Chewy Hermit Bars Recipe: Classic Molasses Cookie
This classic chewy hermit bars recipe is an old fashioned favourite and one of the most popular recipes on our website.
These classic cookies are quick, easy & packed with chewy molasses goodness. With or without the glaze, they’re delicious!
When we say easy, we mean it. You bake these cookies in two great slabs, drizzle over the icing and slice when cool. If you’re someone who is tired of portioning cookie dough, this recipe is for you.
Hermit Bars Recipe Tips:
- The recipe is versatile. Sometimes we use dried cranberries or currants in place of the raisins.
- The glaze is optional but so tasty.
- This recipe works well with 1/2 cup whole wheat or spelt flour. Just reduce the overall flour amount by 2 Tbsp. (So use 2 cups + 2 Tbsp. flour if you’re incorporating whole grain flour).
Chewy Hermit Bars Recipe
A classic chewy molasses cookie with great flavour (thank you cloves). Quick and easy to make. Optional glaze is pretty and delicious.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 24–30 1x
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned in
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp ginger
- ¼ tsp cloves
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- ¾ cup raisins (or dried cranberries)
- Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
- In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar. Add the molasses and then the egg.
- Combine well then stir in the dry ingredients.
- When it comes together as a dough add the raisins.
- Divide dough in half and form each piece into a 12” log.
- Place in a parchment lined baking sheet a few inches apart.
- Flatten the logs slightly.
- Bake at 375 F for 18 minutes.
- Start checking them at the 15 minute mark because you don’t want them to get dark around the edges.
- Remove from oven, cool on the pan and cut into strips on the diagonal.
If glazing, let cool 10 minutes before drizzling with the icing. Slice when cookies are cool and glaze has hardened.
- 2/3 cup icing sugar
- 1 Tbsp. milk
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Combine ingredients, adding more milk is necessary to ensure it’s runny. Spoon over the baked bars. Let harden then cut bars on the diagonal.
I baked hermits today to take to a church luncheon. They came out terrific. I live in Massachusetts and our local Market Basket stocks Crosby’s Molasses . I use it in my baked beans . I visit DIgby Nova Scotia every summer as I have a little summer home there. I’m a Yankee cook but love my Digby church cookbook. I still make brown bread and my grand kids love it.
I wonder can you just make these as individual cookies and not do the bar thing?
I’ve used the same hermits recipe for years, but at 77 your recipe lured me away from that recipe to yours. It’s my new go-to recipe and why not…it’s just as advertised: easy recipe, tastes delicious and no burnt edges. Thank you for the perfect hermit recipe.
I just made your hermits and they are delicious. Can they be refrigerated or frozen ?
Hi Donna, this recipe can also be frozen. Thanks for trying our recipes! -Marie at Crosby’s Kitchen
Every year at Christmastime I made Italian cookies using recipes handed down to me. This year I wanted something completely different and the first thing that came to mind was Hermits. Thanks for this recipe. With no modifications, I made, and we ate, four batches. I experimented with the length of the logs, and rolling the logs and I reached a bakery-pretty rectangle-y Hermit. The flavor is perfect and oh so rich and satisfying during the winter, and the cookie stands on its own without icing. I had to stop eating them so I had to stop making them. I hope to make the Old Fashioned Gingerbread Cake and Molasses Popcorn Balls soon!
Thank you Jane for taking the time to write such a glowing comment on this recipe!
-Marie from Crosby’s Kitchen
so good – just sweet enough – chewy and addictive!!!
Excellent hermit bars, not to chewy . I followed directions and flattened to 1/2 in and baked 15 min then tested and cooked another 3 min. Very flavorful. Would definitely make again.
So glad you enjoyed!
Not what I would call chewy. Not the moist flavorful Hermits either. I had Her it’s as a kid and unfortunately these could not compare. My husband liked them luckily.
Hi Mureal, Glad your husband liked them.
Made them and had to have them hidden from me so i would not eat them all .
Hi Johnny, I completely understand! That’s such a great hermit recipe :)
Do you recommend Light or Dark brown sugar for these? Thanks!
Hi Jenna, I have used both. It just depends on what I have in the cupboard at the time. More often than not it’s dark brown sugar.
My adult son took up a hobby of cookie baking after a difficult time in his life and making and this recipe the most requested of all. The flavors of the spices and raisins were amazing. He added toasted walnuts to the recipe as well. My older friends have asked my son to teach them how to make this recipe. It reminds me of a cookie from my childhood and now has a healing remembrance as part of my sons life. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe
Thank you for sharing your story with us. I’m glad your son and all your family like this recipe. -Marie from Crosby’s Kitchen
I post recipes to Facebook page, is that not possible here? I do not see a link.
Hi Andy, You can look for the share buttons on the far left of each page.
