Hermit Bars

Why are these cookies called "Hermit" bars? Maybe because you might want to hide in your house, becoming a hermit and eat them all!

I have loved these spice cookie bars since I was a kid, and have always secretly liked the name.

These are a cinch to make for the non-bakers like me. But tell me why does the molasses drip all over the counter and jar when you pour it in? There must be a better way.

Hermit Bars (adapted from Epicurious)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup raisins or currants
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Using a hand mixer is probably your best bet for this thick cookie dough, but I insisted on using a wooden spoon. My arms needed the workout anyway.

Mix together the dry ingredients and then add the butter (which I melted in the microwave), brown sugar, egg, molasses and your raisins and nuts. Use your hands to mix this dough and it will come together nicely.

Spread out the dough on a Silpat or a parchment paper lined baking sheet (the half sheet size) and bake in a 350F oven for 15-20 minutes until dough is set. Let cool in the pan before slicing into squares.

Makes 24 bars.

The smell is delicious and the taste even more delicious. Store in an airtight container, the cookie bars will last 3 days, if they make it that long!



Steve said…

I, too, grew up with Hermits. Petty's Fine Foods in Tulsa still has the best. We were there a few weeks ago but they were sold out. So when I got home I made some from a recipe I'd found. Too dry. So I'm going for these and thanks for the post! Steve
Foodiewife said…
Stace, you've been reading my baking bucket list! I love hermit bars and have been longing to make them for way too long. I bookmarked a recipe that is a lot more work than this. Hmmm, maybe I should switch to this. I just made something with molasses yesterday and had the same mess. Bookmarked!
Anonymous said…
Missed you, welcome back!
I loved Hermit bars as a kid! Your recipe sounds perfect...
Anonymous said…
Stacey, you read my mind. Just the other day I was thinking about the Hermit bars that were popular as a kid growing up in Boston. I will make these this weekend. I love your blog, you make my day in Seattle. Debby
I never heard of hermit bars but I love all the warm spicy flavors in this, sorta gingerbready, I take one with my coffee tonight!
Linda said…
I for one find it amusing that you call yourself a "non-baker"!
HA ! I have gained several pounds from making some of your "non baker recipes!!
Love ya
Karen said…
Dang, I haven't had these in years. Love them!
The JR said…
I'd have to hide them from hubby so he wouldn't eat them all in one sitting.
Shelby said…
Hermits were a very favorite of my ex-husband. His mom made the most awesome bars! My kids as a result love them too! Yours look great!
Peter Crabtree said…
I ❤ Petty's hermits!