Hermits, soft brown cookies filled with raisins and nuts,  have been around since at least the 1870s. They keep very well, and it is thought that they are so named because they can be hidden away, like a hermit,  for longer periods of time than most foods. I made these almost a week ago, and they taste as fresh now as they did then. This recipe is from 1913. Enjoy!!

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  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup softened butter (2 sticks)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Yield: About 5 dozen cookies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put butter in large mixing bowl and add brown sugar.

Cream together with a fork or pastry blender.  Add eggs. ( These are lovely brown eggs fresh from the behinds of my neighbors’ chickens. )

Mix well. Add flour,

baking soda, cream of tartar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.

Mix well.  Batter will be really stiff, but don’t worry, you’re burning calories like crazy and you need to because you’re about to eat 5 dozen cookies.

Add nuts, raisins, and chocolate chips and mix well.

Drop by large rounded tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Dunk in milk….because I said so.


——-> UP NEXT: LAMBS! Hopping, jumping, skipping, gosh-darn cute lambs!

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Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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14 Responses

  1. Glenda says:

    My husbands’ family had a molasses cookie that was kept in a crock on the closed in porch for MONTHS! They were a coffee or milk dunking cookie as well. I think that was the secret to longevity, that and all the raisins and spices. Hey, didn’t they use spices to preserve mummies in Egypt?

  2. Patty says:

    Not sure where I came across your blog… a link from someone else’s I’m sure, but I am definitely going to try these cookies out. I love to bake cookies, just have to figure out who to give them to before I eat them all myself!

  3. Just found your blog the other day. I’m really enjoying it. I was in Kansas July 2009 and found it beautiful.

    Mainly I wanted to let you know I made your au gratin potatoes last night and they are FABULOUS!!

  4. Oops. I wasn’t done writing–hit the wrong button. What I was going to say is the potatoes are going into regular rotation. I may make them for my in-laws next time I visit, I know they’ll love them.

    I look forward to trying more recipes!!


  5. Chester's Mom says:

    Oh they look wonderful and cookies are my downfall, but rats, I just joined Weight Watchers (again).

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Chester’s Mom,
      I’m trying to lose a little weight too, but I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to that. I just can’t stop cooking and baking goodies.

  6. I have heard of hermits, but I have never made them….these really look good! I love your photo of the labeled ingredients! The nuts and chocolate chips and raisins make me just want to scoop my hand in there and have a taste. By the way, when your making yummy stuff, does your husband ever walk by and sneak little samples, like chocolate chips or whatever looks good. When I am making bacon for something or slicing cheese, my husband steals the bacon and I have to chase him out of the kitchen! hahaha!

  7. aletha says:

    Oh my gosh thanks my Mom use to make these been a long time since I had those, will have to make a bunch. Thanks

  8. Tina says:

    I made these last weekend and they are wonderful. I also added a half teaspoon of cardamon just because I had it for Christmas cookies. I brought them into work to rave reviews. Thanks Suzanne and keep up the good work. I have made several of your recipes and have loved each one.

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