1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup very ripe persimmon pulp, mashed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon Angostura bitters
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin-pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 F.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the butter or margarine and the sugar. In a separate bowl, stir the baking soda into the persimmon pulp. Stir persimmon into butter-sugar mixture, along with the egg, vanilla and bitters; mix well.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Slowly add flour mixture to persimmon mixture, stirring to combine. Stir in the raisins and pecans, if using.

Drop batter by heaping teaspoons onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 325 F for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on size of cookies) or until top of cookie springs back when touched. (Cookies should be cakelike, not hard.) Transfer to a rack and cool before frosting.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

FROSTING: In a small saucepan, melt 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter or margarine with 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar. Stir in 1/4 cup milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and cook, stirring gently, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 cups powdered sugar. Beat until well-combined.