Friday, September 18, 2009

Fall Baking: Soft Spicy Hermits

The approach of the fall season really makes me feel like baking! Baking anything at all, but especially things with molasses, spice, apples, brown sugar, pumpkin, toffee, milk chocolate, and things like that.

When I was growing up my mother often baked a favorite bar cookie called Soft Spicy Hermits. They were good, but not my favorite because they tended to be rather dry. Some months ago (maybe it's been a year or two, I can't remember), a good friend made Hermits for a church potluck. She was kind enough to share her recipe with me. This week I was thinking about Hermits and thinking that they would be a good cookie to put in lunch boxes. I tweaked my friend's recipe somewhat and the Hermits came out so well. They are much more soft and chewy than the ones my mother used to make. Here's the recipe:

2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped dates

Whisk together the eggs, oil, molasses and sugar in a large bowl. Sift in the flour, baking soda and spices. Mix in the raisins and dates. Spread the dough in a greased 13x9 baking pan.

Bake in a preheated 350ยบ oven for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cut into squares while still warm. I cut about 30 squares, I think.

Hope you enjoy these Hermits if you try the recipe!


  1. This sounds wonderful!! I can imagine it would be fun to eat a 'hermit':)

  2. m-m-m-m- I do love the taste of a good hermit. They are especially good with a hot cup of tea and a good book... or should I say "The Good Book" of course that's good without the hermit or the tea.

    I have yet to try my antique hermit recipe, but will let you know how it came out.

    Happy day to you.

    Mrs. D

  3. MMMM...sounds yummy!! I'll have to add this recipe to my "gotta try it" box! :)

  4. Hi ladies,

    Thanks so much for stopping by my kitchen table for a hermit and a cup of tea! I have tried to do a little research as to the origin of the name of these goodies, but there are really no definitive answers out there. Mrs. D, if you have hermits in your antique cookbook, then that dates them back to the late 1800s at least, right?

    Thanks for stopping in, all of you. Please come and visit again. And have a great day!

    God bless,

  5. Thanks so much for the recipe. The hermits sound delicious. I am like you, I am feeling Fall. Our temps in NC have not reflected the season but is to turn cooler tomorrow. Love your Fall pictures in your former post. I look forward to seeing your decorations.

  6. You are welcome, Marie! I hope that you enjoy the hermits when you try them. I have tried different hermit recipes over the years, and I must say that I think these are the best.

    It's really feeling like fall up here today -- cool and breezy, but beautifully sunny. There's a chance of a frost tonight.

    Thanks for stopping in. Please visit anytime!

    God bless,


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