Monday, November 16, 2009

[Cookie 050] Iced Hermits

Drumroll, please.

Sound the alarms. Stop the presses.

Hire a couple of flying acrobats and white bengal tigers while you're at it, too. And one or two sword-swallowers wouldn't hurt either (well, maybe for them it would).

Yes--it's here. The big five-oh! 50 cookies! Done! Baked! Eaten! Reviewed! Blogged! Remembered! Honored!


But let's not make this a bragging festival. I'm just excited, that's all. After 50 cookies, I'm even more intent on completing this whole adventure in cookery, and I can't wait to bake all 125 I have left (and now that I've typed out "125" I realize that 50 cookies isn't really that many...uh oh). Anyway, I'm so into this. I can't wait to see how the others turn out.


And another thing. You guys. Readers. Friends, amigos, pals. I think it's pretty swell that you read my blog, I really do. I am continually surprised that people do, in fact--but that's not me fishing for compliments, honest! I love you all! And you've seriously taught me load of new stuff about baking along the way. All your tips and comments make a huge difference, and though I am terrible at responding to them, you better believe that I read each and every one of them, savoring them almost as much as I savored eating the 50th cookie I made from The Book.


I am referring to, of course, these Iced Hermits (how'd ya like that for a seamless transition between topics)! Yeah, I spent a good long while trying to pick out the perfect recipe to celebrate this milestone, and in the end, I have no idea why I chose these. Partly because I wanted to make the Rum Balls but didn't have any rum, and partly because these had peaked my interest. And partly because in my art history class we've been obsessing over Jackson Pollock.


See? Look! It's "Autumn Rhythm"! Ahaha! Okay, sorry for the terrible, awful, art-nerd joke. I remember when I shouted it out after drizzling the delicious icing over the uncut cookies, and my friends seriously died. And not out of laughter--it was more of a cringe-induced death. Terrible.


Anyways, I digress. These cookies actually totally deserve the title of 50th cookie. They are fantastically delicious. Absolutely perfect for fall/winter, easy to make, look great, store well, and taste fantastic (especially after you store them away for a few days--like a hermit!). The ginger-flavor deepens after a day or so, and because of the huge amount of molasses and brown sugar, the cookies stay soft and chewy for a good long while. I bet they'd ship pretty well too, so keep that in mind for the holidays I guess.


So, in conclusion, a toast the 50 down, 125 to go. Cheers!


Iced Hermits
Makes about 3 dozen

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for baking sheet
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped candied ginger, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cups packed dark-brown sugar
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk, plus more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar, plus more if needed

  1. Make bars: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-by-15-inch rimmed baking sheet. Line bottom with parchment paper, and butter parchment; set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and cloves in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Put butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Add sugar; mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in egg and yolk, and molasses. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Mix in 1/2 cup candied ginger and the raisins.
  3. Spread dough evenly onto prepared baking sheet. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until firm, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool completely in baking sheet on a wire rack.
  4. Make icing: Put brown sugar, milk, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat; whisk in vanilla and confectioners sugar. If icing is too thick to drizzle, stir in more milk, a teaspoon at a time. If icing is too thin, stir in more confectioners sugar, a teaspoon at a time. Let cool slightly.
  5. Drizzle bars with icing; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup candied ginger. Let stand until icing has set, about 15 minutes. Cut into 2-inch squares. Bars can be stored in single layers in airtight containers at room temperature up to 5 days.

{End Results}
Baking Difficultly: 3/5 (Spreading out the dough on the cookie sheet is a little annoying, but just be diligent! It is worth it!)
Ingredient Accessibility: 2.5/5
Tastiness: 5/5 (Yeah, I went there--the big 5 for the big 5-0)
Attractiveness: 4/5
Is it worth it?: Yessir!

Drink: I bet they would be great with some Chamomile or Rooibos Tea
Song: Back to the Sea -- The Sandwitches
Activity: Celebrating my success.


claire lucido said...

aww shit I love you

claire again said...

and these look fantastically delicious. and congratulations!

old man jim said...

these look awesome! congrats on 50.
let's make 51, 52, and 53 next week.

and the calvin&hobbes is perfect.

