Introduction: Original Hermits Cookie Recipe, C. 1880

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Original Hermits 1880

Maria Parloa was America’s first celebrity chef. A native of Massachusetts, she published cookbooks, endorsed products, lectured on cookery and founded two cooking schools. She published her first cookbook, The Appledore Cookbook, in 1872. It was named after the Appledore House on the Isles of Shoals, where she had been employed. Parloa also worked at other New Hampshire hotels: the Rockingham House in Portsmouth, the Pavilion Hotel in Wolfeboro, and the McMillan House, in North Conway. Her recipe for hermits, a New Hampshire favorite, was published in her 1880 cookbook, Miss Parloa’s New Cookbook and Marketing Guide.

Step 1: Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

1 cup raisins

3 eggs

½ teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 3 tablespoons milk

1 nutmeg, grated [or 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg]

1 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon cinnamon

6 cups flour

Step 2: Butter and Eggs

1. Allow two sticks of butter to soften to room temperature. Cream/mix for 30 seconds

2. Add a cup of sugar. Cream for one minute.

3. Scrape sides, then add second cup of sugar, mixing another minute.

4. Gently add eggs at low speed, one at a time.

5. Mix until just combined.

6. Dissolve 1/2 tsp baking soda in 3 Tbs milk

7. Add to bowl and mix.

Step 3: Spices, Flour and Fruit

1. Combine 1 tsp each of: cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Add to mix. Combine.

2. On the slowest speed, add flour, one cup at a time. 6 cups total

3. Place dough into wide bottom glass bowl and form into dough ball.

4. Work/ knead 1 cup of raisins into dough.

5. Wrap with saran, label and place into fridge.

Step 4: Roll Out Dough and Form Cookies

1. Gather everything you need:

  • Chilled dough, removed from fridge 30-45 minutes prior to use.
  • rolling pin
  • rolling surface(I like to use a pizza stone - works great!)
  • glass or round cookie cutters
  • small amount of flour for dipping cutter into
  • lined cookie sheets
  • wire rack for cooling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Roll out dough 3/8" thick

3. Form cookies with glass or cutter, dipping into flour when necessary

4. Place formed cookies on cookie sheet.

5. Bake for 15 minutes, (plus or minus 1, depending...) Allow to cool on tray for 3 minutes, then finish cooling off on wire rack for 10 minutes. Store in lined cookie tin.

Step 5: Package It Nicely!

The Hermit Cookies were the 3rd installment into my Yankee Holiday Cheer Package.

I wrapped two Hermits with waxed paper, wrapped some fancy-cut kraft paper around, then attached the Original Hermits Story with some kitchen twine.

The first two installments of cookie recipes are here:

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