Hello, I am trying these now ? I have been looking for a recipe like this since my mom lost hers in a house fire. One question though…. How do you determine when they are done? With a toothpick?
Hi Angela, To judge if they’re ready you can check the edges and the bottom (just lift with a spatula and peek under). You don’t want them too dark on the edges or bottom.
These are pretty much my all time favourite cookies (and I bake a lot!) Great texture and flavour. My whole family loves them. To quote my husband.. “they’re too good!”. I just made a double batch with both raisins and cranberries. I added candied ginger too. Yum!
Hi Jenny, Glad you love the recipe. Great suggestion to add candied ginger. Thanks.
Do you have the Nutritional Value for the Chewy Hermit Bars? I am on Weight Watchers and it would be a great help to me to know this. I see you have it for the Bran Muffins.
Grew Up on these in my Dad’s bakery, we added chopped nuts and dates and just spread the dough to cover a sheet pan.after partial cooling we cut with a pizza cutter into rectangles. Loaded with fruit and nuts,these were always a treat!
Hi Dody, I love your molasses memory!
My quest for the ultimate hermit cookie has ended! Truly a beautiful blend of spice…buttery…chewy…sublime! Thank you, Bridget :)
Hi Kim, I’m so excited you found the hermit recipe of you dreams. Enjoy :)
Hi Tove, I’m so thrilled for you! Enjoy.
I know this may sound like a silly question, but I’m about to make these, and I want my log to be right! I’m wondering if I should press it down to the flatness that I want the hermits, or will the dough spread while baking, so maybe I shouldn’t flatten the log out too much? Thanks in advance–I have never made hermits before, but I love them, and am making them for my birthday party! :) I will also be using dates instead of raisins–hope they work!!
Hi Sharon, You only need to flatten them a bit (less than half) since they will spread out during baking. Let me know how they work with dates.
These are perfect!! Great recipe!!
My fiancé and I like them spicy so I added a quarter teaspoon of allspice. I had to bake the logs for 20 minutes. They do end up wide and flat. Next time I will try dividing the dough into thirds and baking 12-15 minutes. As much as we love them, we are concerned about portion size. You ended up eating them all, but they last longer.
Another good thing to make on a rainy, cold day. :)
Love your recipes…
Show me how to make the log. This is confusing to me.
Hi Deborah, To make the log you can use your hands to roll each half of the dough into a log. To get it started you can use your hands for form each half into a cylinder first. Let me know if this helps.
Sorry but the directions are confusing. Are you forming a log roll then patting it down flat. For finished product, How long is the roll. How wide and what is the finished depth just before putting in the oven.
Hi Gloria, Just divide the dough in half and form into a 12-inch log. You don’t need to press it down very much — just enough to flatten the top.
I grew up in Saint John, and hermit cookies from Titus Bakery were always one of my favourite treats as a kid. I haven’t had them in years because I moved overseas for work a long time ago, but recently I got home for a visit and filled a thermos full of Crosby’s liquid brown gold to take back to Malaysia. I found this recipe on your website and tried it a couple times. I love it. It’s just like my mum came back from town and stopped at Titus on the way home. Fantastic recipe. I’m probably the only person in all of Asia getting these today. Lucky me.
Hi Scott, Thanks so much for sharing your story. There must be a lot of us who share the same memory of hermits from Titus bakery. Glad you’re able to have a taste of home.
Scott, That is a great story,’ a thermos full of Crosby’s liquid brown gold’. I will be sharing this story with my colleges. I am happy that they taste as good as Titus’, those are big shoes to fill. Enjoy them as long as you have some of that ‘Liquid Brown Gold’.
I only have a litre and it’s not available here, so I won’t be enjoying it too long, unfortunately.
Scott, make it last as long as possible. Enjoy it while you still have some. You can purchase Crosby Molasses on Amazon, but the delivery charges may be quite high.
Mine spread thin and we’re soup inside even after 18in. I didn’t melt the butter and followed the instructions. Any thoughts?
Hi Maureen, I just reviewed the recipe again and can’t figure out why yours were so soft. Was your baking soda fresh?
I think the problem might be she’s making the batter logs too fat. I made the first pan with a pretty fat log and it was also juicy on the inside and wide and flat on the outside. Second pan we tried, we made the logs about an inch and a half in diameter and flattened them out a bit before popping them in the oven. Turned out perfect after that.
These are a big hit with every one. And my husband like these,they are soft not hard like other cookies.
These are very good,my husband like these better then cookies, he said they are so moist.in one week made them three times.
Our moms were great friends, and we were very fortunate to have mothers who cooked and baked so well. Mom has made these hermits before and they are amazing! I am sure your mom use to make Gingerbread Men Cookies as well, they were a favorite in our family.
