I Love Chocolate

by Stephanie Zonis


Hermit Cookies

About 40 cookies


No one seems to know the origin of the name of these cookies. They are drop cookies, and there are lots of different versions of them. Most contain raisins and/or nuts; these contain chocolate chips, too. The one constant is spice; every hermit cookie recipe I've ever seen calls for spices. These are cookies not to be judged by appearances. They'll never win any beauty contests, but they are a little spicy and chocolatey/crunchy/chewy all at the same time. Men seem to be especially partial to them.

Hermit cookies are easy and pretty quick, and they're ideal for young bakers who want to help out. Do not overbake these, or they'll lose their delightful chewy centers. Use walnuts or pecans for the nuts. Hermits freeze beautifully, too, in case you have any leftovers.


1-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
Few grinds freshly, finely ground black pepper
Pinch salt
1 cup dark raisins OR chopped nuts
   OR a combination
1 cup (6 ozs.) semisweet chocolate chips
7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
   (light or dark or a combination)
1 egg, graded "large"
1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. water


Line baking sheets with aluminum foil, shiny side up. Set aside. Adjust rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Into a small or medium bowl, sift together sifted flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, and salt. Set aside. In small bowl, combine raisins and/or nuts and chocolate chips. Mix well; set aside.

In medium bowl, combine softened butter and brown sugar. With large spoon (or hand-held electric mixer), cream well until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in egg thoroughly. Stir in about half of sifted dry ingredients (or use a low speed with the mixer). Add water, then stir in remaining dry ingredients. Mix in raisins/nuts and chips until evenly distributed.

Drop by very well-rounded teaspoons onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2" between cookies (these spread during baking; I bake 12 cookies on a 15-1/2" by 10-1/2" sheet). Bake in preheated oven 11 to 13 minutes, or just until edges become a slightly darker gold than the rest of the cookie. Turn the sheet back-to-front about halfway through the baking time. Do not overbake. Allow to stand on cookie sheet about 1 minute after baking, then remove to cooling rack. Cool completely before eating or storing. Store airtight at room temperature (with wax paper between layers) for up to 3 days; freeze for longer storage.


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This page created January 1999