Why I Love This Recipe
As a New Englander born and raised, I'm a little disturbed at all these so-called "hermit" recipes I'm seeing up here. As far as I'm concerned, hermits require either molasses or brown sugar (or both). They're baked for a short time as loaves then cut almost like very soft biscotti. And the flavor gets better the longer they sit - the traditional name hermits came from the fact that these cookies were hidden away for days before eating. Mine don't go nuts on the spices, but if you like, add more.
Ingredients You'll Need
12 oz. (one and one-half sticks) unsalted butter
1/4 cup dark molasses
2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ginger
1 cup walnuts
1 cup raisins
1 large egg
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer.
Add the egg and molasses and mix briefly, then add flour, baking soda and spices.
Mix until well blended and a slightly sticky but cohesive dough forms.
Add in the walnuts and raisins and mix briefly to incorporate.
3) Divide dough into three parts.
On a floured surface, roll each part into a thick rope (approx. one foot long). The dough might fall apart a bit - that's okay, just form it back together.
Place each rope on an ungreased cookie sheet, as separated as possible (they spread quite a bit during cooking, so I usually use two sheet pans).
4) Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes. During that time, the hermits will spread. Be sure to pull the hermits when the edges just look cooked and the center still looks gooey; they'll finish up through residual heat but still stay nice and moist. Let them cool on the pan for a few minutes to solidify before moving, then transfer to a board or cooling rack (parchment paper helps).
Let cool fifteen minutes, then slice diagonally. They keep in zip top bags for a while and the flavor gets better as they sit.