Thursday, December 11, 2008

the Humble Hermit

Sadly the picture doesn't do these delicious, chewy, spicy morsels justice. They've truly become the "house cookie" around here. Very simple to make and as our electrician observed when I was baking some a few weeks back..."man, your house smells just like Christmas!" Pretty high praise! They also pack really well for care-packages. Historically, sailors wives made these goodies to pack off with their guys when they went to sea. The molasses kept the cookies moist and they held up well for travel.

My recipe is a modified (health-ified) version of the chewy hermit recipe from an old spiral-bound cookbook of my mothers. Here's my version...

Chewy Whole Wheat Hermits
makes 24
3 Cups flour (this recipe works great with white whole wheat or even stoneground whole wheat)
1 1/4 Cups sugar (we use organic turbinado or brown sugar)
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 Cup raisins or mixed dried fruit
1 egg
1/2 Cup vegetable oil (we use organic cold-pressed sunflower oil)
1/4 Cup molasses
6 Tbsp. water

Grease 13" x 9" pan. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Combine first eight ingredients in a large bowl. Mix and set aside.

In a medium bowl combine next four ingredients. Whisk together and pour into dry ingredients. Dough will be very thick and hard to handle. Use dampened hands to mix if necessary.

Spread dough in pan. Press down firmly. Bake 20-25 minutes until firm. Cool on wire rack. Original recipe said it makes 40 bars!!! We make 24 and they seem the perfect size. Enjoy!

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