My colleagues are a hard-working, dedicated bunch. They deserve some treats now and then. They work more than hard enough to deserve their holidays, and it's time for a rest after this busy term. I made these Hermit Bars to celebrate the end of term and upcoming Christmas.
Because there are so many with whom I want to celebrate, I made four times the recipe below. I used the biggest bowls I have in my pantry. I didn't have quite enough treacle, though honey is an acceptable substitution. The treacle or molasses really give the bars their dark colour and deep flavour, though, and is really essential at least in part. These bars smell like Christmas to me, with their cloves and raisins nestled in a dense, moist cake.
adapted from Tis the Season: Vegetarian Christmas Cookbook
makes 20 bars
1/2 c (100 g) firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 c (50 g) butter, softened
1/2 c (250 ml) dark molasses or black treacle
1/2 c (250 ml) buttermilk
2 c (240 g) whole wheat flour
1 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1/2 t cloves
1/2 t salt
1 c (150 g) raisins
In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg, molasses, and buttermilk.
In an other bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
Gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add the raisins.
Pour into a greased pan and bake at 180 C/350 F for about 25 minutes. Cut into bars when cool.