Today is the last day of 2020, and it felt like a slow crawl to get here. To say that I’ve been anything but a whole mood this year, would be a bit of an understatement. Rather than dwell on what this year has and hasn’t been, I thought I would celebrate those of us who’ve felt like literal hermits during the pandemic, and dare I say, actually embraced it.
Now in all fairness, I’m a self-proclaimed hermit and I’ve been “indoorsy” long before Target (and the like) started profiting from that term with cute mugs and coordinating t-shirts. Being at home, in my PJs, on a Friday night was (and is) my jam. I can, however, empathize that this isn’t a normal thing for most, and it’s been hard for those of you who’ve had to sit tight. But you did it, and negative connotations be damned, you are rocking that hermit life (or as hubby calls it, “herm life”). So as a shout-out to all the pandemic hermits out there, I’m sharing an old-school, classic recipe for hermit cookies.
The recipe below was originally published in the Purity Flour Cook Book, and I still have a photocopied version of this recipe – given to my Home Economics class in junior high – safely tucked away in a duotang folder. That’s just how good/easy/reliable this recipe is. I usually go off-piste when it comes to most recipes, but this is one that I follow to the tittle. The only changes I’ve made is halving the original recipe, and toasting my walnuts before chopping and incorporating into the dry ingredients – that’s it.
Appearance wise, hermits aren’t exactly what you would consider a pretty cookie. They might even look a bit stodgy to some. But these are not cookies vying to be on the glossy covers of food magazines. No, hermits are humble, wholesome, and unassuming. Moist, chewy, and absolutely moreish, they are the perfect spice cookie. And as with most spice cookies, the flavours tend to develop and meld after a few days – if you can miraculously let them sit around for that long ;).
- 3/4 c. + 2 T all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- pinch allspice
- pinch nutmeg
- 1/2 c. rasisins
- 1/2 c. dates, chopped coarse
- 1/2 c. toasted walnuts, chopped coarse
- 1/4 c. butter
- 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg.
- To the dry ingredients, add the raisins, dates, and walnuts until coated. Set aside.
- In another medium sized bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until thick. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
- Slowly stir in the dry ingredients, and mix until fully incorporated.
- Drop from a teaspoon onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing about an inch apart from one another.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating cookie sheets halfway. Remove cookies to a wire rack and allow them to cool for 10 minutes.