February 22, 2017

Chewy Hermits

If you've ever spent any time in New England, you might have had a Hermit.  These are chewy, spiced cookies with big plump raisins that remind you of the holidays.  Hermits can be found in New England at any time of year, they are favorites there.

When I married my husband and went to visit New England for the first time, I was quickly introduced to these, as well as other New England favorites.

They've quickly become favorites of mine.  My husband already loved them and now our daughter does too.

I've discovered that these cookies can be made in three basic shapes.  The regular cookie, the bar cookie and the long thick rope shape that is then cut into half moon slices.  All are good, trust me.

In my research I discovered that Hermits were added to a local cookbook from the Trinity Church out of New York called Champlain Valley Book of Recipes, where this recipe was called Miss Perloa's Hermits in 1880.  Miss Perloa had a cookbook called "Appledore Cook Book" in which she had some cookie type recipes but none were labeled as a "cookie".  That same year another cookbook was published with her recipe for Hermits called "Miss Perloa's New Cook Book".

Since the time of the original recipe, it's been revised countless times.  I personally have never come up with my own version of this recipe but I'm glad I get to experience other people's masterpieces. I loved this recipe by The Lemon Bowl.  Nice and chewy, tons of flavor and lots of raisins. Delicious!

Chewy Hermits
Recipe from The Lemon Bowl

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup dark molasses syrup
  • 1 large eggs
  • 2 cups raisins
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º
  2. Spray a standard jelly roll sheet (cookie sheet with sides) with non-stick spray, set aside.
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. The flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, salt and cloves.
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the butter and the brown sugar and mix until light and fluffy on medium speed.
  5. Add the molasses and mix.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time and mix.
  7. Slowly add the dry ingredients with the mixer on low speed. Once blended add the raisins.
  8. Spread the dough out on the prepared sheet pan and level out so it's the same thickness throughout. Use your hands.
  9. Bake for 17-19 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  10. Let cool before cutting into squares.

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