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Hermit Bars

  • Yield: makes about 30
Hermit Bars

Source: Holiday Baking 2002, Special Issue Holiday 2002


  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup loosely packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 3/4 cup raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; set aside.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg; beat until combined, scraping down sides of bowl once. Add molasses; beat until combined, and scrape down sides of bowl. Add the flour mixture and raisins; beat on low until dough just comes together, about 1 minute. Cover with plastic wrap; place in refrigerator to chill 30 minutes.

  3. Remove dough from refrigerator, and turn out onto a clean work surface. Divide into 2 equal pieces, and shape each piece into a 12-inch log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place on prepared baking sheet, at least 3 inches apart.

  4. Place in oven, and bake until logs are golden but still very soft to the touch, 20 to 22 minutes. The logs will flatten out and lengthen as they bake and get slightly puffy in the center. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice logs into 1-inch-wide bars. Hermit bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.


Reviews (3)

  • missyvanmenk 11 Oct, 2013

    Yesterday I wrote about the temperature of the oven. I will leave it at the temp mentioned in the recipe. I cooked the hermits for a bit longer than the mentioned time. They were really soft after 22 minutes. I will take them out of the oven as I think that they should be really soft so that they are chewy when dry. There is definitely too much baking soda. You can taste it in the finished bars. I would make one addition and that is a bit of lemon peel. These are really good. Thanks

  • missyvanmenk 10 Oct, 2013

    I just mixed the dough for these hermits. Easy enough. I added walnuts although I don't remember there being walnuts in them. I loved these cookies as a child. I have one problem. Is the oven temp in a fan oven or in a contemporary one? I have the heat at 180 C as I live in Spain. 190 C is the same as the amount used in the recipe.

  • madelinedipaola 20 Nov, 2010

    I've made this recipe a few times now and it has definitely become a favorite.
    I replace 1/2 cup of the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour and add use a full cup of raisins. I also use about a tablespoon less of the brown sugar to compensate for the raw sugar that I put on top of the bars before baking.
    Several people have said that this recipe is better than the hermit bars you can buy in the organic section.

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