Hermit Bars (on the softer side)

Instructions

  • 1 cup  raisins
  • 2 tablespoons  finely chopped crystallized ginger
    8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter (right out of the refrigerator)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 cups  all-purpose flour, plus more for the board
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 cup packed  dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup  molasses 
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3/4 cup  confectioners’ sugar
  • 1.Process raisins and ginger in food processor until mixture sticks together and only small pieces remain, about 10 seconds. Transfer mixture to large bowl.
  • 2.Cut butter into 5 pieces and heat in small saucepan over medium-low heat, swirling pan occasionally, until nutty brown in colour, about 10 minutes. Watch it carefully because once it starts to brown it can burn easily. Stir in cinnamon and allspice and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir butter mixture into raisin mixture until well combined; let cool to room temperature. (Note: It will not form a paste but will still have some liquid around the raisin mixture. Set on a wire rack for faster cooling.)
  • 3.Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in bowl to combine. Stir brown sugar, molasses, and eggs into cooled butter-raisin mixture until incorporated. Dump in flour mixture and fold in with a rubber spatula just until combined. Dough will be very sticky.
  • 4.Refrigerate, covered, until firm, at least 1 1/2 hours or up to 24 hours. (I prefer 2 – 3 hours. I think the flavour of the molasses gets a bit too strong overnight and the dough becomes a bit too stiff.)
  • 5.If using one oven, adjust racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. (I think it might be better to just do one batch at a time in the middle of the oven.)
  • 6.Use spatula to turn dough out onto a large piece of parchment paper. Cut dough into quarters, using a bench scraper. Each piece will weigh about 8 oz. (It’s really helpful to have a scale to divide the dough evenly.)
  • 7.See notes for more details on this step. Work with two pieces of dough at a time, putting the rest of the dough in the refrigerator so it doesn’t get too soft.
  • 8.Transfer one piece of dough to lightly floured board and with lightly floured hands roll into 10-inch log, about 1 1/2-inches wide.
  • 9.Pick up board and use ruler to scoot log onto prepared baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches between logs as they will spread quite a bit. (Each sheet will contain 2 logs.) Use ruler to neatly square off sides. Repeat with remaining dough.
  • 10.Bake until only shallow indentation remains on edges when touched (center will appear slightly soft), 15 – 20 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets halfway through baking. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer parchment to wire racks and let cool completely.
  • 11.Whisk orange juice and confectioners’ sugar in small bowl until smooth. Transfer to a small ziplock freezer bag. Push the icing to the corner, squeeze out the air, and twist the top of the bag to form a handle. Cut a tiny hole on one bottom corner. Drizzle glaze onto cooled logs and let sit until glaze hardens, about 30 minutes. (Note: Don’t go too close to the edges or you will get puddles of icing that take longer to harden) ( I DIDNT DO THE GLAZE )
  • 12.Transfer parchment to a cutting board. Cut off ends and cut logs (with a serrated knife) into 1 1/2-inch bars, 7 – 8 per log. (See notes.) Use a small offset spatula to remove each cookie from the parchment paper if they are sticking.
  • They are a soft and chewy raisin spice cookie with a sweet citrus glaze.
  • FROM COOKS ILLUSTRATED.
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