I had a culinary discovery the other day in the super market in Connecticut: Hermit cookies. I found them in the bakery section of the store. I’ve never seen such a cookie. They are baked in a loaf and sliced like fat biscotti, but they are a lot softer. Their texture is somewhere between a cookie and a muffin, and they are traditionally spicy, they taste a lot like gingerbread because they have all of that flavoring. Long story short: Yum.
I tried to research them online since I’ve never heard of them before and I found a lot of conflicting information. All I can figure out is that they are older, more traditional cookies from the religious groups who settled in New England. Here I am thinking that the New England baking expertise revolved around donuts of the Dunkin variety, and I had totally overlooked these gems. As I said, they are spicy, and reminiscent of Thanksgiving and Christmas dessert flavors. A good cookie, a good snack, a good find. Give them a try!
From The Food Network
Yields 4-5 dozen cookies depending on size you slice them (about 6 loaves that you will end up slicing, it’s a big recipe)
- 4 cups AP flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup)
- 2 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
- 3 eggs, plus 1 for eggwash
- 2/3 cup molasses
- 3/4 cup golden raisons
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- 2 1/2 Tbs chopped crystalized ginger
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Sift together flour, spices, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set Aside
- Cream together butter and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time, then molasses. Gradually add dry mixture but to not over mix.
- Fold in dried fruit and nuts.
- Line cookie sheets with parchment. Form dough into about 6 thin logs with plenty of space to spread while baking (believe me, they will spread). Logs should be 1-2 inches wide and about 1 inch high. Paint logs with egg wash before placing in oven.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 (make sure they are done, mine took a little longer but I’m blaming my oven).
- Allow to cool then slice into thick slices (like fat biscotti).