Sheet Pan

Seven Jewel Fruity-Nutty Hermits

March  8, 2015
Photo by LE BEC FIN
Author Notes

This began as a riff on a King Arthur recipe but, what can I say? I kept wanting more flavor complexity and more texture.I entered it in the Coffee Contest because I think it's a good example of how flexible the coffee flavor is- being compatible with everything from cardamom and blueberries to molasses and ginger. These are very dense and moist, a far cry from all the dry boring ones I sampled when I was first told by My Love that he had a weakness for them from his childhood of visiting grandparents in PA. —LE BEC FIN

  • Makes ~ 64 hermits
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup crisco shortening
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon ( +1/2-1 tsp. maybe)
  • 2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 1/2 tsp. dried ginger (+ 2-3 tsp. maybe)
  • 2 tsp. ground cloves (+1/2-1 tsp. maybe)
  • 2 T. freshly ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda, sieved
  • 6 cups White WholeWheat Flour, sifted after measuring
  • 3/4 c. strong coffee
  • 1 1/2 c. dried blueberries and/or raisins, dark or gold
  • 1/2 c. chopped dried cranberries
  • 3/4 c. chopped candied ginger
  • 1 c. chopped black mission figs
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1 orange,fine zest, chopped
In This Recipe
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.In a large bowl, beat together shortening and butter til smooth; add sugar and beat a few minutes. Beat in the spices and salt. Slowly add the molasses and honey, then add the flour and baking soda. and mix til combined. Add coffee. On low medium speed, mix in the raisins through zest just til combined. With a strong paddle, scrape up dough in bottom of bowl that may not have mixed in.Taste dough. If more spice is needed , add them gradually, along the measuremnt guidelines above.
  2. (Preferable Option: cover dough with a hand towel and let flavors ripen 2 days. There are no eggs or other ingredients that could be dangerous when held at room temperature for 2 days.) Before baking, taste the ripened dough and adjust spices if needed. Divide the dough into 8 portions. On parchment covered sheet pans,leaving 2” space between them, pat/form dough into logs that are roughly 1/2” high, 2 1/2” wide and 8- 12” long (will spread.)
  3. Bake 350 degrees approx. 20-22 minutes til logs have cracked on top and they are medium brown and darker on edges. Remove pan from oven; let hermits cool. Store in airtight container and keep refrigerated. Slice as needed with sharp knife. * These hermits freeze well raw or baked. When freezing them raw or baked, support the logs on a sturdy flat surface (cake board or pan) to keep them from breaking.

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I am always on the lookout for innovative recipes, which is why I am just ga-ga over my recently- discovered Food52 with its amazingly innovative and talented contributors. My particular eating passions are Japanese, Indian, Mexican; with Italian and French following close behind. Turkish/Arabic/Mediterranean cuisines are my latest culinary fascination. My desert island ABCs are actually 4 Cs: citrus, cumin, cilantro, and cardamom. I am also finally indulging in learning about food history; it gives me no end of delight to learn how and when globe artichokes came to the U.S., and how and when Jerusalem artichokes went from North America to Europe. And that the Americas enabled other cuisines to become glorious. I mean where would those countries be without: Corn, Tomatoes, Chiles,Peanuts, Dried Beans, Pecans, Jerusalem Artichokes??! While I am an omnivore, I am, perhaps more than anything, fascinated by the the world of carbohydrates, particularly the innovative diversity of uses for beans, lentils and grains in South Indian and other cuisines. Baking gives me much pleasure, and of all the things I wish would change in American food, it is that we would develop an appreciation for sweet foods that are not cloyingly sweet, and that contain more multigrains. (Wouldn't it be fantastic to have a country of great bakeries instead of the drek that we have in the U.S.?!) I am so excited by the level of sophistication that I see on Food52 and hope to contribute recipes that will inspire you like yours do me. I would like to ask a favor of all who do try a recipe of mine > Would you plse write me and tell me truthfully how it worked for you and/or how you think it would be better? I know many times we feel that we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but. i really do want your honest feedback because it can only help me improve the recipe.Thanks so much.