Becks, The Sketchy Cook said...

I just found your blog through 'foodgawker' and I think I'm going to like it here!

I bought Martha's Cookie book last month (and the cupcake version too) but have so far only drooled over the pictures. Your blog looks awesome, and should provide more inspiration when deciding which of the recipes to try first!

Congrats on hitting the 50 mark, and I cant wait to see/read about the next 125!

Patricia Scarpin said...

These are fantastic - I'm a huge sucker for all things ginger. If I was around, there would have been no candied ginger left for you to bake the cookies. :)

Congratulations on the 50 cookies!

And I absolutely love Calvin & Hobbes.

Dolce said...

Congratulations on your 50th cookie recipe :) You deserve your readership. You have a funny way of telling stories and your pictures are beautiful.

Btw, my computer wallpaper is a picture of Calvin & Hobbes. So it was fun to see it too on your blog :)

Cait said...

Felicitations! ;)

Kim said...

Congrats to you on 50 cookies! A huge accomplishment! The fact that these ship well makes them very interesting to me! I'm going to have to check them out!

Anne said...


you should try writing that out on the comment box, it's totally like a Zeno's paradox thing because the left-right slider at the bottom just gets longer and longer and longer, never reaching the end!!
Anyways, I loved your nerdy art joke and I love even more your description of your friends' reaction. Priceless, truly.
Anywho, I suppose it's quite pointless to tell you that I wish I was there helping you eat your 50th, since I say that for, like, every other cookie, but for the record the sentiment remains. HOPEFULLY, though, I will get to fulfill this aspiration of mine next week!

P.S. I kind of feel like I'm friends with a celebrity and I kind of love it.

claire L. said...

omg I feel like im friends witha celeb too!
yeah what anne said - I wish I was eating it with you at this very moment

Barbara said...

I am salivating. Can't wait to see you, hug you, and eat the cookies you bake! Send a picture of your new hat - or bring it home.

Barbara said...

First visit to your blog (can't imagine how I have missed it!) via Technicolor Kitchen. Love that you are making 175 cookie recipes from Martha's cookbook. What have I missed in the other 49? Were there any you didn't like?
These look fabulous!

fried blue said...

Hi. Just found your blog and love it! :) I included Martha's cookie book to my Christmas wishlist and am hoping someone would get it for me. It's so fun that you're doing this challenge. haha~ :)
The cookies look grand~
Congratulations on your fiftieth!

Taylor said...


these do look delicious. i can't stand it. I actually thought it looked like a Jackson Polluck painting and was impressed because it does look like Autumn Rhythm and it made sense. I didn't cringe...

Mimi said...

Congatulation on your 50th cookie. Looking forward to tne next 75. Enjoyed your blog I came via Technicolor Kitchen.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the big 50! I think it's the perfect timing for me to say your blog is one of my favorites.
Looking forward to the next 125!

Lucy said...

Just come across your blog and as a cookie lover - I love it! These cookies look so delicious: yummy idea :)

Jenn/CinnamonQuill said...

I've never made hermits, but this post has convinced me that I'm missing out. That candied ginger! Oh, it just got to me; these will surely make an appearance! What is more, congrats on the big 5-0! A huge accomplishment, for sure. I look forward to next installment!

Astrid said...

Just stumbled upon your blog.
I miss hermits. When I was an undergrad, the dining hall would have hermits pretty regularly. They were delicious and definately one of my favorite desserts. Thanks for bringing back memories!

Hannah said...

Great job! I need to find a great book to bake through, any suggestions?

Ann said...

im going to make these today!@ these just look soooo yummmy!!

Ann said...

okay i baked them and my bf doesnt like it cause its ginger but I DO!!!!! lolss it turned out great! i didnt have molasses (i didnt know what that was!) and couldnt find it in my supermarket so i just put in maple syrup. turned out pretty good :) thanks!

Emily said...

these look legit

too legit

too legit to quit.