They’re perfectly crispy around the edges and perfectly chewy in the middle. Not too sweet, so you won’t feel guilty having one with coffee for breakfast or as an anytime treat. Yum—must go eat one now! xo
Pleeeeez post pics if you make them (and tag me!!!) and share the recipe on your Facebook page. Thank you!! ?
BTW: This makes a double batch, because by the time you’ve tasted a few (just to make sure they’re as ridiculously delicious as you think they are), and then you’re compelled to give a few to everyone with whom you come in contact, you will wish that you made more! So don’t bother making any less… although if you don’t believe me feel free to halve the recipe.
Chewy Ginger Hermit Bars
Makes 80 – 96 bars
1 cup (227g) unsalted butter, room temperature (I love Kerrygold – great price at Trader Joe’s)
2 cups (403g) granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup unsulfured molasses (I use Grandma’s Molasses)
4 cups (550g) bleached all-purpose flour, plus more for board
3/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoons ground cloves
½ cup (76g) dried apricots
½ cup (57g) dried, unsweetened cherries
½ cup (52g) golden raisins
1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, minced (optional)
Food grade gloves (I get mine from Costco – see pic below)
Pre-cut half sheets parchment paper (King Arthur Flour >>)
Soak apricots, cherries and raisins in boiling water for 20 minutes. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels. (You can omit this step, but especially if your dried fruit isn’t moist/fresh, plumping it will make for a better cookie)
Chop apricots and quarter or halve cherries to make all the fruit roughly the same size.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and spices.
In a stand mixer with a flat beater, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about two minutes.
Lower speed and add eggs, one at a time, and incorporate well. Scrape down bowl.
Add molasses and mix well. (Baking tip: Spray the measuring cup with canola oil spray or other neutral baking spray so that it comes out more easily)
On low speed, gradually add in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Don’t over-mix. (Reserve the bowl – see below)
Stir in (on the mixer’s lowest setting) the dried fruit and crystallized ginger.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 – 2 or up to 24 hours. (I think the molasses flavor gets a bit too strong when left overnight, so I think 1 to 2 hours is best.) I like to scrape the dough into the bowl I used for the dry ingredients—lined with plastic wrap—so that it’s easy to weigh and divide (see pics below).
Twenty minutes or more before baking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F or 325 degrees F Convection.
Line 4 Half Sheet Pans with parchment paper (not silpats because you will cut right on them).
Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured board. (This might be a bit hard to do, especially if it’s been refrigerated for long because the dough is quite sticky. So use a wooden spoon and/or gloves. With a bench scraper or sharp knife, divide the dough into 8 even pieces. (I put half the dough back in the fridge while I work so it doesn’t get too soft)
Working with one piece at a time, roll it into a ball on the board and then lengthen into a rope/log about 10 – 12 inches long and 1 inch wide. Use as little flour as necessary to stop the dough from sticking or falling apart. (I like using non-latex kitchen gloves for this job.) They will puff up and out a bit so place the two rolls about three inches apart.
Square off the sides and edges with a plastic ruler. (You can use the ruler to help you scoot them off the edge of the board onto the baking sheet if they’re too soft to lift – see pics below.)
Bake one tray at a time in the middle of the oven (for non-convection) or two sheets at a time in a convection oven for 18 – 22 minutes until the logs are golden but the middles are still soft to touch. Rotate and switch shelves after 14 – 15 minutes.
Sprinkle lightly with sugar as they come out of the oven.
Cool for about 10 to 15 minutes and then slide parchment onto a cutting board. Cut off crispy ends and cut each log crosswise with a sharp, serrated knife into 1 ½ inch wide bars. (10 – 12 per log) Slide parchment onto wire racks to cool completely. (This is where the Multiple Tiered Cooling Rack comes very much in handy!)
Store up to five days in an airtight container or freeze for up to three months. Believe it or not they will be even more delicious on day two or three.
GIFT IDEA: Stand upright in mason jars as Holiday or Hostess gifts.
I made these ginger biscuits today – going to have to freeze them otherwise I will eat the whole lot myself – simply delicious. Do you think they will work if you leave the dried fruit out and increase the crystallized ginger?
Hi Beverley, I’m happy you enjoyed them! I do think it will work, but I would cut down on the powdered ginger because you’ll be adding spice. Here’s another version I made a while back just as a reference (though I definitely prefer the ones with the fruit). FYI: My husband and I don’t usually like dried fruit in cookies (I usually pick the raisins out of things!) but in these hermits it seems to just give more texture/flavor/chew without being obvious. You could definitely cut down on the fruit too! Please let me know how they turn out! Happy Holidays to you!