Hermit Bar Cookies
Author Notes: This is a favorite of David Hayes and is adapted from Cook’s Country Magazine Oct/Nov 2008 issue. Carlile Benjamin likes these bars too – probably because they have a similar taste to his favorite birthday cake growing up – Spiced Prune Cake with Caramel Icing.
- 1 ½ cups raisins for food processor plus
- 2 cups raisins
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ½ cup molasses
- 2 large eggs
- 2 ½ cups chopped pecans
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 ½ cups confectioners sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger (can add lemon zest)
- Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees after dough has been refrigerated for at least one hour. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In food processor, mix 1 ½ cup raisins and 2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger until mixture sticks together and only small pieces remain. Transfer to large mixing bowl.
- Heat butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat, swirling pan, until nutty brown in color – about 10 minutes.
- To butter, add cinnamon and allspice and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Remove from heat and pour into raisin mixture. Stir until well combined. Cool to room temperature.
- In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Into cooled raisin/butter mixture, stir brown sugar, molasses and eggs until combined.
- Fold in flour mixture to raisin/butter mix.
- Gently add 2 cups whole raisins and 2 ½ cups pecans. Refrigerate for at least one hour or up to 24 hours.
- Divide dough into quarters. Transfer one quarter to lightly floured surface. Roll into log about 10 inches long. Transfer to parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Repeat with each of remaining three quarters. Two logs per parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Bake approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet. Then remove logs with parchment from cookie sheets to wire rack and cool completely – approximately 1 hour.
- Whisk ingredients for icing. Drizzle icing onto cooled logs and let sit until glaze hardens – approximately 15 minutes.
- Cut logs into 2-inch bars.