Sunday, 25 November 2012

Hermit Bars

This is a recipe from one of my most looked-at books, called The Ultimate Cookie Book. I've had the recipe bookmarked to cook for years but have never made it because CT didn't really like dried fruit in cakes or cookies. Now that I'm not cooking regularly for CT, I can branch out into different areas, although FB comes with her own set of things she doesn't like or won't eat!

These bars certainly look like the illustration in the book; they are basically a lot of dried fruit and nuts held together by a small amount of very moist, heavily spiced, cake batter. The moisture comes from the addition of a huge amount of black treacle! However, when they took more than twice as long to cook as the recipe suggested, I checked other recipes online and found that Hermit Bars (or Hermit cookies) are usually made from a stiff cookie dough which is either baked in one block, like biscotti dough, and sliced after baking, or made as individual cookies.

The main difference I could see between my recipe and the ones online was the amount of flour - nearly all the other ingredients were present in similar proportions. I think they would have been nicer as more solid, chewy cookies, rather than very moist, somewhat soggy, cake bars. The spice and treacle flavour was very strong and overwhelmed the mix of dried fruit I used - apricots, cranberries and raisins - which made me realise why raisins alone were used in the recipe, mainly for texture. The overall flavour and texture was like eating slices of a very moist cold Christmas Pudding - not really exciting, even if you like Christmas Pudding! Interesting, but not to be repeated, I think!

7 comments:

Annes S said...

I quite like the sound of Christmas pud bars but shame the recipe wasn't overly a success. Love the name of these!

Scotkat said...

Looks tasty ,do you have a recipe to share?

figjamandlimecordial.com said...

Thanks for trying it out for us, Suelle! Lots of black treacle sounds a little heavy going!

Suelle said...

Scotkat - the recipe was similar to this:
http://www.cookiemadness.net/2005/11/hermit-bars/

except only 1/2 cup (75g) of flour was used, resulting in a wet batter which was baked in a 12 x 8 x 2" baking tray.

The KitchenMaid said...

'they are basically a lot of dried fruit and nuts held together by a small amount of very moist, heavily spiced, cake batter' - you have described my perfect biscuit/snack! I'm sorry you didn't like the results but I might have to give it a go!

Chele said...

They like like a mighty fine result to me. Yum ;0)

Caroline said...

It must be good to be able to make recipes that have been bookmarked for ages now that you have different tastes to cater for! Shame they weren't all that great but sometimes it can be hard to tell from the ingredients and method what the end result will be like, even with years of experience!