Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Hermit Bars

These treats are named Hermit Bars because they can be "hermited" away and taste better when they are a few days old.  They have a chewy but firm texture and would be great to mail to loved ones far away this holiday season.  Mr. Sprinkles is not a big raisin fan so I substituted the same amount of semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Enjoy!

Hermit Bars
Makes 24 1" bars

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup loosely packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 3/4 cup raisins or chocolate chips
  1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add egg; beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl once.
  3. Add molasses; beat until combined, and scrape down sides of the bowl.  Add the flour mixutre and raisins/chocolate chips; beat on low until dough just comes together, about 2 minute.  Cover with plastic wrap; place in refrigerator to chill 30 minutes or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  5. Remove dough from refrigerator, and turn out onto a clean work surface.  Divide into 2 equal pieces, and shape each piece into a 12 inch log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.  Place on prepared baking sheet, at least 3 inches apart.
  6. Place in oven, and bake until logs are golden but still very soft to the touch, 20 to 22 minutes.  The logs will flatten out and lengthen and get slightly puffy in the center. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Slice logs into 1-inch-wide bars.  Hermit bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

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