Monday, January 02, 2006
Mondays with Maida - Hermit Bars
Page 99 in the old book / page 140 in the new book
I don't make many notes in my cookbooks, but this recipe has a note that reads "Everybody likes these - Mom and Auntie Bee have recipe." No wonder I made a note - after eating these, both my Mom and Auntie Bee asked for the recipe. I think I must have been feeling pretty proud!
More recently, I made these Hermits to send to Melissa for the first BBM. It had been a while since I last made them, but I remembered liking them and more importantly Maida's note implied that they might ship well, "The ladies on Cape Cod packed Hermits for their men who went to sea because the cookies kept well." I knew my Hermits had a long voyage ahead of them and was curious how they would hold up for the couple of weeks it would take them to reach their destination. I decided to keep a few in an airtight box until I heard from Melissa that she had received her package. Though the cookies grew less attractive as they aged (the glaze discolored slightly) and perhaps a bit drier, they remained quite tasty.
The last couple of times I've made these cookies I've overcooked them. I pulled them out early this time, but they were still overcooked on the edges and generally drier than I think they should be. I'm not sure whether to blame the recipe, my oven, or my pan, but I'm inclined to believe that my pan is at fault. It's one of those cheap 13x9 pans from the grocery store that has a dark gray finish. Anway, "forewarned is forearmed" as they say... you might want to start checking on these after 20-22 minutes.
Here's the panel...
Suzanne: "Hermits should stay hidden. The cookie (cake) was dry and I guess I don't care for spice cakes. Since I did like the nuts and icing, I'll give it a rating of 1.5. Rating - 1.5"
Denny: "Very good. Moist and fruity. Rating - 4.0"
Laura: "Tasty and yummy - the perfect amount of spices and nuts. Rating - 4.0"
Phil: "A hearty, dense and spicy concoction. Maida points out that Hermits were particularly suited for men who went to sea because they kept well. This reviewer loved the spice combo while finding the glaze a bit too sweet when added to raisins, sugar, and molasses. Rating - 3.7"
Overall rating by the panel - 3.3
Next week - Brittle Peanut Bars