If a chewy, spicy cookie is your favorite kind of cookie, this old-fashioned hermits recipe is sure to be a keeper.
Made with a flavorful combination of molasses, raisins, and spices such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, hermits are especially nice during the holiday season, but I love them year-round. They keep well, can be sweetened with a custom glaze (vanilla, rum, lemon, orange—you name it), and have a mellow sweetness that’s hard to resist.
This traditional hermits recipe calls for raisins, but you can easily swap them out for golden raisins, dried cranberries, dried currants, or a combination of two or three.
Similar to biscotti, traditional hermits are made by baking a long “log” of dough that is then cut into bars. This gives classic hermits their chewy centers and crisp edges. If you prefer, however, you can make hermit bars in a square pan, yielding a hermit that looks more like a brownie, or soft hermit cookies in the more familiar “drop” style.
No matter the shape a hermit takes, I’ve never met one I didn’t like. But I must confess the traditional crisp-edge, chewy-center hermit bars are my favorite. They’re perfect for dunking into coffee or hot chocolate, and their ability to keep well makes them a great choice for Christmas cookie swaps or holiday care packages.
Make a batch this weekend and find out why this old-fashioned hermits recipe is Yankee-approved.
This post was first published in 2017 and has been updated.