Area Cooks Share Recipes: Hermit Cookies

Cook shares favorite America's Test Kitchen recipe

By Lorna Carlisle
Hermit Cookies made with a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen. Photo: Lorna Carlisle

HERMIT COOKIES (America’s Test Kitchen recipe).  Makes about 20 cookies

1 cup raisins
2 tbsp. crystallized ginger, finely chopped
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground allspice
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
¾ cup (5 ¼ ounces) packed dark brown sugar
½ cup molasses (mild – not backstrap)
2 large eggs

Process raisins and ginger in a food processor until mixture sticks together and only small pieces remain (about 10 seconds). Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, swirling occasionally, until nutty brown in color, about 10 minutes. Stir in cinnamon and allspice. Cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir butter mixture into raisin mixture until well combined. Let cool completely.

Whisk flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl stir brown sugar, molasses, and eggs into cooled butter-raisin mixture until incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture (dough will be very sticky). Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until dough is firm – at least 1 1⁄2 hours or up to 24 hours.

Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Transfer dough to a counter and divide into quarters. Roll one piece of dough into a 10-inch log on a lightly floured counter. Transfer log to prepared sheet and use ruler to neatly square off sides. Each cookie sheet will contain two logs. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake until only slight indentation remains on edges when touched (center will appear slightly soft), 15 to 20 minutes – switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking (I just do one sheet at a time).  Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then slide cookies (still on parchment) onto a wire rack. 

After cookies have cooled completely, whisk ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar and 1½ tablespoons orange juice until smooth.  Drizzle glaze on cookies. Cut cookies into 2-inch bars.