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

Nutrition Facts


nika said...

I really like your blog. It feels very personal and friendly. It also looks like you put alot of love into your little kitchen!


Reid said...

Hi Cathy,

These sound great, especially if they are spicy. If you're using one of the dark gray pans (is it non-stick?) then you'd probably want to lower the heat on your oven by about 25ยบ.

Chocopie said...

It looks gorgeous. Is it tasty ? Certainly. I wanna try to make it.

Joycelyn said...

hi cathy, looks terrific! thanks for all the tips - i've always been intrigued by hermits...i'm inclined to agree with reid; i always have trouble when i use those dark coloured non-stick pans...

Cathy said...

Hi Nika - thanks so much and thanks for stopping by!

Hi Reid - I think you're right. I remember my Mom used to have black cookie sheets and she used to have to lower the oven temperature when using them. It occurred to me I should have probably done the same, but unfortunately I always remember after I've overcooked them!

Hi chocopie - Thank you! I like them very much and recommend them!

Hi Jocelyn - thanks! I'm very tempted to replace the pan - I recently found a source for some nice, heavy, aluminum pans in all sorts of sizes - but for now I'll try to remember to lower the temperature!

Anonymous said...

If this recipe warrants a note that begins with... "Everybody likes these..." then I will have to search for a recipe. Subito.

A Happy New Year to you too Cathy! It's the Year of the Dog, Maddie is ready to rock and roll!!! :-D

Anonymous said...

Ah...I know I like these! :) I made them for my family and they were very well regarded...I can't help but laugh, though, since my mom kept calling them "Hermans".

Cathy said...

Hi Rowena - I look forward to seeing more of Maddie's escapades in 2006!

Hi Alice - I'd forgotten that you'd made these, but when you mentioned about your mom calling them "Hermans" I remembered - great name! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow Cathy!

Those look amazing.

Keep up the great work ...

Banlieue Blog said...

oh yeah! I remember those!!! Fondly!

They were delicious, and they didn't stay around but one day! That was a fantastic BBM box, by the way.

Cathy said...

Hi Ivonne - thanks very much!

Hi Melissa - I was a little worried what condition these would be in when you got them. I'm glad you enjoyed them and the rest of the box - hope your BBM3 package arrives very soon!