My grandmother or "Mimi" as we call her was a high school cooking teacher and a wonderful home cook. Her award winning hermits are well known and loved by all that know her, and often make a showing around the holidays. They remind me of Christmas spent with family and our annual summer vacation to Ossipee, NH. Since my brother and I were young we have spent at least one week a summer at Ossipee Lake with my mom's side of the family. Even now after growing up and getting married I still make a point to spend time at the lake each summer. It is well known that my Mimi will come with her hermits in tow. I won't say that is why we all go but something we all look forward to enjoying!
I know I will never be able to re-create her recipe perfectly but I thought I would attempt to give her hermit recipe a good healthy "redux" try. For a healthier spin I used vegetable oil spread instead of stick margarine, replaced some of the fat and sugar with applesauce and used part whole wheat flour. The final product was indeed tasty, and may have to make an appearance this Christmas to see what Mimi and the rest of the family thinks!
Spicy Hermit Cookies
Makes about 24 cookies
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil spread
- 1/3 cup applesauce, unsweetened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a large standing mixer, blend butter, applesauce, sugars, egg and molasses.
3. Sift together the dry ingredients and add gradually to wet mixture, blending well.
4. Fold in raisins and craisins with a spatula or on a low mixer setting.
5. Spread dough in two equal rolls onto an ungreased 15x10 jellyroll pan (I used a 17x 10 pan). Shape rows to an even thickness, leaving space for spreading between rows and on sides and ends. The thickness of the dough should be about the depth of the side of the pan.
6. Bake at 375 degrees for 14 to 15 minutes. Dough should be set with cracks still looking moist. Let cool for 10 minutes then score for size of hermit and then cool for another 10 minutes before removing from pan.