Hermit Bar Cookies

Hermit Bar Cookies


"This recipe is probably 50 years old - Mom made it for us, and now I make it for our kids - they love these bars. Enjoy!"

Ingredients 45 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 96 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 42 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 96 kcal
  • 5%
  • Fat:
  • 2.7 g
  • 4%
  • Carbs:
  • 17.3g
  • 6%
  • Protein:
  • 1.2 g
  • 2%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 4 mg
  • 1%
  • Sodium:
  • 62 mg
  • 2%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until smooth. Stir in the molasses and egg. Dissolve the baking soda in warm coffee; stir into the molasses mixture. Combine the flour, salt, cinnamon and cloves; Gradually stir into the batter. Mix in raisins. Form dough into 4 long strips lengthwise on the cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheets then cut each strip into 2 inch bars while still warm.
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Reviews 52

  1. 58 Ratings


These were very good-- I'd just make a few changes to make them even better! Add about 3/4 cups extra flour to make sure the dough is "dough-y" enough, and chill for half an hour before trying to shape it. Make sure the coffee is strong so you get the flavor, and I added some ginger to add a kick to it. Also, these cookies spread and puff up, so make sure there's about 2 inches between the long strips on the cookie sheet-- I'd use two separate sheets.

Little Old Lady

These cookies are delicious! Five tips I learned after baking them a few times: 1) Hermits are an antique cookie dating back to colonial times. White flour was not available until the late 1800s, so these taste wonderful w/ the original whole wheat as long as you get fresh flour. Whole wheat flour should not be bitter. If it is, it is rancid and should be replaced w/ a different brand. 2) The problem w/ the sticky texture is caused by the egg, probably a recent addition to the recipe. I made it w/o the egg & the dough was easier to handle, & results superb. 3) Don't mix the soda w/ the coffe. Put it w/ the dry ingredients so it retains its leavening power. 4) A tasty variation is to sub frozen oj concentrate & grated orange zest for the coffee. This version needs less sugar. 5) It can be made as a single 1/3" layer instead of strips, cooked a few minutes more, & sliced while warm, if you'd rather not fiddle w/ the dough. Also I agree w/ reviewers who recommend increasing the spices. These end up the tastiest "healthy" cookie I've ever had.


Much to my father's dismay, our local bakery outlet store (Freihofer's) discontinued making their Hermit Bar Cookies. I've tried several recipes and this comes the closest to the original. When I made them as bars, they never baked to the right consistency, so I tried them as drop cookies and they're perfect. (12 minutes per batch, same temperature - I also chopped the 1 cup raisins for better consistency). This will be a keeper in our family now for generations!