Monday, February 07, 2005

Mondays with Maida - Connecticut Nutmeg Hermits

Page 37 in the old book / page 71 in the new book

I love nutmeg - so I wasn't surprised that I liked these cookies so much, but I was surprised that I couldn't taste the nutmeg in them. The recipe calls for 3/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and no other spices. Perhaps I was tasting the nutmeg but not recognizing it.

These are simple cookies with brown sugar, raisins and walnuts. They are cakey with a slightly crunchy exterior. That little crunch was still there the next day, too. Both the mixing and baking of these cookies were uneventful. The dough went together easily and the timing given in the recipe worked well.

I wasn't the only one that liked these - they went over well at work also. This is one I would make again. I may try using more nutmeg, but I'm also curious to try no nutmeg, just to see if I can tell the difference.

Next week – Mountain-Honey Gingersnaps

Nutrition Facts


santos. said...

hi cathy

i was told once that nutmeg was sometimes added to food to enhance the flavour of the dish, but not to actually impart flavour. does that make sense? obviously not for everything, but perhaps in this case it's true.

Zarah Maria said...

Hi Cathy! They look nice! Have to ask, did you use fresh nutmeg that you ground (pardon the gramma - is that right?) yourself, or ready-ground? Just thinking that if your ready-ground was anyway near as old as the savory, that might account for the missing taste, tee-hee :-p! Joke aside, I think Santos got it right - in Baking by Flavor, the author uses nutmeg a lot, but it's almost always with a lot of other spices - the scent is usually fantastic, but I wouldn't for the life of me be able to tell the individual spices apart. Would be interesting to hear what happens if you decide to experiment with them...

Gingersnaps? I've heard people raving about the chez panisse ones, I might have to have a go at them some day - I don't think I've ever tried it...

Cathy said...

Hi Santos - that does make sense, and I expect that may explain it. I really am curious to do a side by side comparison with and without. The only things I can think of where I have really tasted nutmeg are where I've just grated some right on top (eggnog, squash soup) and possibly custard.

Hi Zarah - I grated the nutmeg right before I used it. The nutmegs themselves are a couple of years old, but I don't think with whole spices that's as much of an issue. Wow - you've never had a gingersnap? Actually, I've never been especially fond of them (but when I think gingersnap I think of the grocery store variety that my mom always bought). I enjoyed the Chez Panisse ones - though to Santos' taste they weren't potent enough. The ones next week are milder still. I have recently become a ginger fiend though - I really like the ginger Altoids and am relishing some candied ginger I got for Christmas.