Special equipment: A piping bag
For the cookies: Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, allspice and ginger in a medium bowl and set aside.
Beat the butter, brown sugar and molasses together in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, eggs and orange zest. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix until incorporated. Add the spiced flour mixture and beat until the dough just comes together. Fold in the chocolate chips. Scoop the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and refrigerate on a plate or baking sheet until firm, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, adjust the oven racks to the top and lower third of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
Arrange the chilled dough balls about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the tops of the hermits are no longer glossy and the edges are firm, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
For the glaze: While the cookies cool, mix the confectioners' sugar, egg whites and vanilla seeds in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until smooth and shiny.
Transfer the glaze to a piping bag and pipe stripes onto the cooled hermits. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
When measuring the flour, spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)
Consumption of raw or undercooked eggs, shellfish and meat may increase the risk of foodborne illness.
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