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Iced Hermits

These bars, topped with brown-sugar icing and candied ginger, are best a day or two after they are baked so the flavors have a chance to deepen.

  • Yield: Makes about 3 dozen
Iced Hermits

Source: Holiday Cookies 2005, Special Issue Holiday 2005


For the Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for baking sheet
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 1/4 cups packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 cup chopped candied ginger, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup raisins

For the Icing

  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk, plus more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sifted confectioner's sugar, plus more if needed


  1. Make bars: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-by-15-inch rimmed baking sheet. Line bottom with parchment paper, and butter parchment; set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and cloves in a medium bowl; set aside.

  2. Put butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Add brown sugars; mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in egg and yolk, and molasses. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Mix in 1/2 cup candied ginger and the raisins.

  3. Spread dough evenly onto prepared baking sheet. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until firm, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool completely in baking sheet on a wire rack.

  4. Make icing: Put brown sugar, milk, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat; whisk in vanilla and confectioners sugar. If icing is too thick to drizzle, stir in more milk, a teaspoon at a time. If icing is too thin, stir in more confectioners sugar, a teaspoon at a time. Let cool slightly.

  5. Drizzle bars with icing; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup candied ginger. Let stand until icing has set, about 15 minutes. Cut into 2-inch squares. Bars can be stored in single layers in airtight containers at room temperature up to 5 days.

Reviews (19)

  • jesse_belle_us 4 Jan, 2012

    I am in the process of making this for the very first time, with very little baking experience. I had to candy my own ginger, and found it to be challenging, and just that took longer than it was supposed to. I'm hoping the overall recipe for these hermits goes well. I found this recipe via recipe database.

  • kristin620111 18 Dec, 2010

    This recipe is a gem....Hermits are my fathers favorite cookie and mine also. The pleasure I get from his smile is far the best recipe I have made of this cookie. Thank you!

  • Leimokihana 15 Dec, 2009

    This one of my absolute favorite cookies. I made it 3 or 4 times last year for Xmas b/c it was so popular and unusual. Just made a double batch for a cookie exchange. Candied ginger is cheap in the bulk section of most health food stores. The confect sugar doesn't need to be sifted for the icing, it melts right in.

  • jonmartinelli 6 Mar, 2009


    click the print button above to get the recipe to open in a new window

  • josephinebat10 5 Mar, 2009


  • CaroA 14 Nov, 2008

    PS I'm in England too, Lesley, and I'd never heard of them either. Good, though, aren't they?

  • CaroA 14 Nov, 2008

    These are superb. I missed out the raisins (family not keen), and they still work really well. They're like a cross between English gingerbread and German lebkuchen. Yum!

  • lesleyburnett 14 Nov, 2008

    I am reading this in the uk and have never heard of hermits at all!

  • ddentremont 13 Nov, 2008

    I'm from Boston and have never seen round hermits. I guess it depends on where you're from! They looked like they were done in flat oblongs and then cut into bars. They sound yummy.

  • myke43 13 Nov, 2008

    All of the recipes for hermits that I have are called cookies and
    are never called bars. Is this another modification by
    the staff?Hermits are chuncky round cookies.

  • dewydawn 13 Nov, 2008

    Could only get Page 1 of comments, but would like to see more!!!

  • dewydawn 13 Nov, 2008

    Could only get Page 1 of comments, but would like to see more!!!

  • superme 13 Nov, 2008

    Here in Delta, BC, Canada, I ger my candied ginger at my local health food store.

  • georgemocha 13 Nov, 2008

    Williams-Sonoma carries excellent quality Australian candied ginger.

  • KayGee816 13 Nov, 2008

    where do you get candied ginger?

  • jennyjo1967 13 Nov, 2008

    it shows 1CUP NOT 1 gallon

  • myola 13 Nov, 2008

    I see it as 1 cup sifted, plus more if needed????

  • Roxannay 4 Nov, 2008

    Your ingredients list shows 1 GALLON Confectioner's Sugar. I am sure that is not the correct amount, is it?

  • Roxannay 4 Nov, 2008

    Your ingredients list shows 1 GALLON Confectioner's Sugar. I am sure that is not the correct amount, is it?

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