Hermit Bars

Maybe my not posting yesterday was a subconscious attempt to make everyone believe that I am frantically preparing for a Thanksgiving feast. Well, I’m not. Our responsibilities this year include three things — dressing nicely, driving to Houston and showing up on time in the dining room of my grandmother’s retirement community. We’re looking forward to it quite a bit, and so is my grandmother who called us last night to remind us that there might be traffic and that Todd needs to wear a tie.

My mother, who lives in another town will be joining us. It’s her birthday, so we’ll be having a Birthdaysgiving/Thanksbirthday kind of meal. I need to buy my mother a present, but the truth is, I spent all her present money on going blonde. *joke* She has this thing about my appearance and has never failed to show her disdain for my natural (and much darker) hair color. Luckily, I’ve learned to repress my hostility and just give in to the bottle. It looks better that way anyway….really.

Okay, without knowing my family and our appearance issues, this sounds cruel. All I can say is my mom was thrilled with my blonder hair and her homemade cookies ;).


Hermit Bars (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)

8 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground mace (or pinch of nutmet
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (use less if using salted butter)
1 cup raisins (plumped)
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream together butter and sugar using high speed of electric mixer. Beat for 3 minutes. Beat in eggs and molasses. In a separate bowl, stir together all dry ingredients. Stir dry ingredients into molasses mixture. Stir in raisins and nuts.

Line two baking sheets with parchment or silpats. Divide dough into 2 sections and form two logs of about 14×2 inches. Brush logs with beaten egg. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Slice each log at an angle about 2 inches thick. Makes about 16 bars.

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  1. Anna says

    Randi, I’m going to have to go check out your blog. Hopefully, you’ve posted a story on how you burnt hermit bars. Or maybe the recipe was off. Hmmmmmm.

  2. Keith Leblanc says

    Had some absolutely delicous hermit bars prepared by famed chef Mark Borezo of Charlton, MA. I made a batch of the bars above and they blew away Borezo’s.
    Great job.

  3. Lisa says

    I have been looking for an authentic Hermit recipe for years! This was the best hermit recipe I have ever tried. It is exactly like the hermits you find in New England! Thanks!

  4. ronnie says

    I am looking for a recipe for a chewy hermit that is crispy on the outside – do you know
    of any such recipes? They had lots of molasses too
    Thank you

  5. Dulcinea says

    I’ve made some additions to this recipe, which as shown, needs no improvement! But one of the reasons I love to make Hermit bars is to use up all of my Christmas baking leftovers.
    I’ve added about 2 ounces of chopped, crystallized ginger and 3 ounces of chopped dried prunes; I’ve omitted the raisins. I drizzled some standard confectioners’ sugar frosting in stripes after they come out of the oven. I must say they are a nice deviation!

  6. Judy says

    These were really good. I would definitely make them again. Anyone know the fat count and calorie count?

  7. Anonymous says

    There was no way to make these into “logs” and “brush” them with beaten egg. The batter was a gooey glob. They did result in decent drop cookies though.

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