These hermit cookies smell like a sweet childhood memory. While baking, the cookies infuse your home with spicy ginger aromas. Wrap a few in parchment paper along with the recipe on an index card and tie it closed with a twine bow and give them as a gift. Hermit cookies are perfect to take along on winter hikes with a thermos of hot chocolate to keep warm and nourished while out on the trail.
Original recipe from Cooks Illustrated Holiday Baking Magazine 2012
Servings: Makes about 18 cookies
- 1 cup raisins
- 2 tbsps finely chopped crystallized ginger
- 8 tbsps unsalted butter
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 2 cups King Arthur’s all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar *see note
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1-1/2 tbsps orange juice
- Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Process raisins and ginger in a food processor until the mixture sticks together and only small pieces remain, about 10 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
- Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, swirling pan occasionally, until nutty brown in color, about 10 minutes. Stir in cinnamon and allspice and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir butter mixture into raisin mixture until well combined; let cool to room temperature.
- Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir in brown sugar, molasses, and eggs into a cooled butter-raisin mixture until incorporated. Fold in flour mixture (dough will be very sticky) and refrigerate, covered, until firm, at least 1-1/2 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Divide dough into quarters. Transfer 1 piece of dough to a lightly floured surface and roll it into a 10-inch log. Transfer to a prepared baking sheet and use a ruler to neatly square off sides. (Each sheet will contain 2 logs.) Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Bake until only shallow indentation remains on edges when touched (center will appear slightly soft), 15 -20 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets halfway through baking. Let cook on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer parchment to wire racks and let cool completely.
- Drizzle the baked hermits with glaze.
- Whisk orange juice and confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle glaze onto cooled logs and let sit until glaze hardens about 15 minutes. Cut logs into 2-inch bars. Serve. (Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.)
* Note: If you find yourself short of dark brown sugar, simply take one cup of white sugar and add 1-2 tablespoons of molasses. For flavor preference, less molasses added will produce a lighter flavor whereas more molasses added will have a stronger taste. Whisk together till all the white sugar is completely covered with molasses. If you have dark brown sugar left over, put it in a container with a tight-fitting lid to help keep it soft.
Recipe compliments of OPL Master Naturalist and Home Chef Yvonne Dwyer