Since I had a surprise visit from my son Erik and his fiancee Chiara, I decided today was a good day to make hermits- so they can pack a bag for their trip back to San Francisco. This is a soft cookie and can be made with walnuts (add 2 Cups to the recipe) but we prefer them without nuts. This recipe comes from my dear friend and great baker Rita Rozumek.
To prepare this recipe you’ll need a sturdy cookie sheet,a sheet of parchment*, a mixer, measuring cups and measuring spoons.
1 ½ Cups shortening(I use Crisco)
2 Cups brown sugar
½ Cup dark molasses
2 Large eggs
4 ½ Cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
2 Cups raisins
2 Cups walnuts(optional)
3 Tbsp. raw sugar or regular sugar
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a large mixing bowl combine shortening,molasses and eggs.Add dry ingredients and mix completely. Fold in raisins.
- Divide dough into three balls and roll out into logs approximately 2” wide by 15”long-(see photo top left) The dough is soft and once you have a basic shape, you can finish shaping them right on the baking sheet.
- Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Continue with remaining balls.
- Flatten the dough to 1/2” thick with your hand and sprinkle each log with 1 Tbsp. raw sugar or regular sugar.
- Bake 10-12 minutes. Cookies will be soft when you remove them from the oven. Let cool 15 minutes and cut into bars.(see photo to the right)
*If you do not have parchment, you can bake these cookies on an ungreased sheet-we use parchment to minimize the cleanup.