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Old-Fashioned Hermit Bars

Old-Fashioned Hermit BarsThese moist and chewy cookie bars have a crispy crust. The recipe was developed by my daughter who is a crack-jack baker. Best after a few days, these cookies keep well in a paper bag or paper-lined tin to absorb moisture.

Makes 8 large cookie bars.


  • 1/4 c butter or vegetable shortening
  • 3 Tbsp dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1/2 large egg (or 1 Tbsp flax seed meal in 2 Tbsp water)
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • dash ground cloves
  • dash nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp malt powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • zest of 1 lemon or 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  • 1/2 c raisins


  1. Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer or by hand, until creamed.
  2. Add molasses and egg and continue mixing until well blended.
  3. In a large bowl, blend flour, salt, spices, malt powder, and baking soda.
  4. Sift dry ingredients into wet, adding lemon zest and incorporating fully by hand. (If dough is too dry to come together, add a teaspoon or two of milk.)
  5. Work the raisins in.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. On parchment-lined baking sheet, form dough into a (2″ x 12″) log, then cut the log in two.
  8. Place each log at least 3 inches apart, and flatten slightly by hand.
  9. Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with only a couple crumbs.
  10. Cut into 8 bars. Transfer to a wire rack and cool 30 minutes or more before serving.

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