Monday, January 31, 2005
Mondays with Maida - Whole-Wheat and Honey Hermits
Page 36 in the old book / page 70 in the new book
And now for something new and different…ladies and gentlemen I present the un-chocolate cookie! I actually made these two weeks ago, so I’m a little fuzzy on the details now, but these are quite good if you like dried fruit and nuts. I was worried that they wouldn’t go over well at work since I had hinted before I brought them in that the next cookies would be spice rather than chocolate. Having become accustomed to their weekly dose of chocolate, my co-workers were less than enthused at the prospect. I even received an email that said, “Forget spice”. The day I brought these in though, it seemed every time I passed the author of that email, he had a cookie in his hand. One time I passed him and even got a thumbs up!
The cookies are easy to mix up, though there are quite a few ingredients. The dough reminded me of my mother’s fruitcake batter with just enough to hold the fruit and nuts together. The cookies are loaded with currants, raisins, dates, and walnuts. In fact, they make me think that maybe back when this recipe was first published the cookies might have been considered “healthy”. In addition to the fruit and nuts, they have whole wheat flour (and no white flour), honey, raw sugar, spices, eggs, milk, and….oh yeah, a stick of butter. I had a little trouble keeping them evenly sized as I spooned them out, but these are fairly rustic looking anyway, so I didn’t worry about it much.
Warm out of the oven, these are a real treat – just barely crunchy on the outside, but warm and soft on the inside. A day later they had firmed up a bit, and the exterior crunch was gone, but they tasted great with all those spices, fruits and nuts.
A little off topic, but still on the subject of Maida…I found this 1997 Saveur article about her a little while back and printed it out. I just ran across it again and thought some of you might enjoy reading it. The author paid Maida Heatter a visit at her home and talked with her as she baked a cake. At the time the article was written she was eighty-something and was doing 30 minutes on the treadmill every morning before spending most of the day in the kitchen!
Next week – Connecticut Nutmeg Hermits