Kumquat cookies

Kumquat cookies

You might have never heard of kumquat. So what is a Kumquat? As you can see from the picture, they look like oranges in the shape of a grape. But apparently there’s a debate as to whether they belong in the citrus family or deserve their own designation. I say kumquats are in a category all their own.

How to eat a Kumquat?

They taste exactly the reverse of what you’d expect (and you eat them whole). The sweet outside rind encases the wickedly sour fruit inside. It was fun to watch my kids give ‘em a try. My middle daughter kept asking, “Are you sure you eat the skin too?” It wasn’t until she bit in that the sour punch hit her. Instant pucker face.

kumquatYou can eat kumquats like you would grapes (although 2 or 3 and I’d had enough sourness) and/or experiment with them to add a sweet-sour taste to different dishes. To use them in other dishes, cut them in half and remove the seeds then add them to a blender to create a puree. My puree went into some kumquat cookies (find the recipe below), but if you had any leftover–which I didn’t–I was thinking you could freeze them in small packets and use them to add a zing to barbecue sauce, a vinaigrette, so many possibilities. Now I just need to get more kumquats!

You can thank China for the kumquat. Their name means, “golden orange,” and they’re often given as gifts around the Lunar New Year since they symbolize prosperity. In the US, there are generally two varieties, the Nagami, which I tried, and the sweeter, juicier, rounder, Marumi. Doing a little research, I found there are also several kumquat hybrids, like the Limequat–you guessed it: lime + kumquat; and the Calamondin – stumped? Tangerine + kumquat. I’m going to have to keep my eyes peeled (sorry, couldn’t resist the lame pun) to find the hybrids.

Now, time for a new cookie recipe that my kids simply love!

You use the kumquat puree to give the cookies a boost of citrusy sourness. The cookies puff up more like the pumpkin ones than dense chocolate cookies. I pulled this right from the Kumquat Growers website but made a few changes. (White chocolate chips–nope, dark chocolate!)

I also made another change, the dough isn’t very sweet. I like that but on half of the cookies I sprinkled Lavender Vanilla Sugar (thanks for the care package mom!). The floral aroma and flavor boosted the kumquats’ tanginess. Plus, my kids liked sharing them with their friends outside so they could say, “Would you like a Lavender Kumquat Cookie?” You just don’t have those every day.

Ingredients

kumquat cookies

  • 2/3 cup margarine or butter
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup kumquat puree

Directions

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
  2. Beat the eggs into the creamed butter one at a time.
  3. In a small bowl combine the remaining dry ingredients.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, combine.
  5. Add the kumquat puree, combine, then stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour until stiff.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees on lightly greased cookie sheets for 10-12 minutes or until just browned.

Makes 2 dozen cookies.