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Hermits: Cookies, Bars or Squares

in quick and easy whole grain dairy free gluten free overnight guaranteed classic


Hermits: Cookies, Bars or Squares Recipe

Hermits have a lot in common with good King Arthur Flour. They evolved in New England, they've been a classic for many years and they have great keeping qualities.

In comparing old and new variations of hermit recipes, there are very few differences, so as a recipe, it appears to have worn well. Hermits themselves also improve with age, so make enough to weather and warm your winter.

At a glance

6 dozen cookies or one 13" x 18" pan


Choose your measure:

  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter
  • 1 cup sugar, granulated or brown (or a combination)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup dark, unsulphured molasses
  • 4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup dried fruit such as raisins, currants or chopped apricots (See "tips," below.)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts or sunflower seeds, optional


  1. Preheat your oven according to the way you plan to shape the hermits: 375°F for cookies or 350°F for bars or squares. If you're baking cookies, line (or lightly grease) your baking sheets. If you're making bars or squares, lightly grease a 13" x 18" pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the salt, eggs, buttermilk and molasses.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices. Stir in the fruit and nuts. Blend the dry ingredients into the wet.
  4. For Hermit Cookies: Drop the dough by the spoonful onto the baking sheets. Bake 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. For Hermit Bars or Squares: Spread the dough in your greased baking pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top is firm. Cut while still warm.
  6. Store in a closed container for up to 2 weeks. Freeze for up to 3 months.