A Small Stack of Chewy Nutmeg Hermit Cookies on a Blue-Rimmed Plate with Walnuts

NUTMEG HERMITS COOKIES

Sweet Snacks in 10 Minutes

When the winter chill sets in, there’s nothing quite like cozying up indoors with some baking to warm both the heart and the home. For me, that means heating up the oven and baking. 

A delightful choice for this time of year is classic hermit cookies, known for their comforting blend of nutmeg, molasses, allspice, and walnuts.

As these cookies bake in the oven, their delicious aroma fills the air, spreading a sense of warmth and nostalgia throughout the house. Whether enjoyed with a cup of tea or shared with loved ones, these hermits are a perfect treat for the season.

And when the end result is a batch of fragrant hermit cookies that evoke memories of holidays past, it’s a truly special experience.

BAKING THERAPY

Baking is not just a culinary activity; it’s a form of therapy that engages the senses and brings people together. The process of measuring ingredients, mixing batter, and watching as cookies transform in the oven can be both relaxing and rewarding.

The age-old practice of finding new inspiration in basic items on hand I find inspirational. Paving the way to add new and special touches to time-honoured recipes. 

One chilly afternoon, right here in my little prairie kitchen, I decided to add a dash of the different to a familiar cookie recipe. Using things I already had in our pantry and a craving for something that tastes like snow is coming.

Pour yourself a warm cup of your favourite beverage, put on soft tunes and try this recipe for yourself. Hint: the smaller you make these, the fewer the calories. 

Total Prep Time:
30 min

Servings in Recipe:
18

Serving Size:
2 cookies

Calories Per Serving:
255

Total Prep Time: 30 min


Servings in Recipe: 18


Serving Size: 2 cookies


Calories Per Serving: 255

A Small Stack of Chewy Nutmeg Hermit Cookies on a Blue-Rimmed Plate with Walnuts

NUTMEG HERMIT COOKIES

Ingredients

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts
Chewy Nutmeg Hermit Cookies Ingredients. Butter, Eggs, Flour and Baking Utencils.
Chewy Nutmeg Hermit Cookies Ingredients. Butter, Eggs, Flour and Baking Utencils.

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, whip butter and brown sugar until light in color and fluffy. The longer you beat them together, the lighter and fluffier the mixture gets.
  • Crack in both eggs and as they spread across the butter and sugar mixture, dribble in the molasses and vanilla extract.
  • Combine all this on medium speed in your mixer, or by hand, until all returns to that creamy, dreamy consistency.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients. Flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and spices.
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredient mixture until that magical cookie dough begins to form.
  • Once formed, add the walnuts to your soft dough and slowly fold them together (on a slow speed with the dough attachment, if using a stand mixer).
  • Using two tablespoons or a small ice cream scoop, drop dollops of your spiced mixture (that already smells good!) onto parchment-covered baking sheets. Dollops should be placed at least 2 inches apart to allow for spreading during baking.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, rotating each baking sheet 180 degrees about halfway through.
  • Once done, remove the baking sheets from the oven and inhale that heady, spicy perfume reminiscent of days gone by.
  • Place cookies on a wire rack or paper towels to cool.
  • Sample one immediately and delight in how much pleasure a simple cookie can bring.
  • Store the rest in your cookie jar and enjoy the bliss.

NUTMEG HERMIT COOKIES FAQ

Why are these cookies called ‘hermits?

The name “hermit cookies” is believed to have originated from the idea that these cookies could be stored for a long time, much like hermits who live in seclusion.

Other sources from the medieval period describe these cookies as resembling a hermit’s (or monk’s) brown cloke when baked.

The origins of the name could also be linked to the fact that hermit cookies are often individually portioned and can be enjoyed in solitude, making them perfect for snacking alone.

The dense, chewy texture of these cookies also contributes to their longevity and portability, making them a favorite treat for travelers and those on-the-go.

What is Spicy Hermit Cookie Day?

Spicy Hermit Cookie Day is a fun and delicious celebration dedicated to this cookie. These traditional North American treats are soft, chewy, and packed with flavorful ingredients like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, raisins, and sometimes nuts. They have a unique spicy-sweet taste that makes them a favorite among cookie enthusiasts.

On Spicy Hermit Cookie Day, which falls between October 30th and November 15th each year, people come together to bake, share, and enjoy these delightful cookies.

It’s a great opportunity to try out different recipes, experiment with new flavors, and indulge in a classic treat that has been enjoyed for generations.

Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting out, Spicy Hermit Cookie Day is the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a tasty homemade snack.


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