, I got much of my holiday baking done early while catching up with friends, sharing laughs and having fun at the same time, thanks to Kelly, who had the fabulous idea of hosting a holiday cookie baking party.

Yesterday was the day we came together with our own recipe ideas and ingredients and got to work. I decided on a version of Fran Costigan‘s famous jam dots from her book, More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts (recipe below). I am a big fan of Fran’s wholesome dessert recipes. With the early winter theme in mind, homemade persimmon jam made for the cookies’ centre attraction.

Persimmon Jam Dots | A Dash of Compassion

Don’t be fooled by the thought of a labour-intensive homemade jam recipe for these cookies. It was really only a matter of simmering the pulp of two persimmons on the stovetop along with some cane sugar and a dash of cinnamon, and then blending the mixture until smooth.

Kelly decided on the delicious peanut butter chocolate pillows from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. After whipping together the chocolate cookie dough and peanut butter filling, and then carefully rolling out the tiny peanut butter balls and wrapping them in the chocolate shell, Kelly’s patience paid off with luscious pillows of goodness.

Angela quickly mixed together a batch of snickerdoodles from La Dolce Vegan! and rolled them in a sweet cinnamon and sugar mixture before placing them in the oven for 10 minutes. The warming scent of cinnamon filled the kitchen as these babies were pulled from the oven to cool.

Lisa put a surprise twist to the cookie-themed party with the idea of a vegan version of Bailey’s Irish cream liqueur (without the whiskey) from Tal Ronnen’s The Conscious Cook. This coconut milk and cocoa-based recipe makes for an excellent sauce poured over cake, or served in a glass with a shot of whiskey. We each enjoyed sipping this smooth drink while the rest was bottled up for us to take home.

Enjoying an afternoon with these lovely vegan ladies was the perfect start to the holiday season. Alissa also joined us a little later in the afternoon to make chocolate mint cookies from The Joy of Vegan Baking, but sadly I had to head out before they were finished. I did, however, leave with a container full of assorted cookies to share with family and friends. I can’t wait to do this again next year!

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Famous jam dots


Homemade persimmon jam:

  • 2 ripe persimmons
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • dash of cinnamon

Famous jam dots:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup canola or sunflower oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
  • Persimmon jam or other all-fruit jam


For the jam:

  1. Cut the top of each persimmon and scoop out the pulp into a small saucepan. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and simmer over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the back of a spoon is coated and glossy.
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool. Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth.

For the cookies:

  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and another rack above it. Preheat to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Spread the oats on one of the prepared sheets and the pecans on another. Toast each pan in the oven for 6 minutes. Cool completely, leaving the parchment paper on the sheets for baking the cookies. Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  3. Put the oats in a blender or food processor, and process until fine. Add the pecans and process until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Pour into a medium bowl and add the pastry flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  4. Whisk the oil, maply syrup, and vanilla and almond extracts in a small bowl until well blended. Pour into the dry mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until the dough holds together when squeezed.
  5. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place 1 inch apart on the prepared sheets. Use your finger to make an indentation in the centre of each cookie. Spoon 1/2 tsp jam in each indentation.
  6. Bake for 15 to 16 minutes, or until the cookies are light browne on the bottom. Cool for 3 minutes, until the cookies are firm enough to move. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool. Store at room temperature in a covered container for two days.

Cookie recipe (not the jam) from More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts. Reprinted with permission.



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