I have made these often. They are oh so easy and oh so delicious
Mona’s Hermits – I’ve made this recipe for years. Always delicious & easy to make.
Preheat oven to 350o Lightly spray a 9X13″ baking pan with oil
In a 2 cup measuring cup mix together & stir until blended:
3/4 Cup Canola Oil
1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Molasses
In a medium size bowl mix together:
1/2 Cup Natural Cane Sugar & 1/2 Cup Truvia
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 Cups All-purpose Flour
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture & mix until well blended.
Fold in 1 Cup Raisins & 1 Cup Coarsley chopped Walnuts
Spoon into prepared pan and spread out evenly using a knife or spatula.
Bake for 20 minutes & test with a toothpick that comes out clean when inserted in the center. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Cover with foil and let rest until cooled. Cut into squares. Wrap each in plastic wrap & freeze if desired.
Hi Mona, This recipe looks fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m a big fan of hermits so look forward to trying your recipe.
i would like to print out your chewy hermit bars recipe. I cannot .Please tell me how.
thank u Edith Nutt
I would like the recipe for the hermit bars, they sound good. Doris
Hi Doris, I sent the recipe to you via email. Enjoy!
This makes a super delish biscotti just cut your logs accordingly and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes to dry out…dip in white chocolate and roll in ground almonds for perfect presentation!!
Hi Teena, What a great suggestion! Thanks.
These are wonderful! I baked them for 16 minutes and doubled the amount of raisins.
Hi Ruthie, Glad you liked the hermits. They’d be great with extra raisins. Thanks for the suggestion.
I have been buying these from the local grocery store, they have an awesome bakery. my oldest son loves the (BTW he is 27) Now i can surprise him and make them myself!
Hi Joni, Aren’t hermits the greatest cookie invention ever. I hope you (and your son) enjoy the recipe.
once the cookies have baked for 18 min and you take them out of the oven, do you then slice them diagnolly and then bake them again for a few minutes, like you would when baking biscotti?
With these cookies you don’t bake them again. Just cool, slice and eat. That way they’re nice and chewy.
They are great.
Yes they are. I’ve been looking for this type of recipe. A similar cookie/bar used to be available at Funk’s, in Clearbrook, back a few years. Made them for the grandchildren and they were a hit with them too.
May 19/13 8:00pm., Hagersville, Ontario , Canada, New Credit Indian Reserve.
This is my favourite kind of okie. Going to try this for ure.
I love to receive a copies of your molasses receipes as I am not good with computer I need some to help thanks
Hi Marie, Do you have a copy of our Family Favourites cookbook? That’s the only book that we have in printed form. All of the others are online only. (No e-reader required, just double click to open). Please forward your mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like a Family Favourites copy.
I have the same cookbook :) They look so good I have never made Hermits before.
Something tells me that there might be a lot of similarities on our cookbook shelves. If you ever want to give hermits a try I’d say this recipe is the one to start with. Also, my mom made them last weekend with dried cranberries instead of raisins.
Instead of raisins you can put maraschino cherries & zucchini in them! Yum!
I love your suggestions for the add-ins. I always forget about maraschino cherries. Loved them as a kid.
I was interested in making the Chewt Hermit Bars like mom used to make Could you tell me what the 1-4 quarter tst clove is thats on the recipe ingredients list does it mean a tsp of clove if so what kind of clove is it
Thanks for flagging a typo. Yes, it should read “tsp”. All fixed now…
> Can all your recipes be used with Gluten free flour or do you have to use ordinary flour.
Substituting gluten-free flour is worth a try, and cookies are often more forgiving than other baked goods so go for it. Let me know how things turn out.
I always sub out a GF 1 to 1 flour for any recipe and it turns out fine!
Thanks for the tip Donna!
> Hi Darlene, Hopefully someone has already answered your question about the cloves but I wanted make sure you got your answer. The cloves are actually ground cloves found in spice section of your grocery store. Happy Baking, old timer cookie cuttin’ grandmother. :)
Rita J Wilde
I found that ground cloves are really expensive, so I buy a 89-cent jar of whole cloves at Xmas Tree Shoppe and grind them in my coffee grinder.
Hi Rita, That’s a great suggestion!
1/4tsp of cloves is spice that taste like a cross between nutmeg N cinnamon i love it but its Very strong u will seldom ever see more than 1/4 almost always a pinch or 1/8 th buy it in the spice asile u need the ground kind for cookies the whole ones that look like the top of an orange are used to stud oranges or put in punch bowls at Christmas
Kim of Mo'Betta
They sound heavenly!
They are so delicious…I ate them all weekend…Couldn’t stop.
Your mother and my mother must have got their recipes from the same source. Keep them coming.
More great “mom” recipes to come! Let me know if you have any favourites to share.