No one seems to know the origin of the name of these cookies.
They are drop cookies, and there are lots of different versions
of them. Most contain raisins and/or nuts; these contain chocolate
chips, too. The one constant is spice; every hermit cookie recipe
I've ever seen calls for spices. These are cookies not to be
judged by appearances. They'll never win any beauty contests,
but they are a little spicy and chocolatey/crunchy/chewy all
at the same time. Men seem to be especially partial to them.
Hermit cookies are easy and pretty quick, and they're ideal
for young bakers who want to help out. Do not overbake these,
or they'll lose their delightful chewy centers. Use walnuts
or pecans for the nuts. Hermits freeze beautifully, too, in
case you have any leftovers.
cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp.
- 1/2 tsp.
- 1/4 tsp.
- 1/4 tsp.
nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
- 1/8 tsp.
- Few grinds
freshly, finely ground black pepper
- 1 cup
dark raisins OR chopped nuts OR a combination
- 1 cup
(6 ozs.) semisweet chocolate chips
- 7 Tbsp.
unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup
firmly packed brown sugar (light or dark or a combination)
- 1 egg,
- 1 Tbsp.
plus 2 tsp. water
Line baking sheets with aluminum foil, shiny side up. Set aside.
Adjust rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Into a small or medium bowl, sift together sifted flour, baking
powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, and salt.
Set aside. In small bowl, combine raisins and/or nuts and chocolate
chips. Mix well; set aside.
In medium bowl, combine softened butter and brown sugar. With
large spoon (or hand-held electric mixer), cream well until
light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in egg thoroughly. Stir
in about half of sifted dry ingredients (or use a low speed
with the mixer). Add water, then stir in remaining dry ingredients.
Mix in raisins/nuts and chips until evenly distributed.
Drop by very well-rounded teaspoons onto prepared baking sheets,
leaving 2" between cookies (these spread during baking; I bake
12 cookies on a 15-1/2" by 10-1/2" sheet). Bake in preheated
oven 11 to 13 minutes, or just until edges become a slightly
darker gold than the rest of the cookie. Turn the sheet back-to-front
about halfway through the baking time. Do not overbake. Allow
to stand on cookie sheet about 1 minute after baking, then remove
to cooling rack. Cool completely before eating or storing. Store
airtight at room temperature (with wax paper between layers)
for up to 3 days; freeze for longer storage.
About 40 cookies
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