Hermits

This recipe for Hermits was given to me by my friend Elizabeth, who couldn’t believe I’d never heard of them. They were a tradition in her family for generations. We fell in love with them not only for the taste, but also for the ease. There’s no need to wait around while baking batch after batch of cookies. The dough is spread out and baked all at once. I made a few small changes in the ingredients and instructions, to make these just a little bit healthier, but they’re essentially the same. If you want a lighter cookie, use half white flour and half whole wheat. As my friend says, “They’re super yummo!”

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Hermits
These are a delicious cross between gingerbread and biscotti.
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 1 to 30 minutes
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Dry ingredients:
Wet ingredients:
Also:
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 1 to 30 minutes
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Dry ingredients:
Wet ingredients:
Also:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Spray or rub oil onto baking sheet.
  2. Leave butter out for about 30 minutes to soften, or heat in the microwave for 10 seconds. (See Variation below if you don’t have an electric mixer.)
  3. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl, and stir gently with a spoon.
  4. Combine butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Mix in molasses. Add egg and vanilla and beat until fluffy.
  6. Dissolve baking soda in the warm water then mix into butter mixture.
  7. Add flour mixture and mix again on the lowest setting, or stir by hand to incorporate all ingredients. Stir in the raisins (or currants).
  8. Scoop out batter into two or three piles onto baking sheet. Shape into oblong strips with your hands until about 1/2-inch-thick, making the edges and top somewhat smooth.
  9. Pour milk in a small glass or bowl, and dip a large spoon in it. Run the back of the spoon across the dough, dipping again as needed, to create a very smooth top and leave a thin coating of milk. (This will create a nice sheen when baked.)
  10. Bake 15 minutes.
  11. Cool completely then cut across into 1-inch-wide slices, like biscotti.
Recipe Notes

VARIATION:

If you don’t have an electric mixer follow these directions instead. The cookies will not be as crispy, but the taste is the same. Follow the recipe, with these changes:

  • Do NOT preheat oven.
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir in remaining wet ingredients as indicated in the recipe, but using a whisk instead of the mixer.
  • Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the saucepan. Stir by hand with a large kitchen spoon.
  • Chill dough for 30 to 60 minutes. (Use this time to clean up your dishes and preheat the oven.)
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