Hermit Bars

I’m updating this post a bit because the old version was a little to chatty with me going on and on about family Thanksgiving and my hair. Meh. Who cares?  How about a Hermit Bars recipe, instead?

Hermit Bars

This is my streamlined version of an old Hermit Bars recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. I apologize for the old photo and will try to take a new one soon.

Hermit Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Hermit Bars are sliced spice cookies. This recipe is adapted from an old issue of Cook's Illustrated and happens to be one of my favorites.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 16
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together all dry ingredients. Stir dry ingredients into molasses mixture. Stir in raisins and nuts.
  3. Line two baking sheets with parchment or Silpats. Divide dough into 2 sections and form two logs of about 14x2 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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