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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Paw Paw Cookies, Puh-Please

Paw paws are called Indiana Bananas not just because they grow all over the state through the fall, but because the fruits' tastes and textures are similar.

paw-paw-cookies

Photo: Annie Corrigan/WFIU

These cookies don't taste overwhelmingly of paw paws. If you want an extra flavor burst, consider scooping some paw paw meat in between two cookies and making a paw paw dessert sandwich!

‘Tis the season for paw paws!

I grew up foraging for these fall treats in southern Indiana. I don’t have as much time now, so thanks to the local forager who provided us with the paw paws for today’s recipe. They aren’t around for long — September through early November — so let’s enjoy them while we can!

When you slice the paw paw open, you’ll see several large black seeds. I use a food mill to remove the seeds and pulverize the fruit into a purée, but you can do this by hand if you’d rather.

But I’ve gotten ahead of myself — What do they taste like? Imagine a mango meets a banana and is crossed with a papaya. It’s equal parts unique and delicious!

Paw paw purée is a great additive to cookie recipes. Try this out as a local/seasonal twist on dessert!

Paw Paw Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried dates
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup paw paw purée
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice

Cooking Directions

  1. Combine raisins, dates and water. Boil for 3 minutes to soften the dried fruit. Add softened butter.
  2. Mix together oatmeal, eggs, flour, baking soda, baking powder and walnuts. Add paw paw purée and the fruit and butter mixture.
  3. Blend all ingredients and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Bake dollops of cookie dough on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

paw-paw-cookies-chef-daniel-orr

Photo: Annie Corrigan/WFIU

Getting goofy with paw paws, it's Chef Daniel Orr.

Chef Daniel Orr

Chef Daniel Orr is the owner of FARMbloomington and the author of several cookbooks. He draws from a lifelong curiosity about individual ingredients combined with extensive training in the art of finding food’s true essence and flavor. The result is simple, yet sophisticated; the best of American food tempered by classic European training.

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