Am I the only one who thinks that Hermit Bars are the ideal cookie for winter hibernation?
Hermit cookies or bars seem to date back to the late 1800’s in New England and likely the Maritimes too. A characteristically chewy cookie with raisins or currants added, they have a nice spice blend and a feeling of substance. Molasses gives them a rich flavour and helps them store well, which is as helpful today as it was a hundred years ago.
I have been crazy about Hermits since I was little and would visit a local bakery that had great slabs of glazed Hermits on the front counter.
And one term at university I practically subsisted on Hermit bars when the dining hall put them on the dessert menu. Again they were drizzled with a thin white glaze and mounded on the center table. I’d grab a handful, wrap them in a napkin and take them back to my room to nibble while I studied. (That was the year of the Christmas-Ball-Gown-Suddenly-Too-Small crisis…the hermits partly responsible…)
These are the Hermit bars of my childhood. Thick and chewy, they’re the kind of cookie you want in your lunch if you’re headed off to the ski hill or for a hike somewhere. The recipe came out of an old Martha Stewart magazine.
Another recipe from my childhood, these are the Hermits that my mom made regularly. The recipe fills a big sided cookie sheet (jellyroll pan) so is extra easy and feeds a crowd. These are more cake-like but are still delicious.
Think chewy classic Hermit bar meets chewy chocolate cookie. I adapted this recipe from a Hermit recipe I found in a cookbook from my brother titled “The Rosie’s Bakery All-butter, cream-filled, sugar-packed Baking Book”.
This is a more sophisticated Hermit recipe, still chewy but studded with crystalized ginger along with the currants. The glaze made with orange juice is delicious, pretty and perfect.
One more thing…
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