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Blog Molasses Raisin Bars

Blog Molasses Raisin Bars

Molasses raisin bars are a streamlined version of the popular, old-fashioned New England cookies called hermits. Hermits are soft, chewy molasses cookies that are mildly spiced and studded with raisins. Traditionally, the dough is baked in long rectangular strips and then cut into squares. Like gingerbread, these molasses-flavored cookies accommodate a wide range of other ingredients and have been adapted endlessly. Recipes may contain coffee or orange juice, dates and/or nuts as well as raisins, and almost every spice on the shelf is up for consideration: allspice, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, and ginger in its many forms (ground, crystallized, and freshly grated). This week's recipe sticks to the basics but delivers richly satisfying bars, with the depth of flavor and chewiness of a good brownie. They're so good with a hot cup of coffee or a cold glass of milk, and they pack and store wonderfully, making them perfect for picnics and school lunches.

My favorite shapes for Molasses Raisin Bars include the Car cookie cutter, the Pig cookie cutter, and the Teddy Bear cookie cutter.

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