My imagination when it comes to cookies is fairly limited. I am usually seduced by a good, gooey chocolate chip cookie or ones stuffed full of nuts and dried fruit, and while there will always be a place in my head, heart and stomach for cookies like that, I get excited when I see something I have never thought of before, especially when it comes from a source as deliciously reliable as Yotam Ottolenghi. I have to say, Jerusalem is still my favourite cookbook that I have. My collection is not vast but I always go to it for some inspiration when I am in a rut. I have cooked tons of his savoury dishes, some of which I have shared here (often with very few adaptations). But I got sucked in to his wonderful dessert chapter and these cookies really stood out to me for a bunch of reasons.
I actually have no idea when I first heard of hermit cookies. I’m not even sure I have tasted them before making this batch, so I can’t vouch for their authenticity (but I can vouch for their deliciousness). From what I have read, hermit cookies are characterized by the spices and dried fruit that are included in the cookie, reminding me very much of these scones, which I can’t get enough of. When I think of hermit cookies, I always imagine a little hermit-like creature snuggled away somewhere in a snow-blanketed, enchanted forest eating these warming cookies. However, take note that there is absolutely no indication that this image has anything to do with the name of the cookie. It’s just my imagination running wild.
I have spoken at length about why and how much I suck at baking cookies and the tips I follow to suck a little bit less. Anyway, I think with this batch of cookies (the first one since my last) I can stop pretending that I don’t like making cookies. I don’t think I have become leaps and bounds better but with the right recipe, you can’t go wrong, right?
Often, when I ask my boyfriend for a sweet blog idea he just asks for my banana bread, which isn’t helpful at all since it was one of the first things that I posted up here! The second request is usually cookies but nothing more exciting than ‘chocolate chip’. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against a good chocolate chip cookie. In fact, in many ways there is nothing better.