• February 6, 2013

    Easy Old Fashioned Hermit Cookies

    by
    Hermit cookies are a wonderfully old fashioned cookie and this easy hermit cookie recipe is spiced just right and packed with dried fruit and nuts. Truly the best ever.
    old fashioned hermit cookies in a pile with a few crumbs

    What is a Hermit Cookie?

    Hermit cookies. They were my Grandma’s most favourite cookies – a New England classic that travelled up the the coast to infiltrate its Canadian neighbours.

    The speculation surrounding the name “Hermit Cookies” is that you can tuck them away and they last a really long time. They also freeze beautifully, as uncooked dough balls that you can bake from frozen, or already baked.

    While the Canadian version features dates, its American counterpart is just raisins and nuts.

    Add the dates, Americans! They’re so luscious and chewy and sticky-sweet; a perfect addition to these lightly spiced gems.

    The cookies are sweetened with just brown sugar – imparting an irresistible caramel-ly flavour and chewy texture that will have you reaching for a third, then maybe a fourth… which is not as terrible as you might think, because they’re actually lighter than most cookies.

    “Lighter” with air bunnies around it, that is – they’re still cookies, they won’t do sit-ups for you – but they do have 1/2 the amount of butter that many other types do…

    They’re jam packed with raisins, dates and walnuts, and scented with warm spices – but these are no spice cookie; the flavours are subtle.

    Because they haven’t got a lot of butter, it’s really important to prep your baking sheets or they will stick – parchment paper is ideal: easiest removal, practically no cleanup, no need for extra fat. If you like to bake, I really recommend you keep parchment paper on hand. Otherwise, just grease ’em well!

    The recipe is adapted from my grandma’s Purity cookbook – it’s a treasure, filled with old fashioned Canadian classics.

    Easy Old Fashioned Hermit Cookies

    Truly the best and most soft Hermit cookies recipe. These were Grandma's most favourite cookies - a New England classic with warm spices, nuts and dried fruit. A true old fashioned classic.
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 12 minutes
    Total Time: 27 minutes
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Servings: 48
    Author: Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup butter room temperature
    • 1 cup brown sugar packed
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp allspice
    • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
    • 1 cup raisins
    • 1 cup chopped dates
    • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350 F.
    • In a standing mixer on medium speed, cream together butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and beat until mixture is pale and thick - about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla.
    • Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Incorporate raisins, dates and nuts (depending on your mixer, you may have to do this part by hand with a wooden spoon).
    • Drop cookies by tablespoonfuls onto a well-greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake 10-12 minutes, until edges are set but centres still appear moist. Cool on baking sheet 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
    • Store in an airtight container (up to 10 days) or freeze on a flat surface then transfer to freezer bags to store up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

    Notes

    Makes 4 dozen cookies.
    Tried this recipe?tag @foodess

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    hermit cookies stacked up

    by

    Hi, I'm Jennifer Pallian, BSc, RD. I studied cooking, baking and food chemistry in a university lab, have years of experience as a professional test kitchen recipe developer and providing technical baking support to bakeries and home bakers. Want to know why your bread didn't rise? I've got your back.I now work full-time as a blogger, putting the years of science and baking to work right here. On Foodess, I share the best recipes in my arsenal - tested-till-PERFECT recipes for cozy baking, easy recipes for weeknight meals and delicious globally-inspired comfort food, plus lots of science-based cooking and baking tips. Welcome!

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