A few weeks ago I had my first Hermit bar (also called Hermit cookies), courtesy of my mother-in-law. The moment I bit into it I said, "Hermit, where have you been all my life". Instantly I thought these have to go on A Wicked Scoff. While hermits are a New England specialty, they are sure to be a hit with Newfoundlander's, as there are familiar tastes in these delicious bars. These spicy and fragrant treats, seasoned with molasses, cinnamon, cloves and ginger, are packed with raisins and chopped nuts. They are more of an energy snack that a desert. While I have come across a variety of recipes, this is the one my mother-in-law uses. I can't imagine they could be any better than this. So go ahead and whip up a batch up hermits. They're great for an afternoon snack with coffee, or to take along on a hike or jaunt in the woods.One day last week I had them for breakfast and lunch!
Alice's Hermit Bars
Preheat oven to 350
In a stand mixer, cream together:
- 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
In a separate bowl, beat with a fork:
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbsp water
With the mixer still running, add:
- 1/4 cup molasses
- the egg mixture* (*reserve 1-2 Tbsp to use for an egg wash)
Reduce speed to slow and add:
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp of ginger
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp of cloves
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup nuts, chopped (walnut preferred but other can be substituted)
Divide the dough into thirds. Grease two large cookie sheets. Place 2 sections of dough on one sheet, and one on the other.Shape each into a log roll, measuring about 3/4 inch thick and 3 by 10 inches in shape. Brush the top with the reserved egg wash.
Bake for 17-18 minutes (do not overcook, you want these to be soft and chewy). Let cool for fifteen minutes and cut into triangular shaped bars. Store in an airtight container. Makes a bunch!
Have fun with these. Now that I know how to make them I will be experimenting with the ratios of spices, using other nuts, dried cranberries, and maybe sneaking a little dark rum in there somewhere. Stay tuned.
A Wicked Scoff...Recipes and Food with Newfoundland and New England Influences.
This blog is dedicated to bring recipes, photographs, anecdotes, reviews and other insights on everything food related. As the name suggests, "A Wicked Scoff" will have a regional flare, a fusion if you will, of both Newfoundland and New England perspectives of the culinary world around me. Thanks for visiting and please come back often as updates will be frequent. Oh yeah, I also like tasting and cooking with regional beers. Expect a beer of the month, often paired with recipes.