Have you ever heard of a Hermit? Well if you're from the Northeast you have. My husband just about fell over when I didn't know what one was. I mean, that was years ago but still. Some grocery stores sell Hermit cookies but those are mostly in the Northeast too. Hermit cookies usually have the shape of a NutriGrain bar but taste completely different. They are a spicy molasses bar, chewy and usually with raisins. There are many different variations but they almost all have those basic properties.
Somewhere along my cookbook collecting ways I either bought or was given a New England cookbook and I found this recipe there. My husband says that the taste was right on even if the shape wasn't exactly right. When I make this again I'll try harder to get the shape right too.
Your kitchen will smell heavenly. These bars tend to stay nice and chewy and moist for several days after baking. Store in an airtight container. My husband likes them cold so we store ours in the refrigerator. Enjoy this nice New England treat the next time you're having some shellfish for dinner and you'll feel like you time traveled to New England's
Recipe from "Cape Cod Cookbook"
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 2 cups flour
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 Tbsp baking soda
- 1/2 Tbsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 Tbsp mace
- 1/4 Tbsp nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Grease a 9x13 inch dish or some cookie sheets
- Toss the raisins with 1/4 cup of the flour. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and then add the sugar and blend well.
- Add the salt, eggs and molasses and mix well.
- Mix the remaining 1 3/4 cup flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, cloves, mace and nutmeg.
- Add the flour and spice mixture to the butter mixture and mix well. Stir in the flour/raisins mixture.
- Spread into the prepared pan or drop by rounded teaspoons onto a cookie sheet.
- Bake only until the top is firm and the center is chewy, about 15-20 minutes for the 9x13 inch pan or 8-10 minutes for the cookies.