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November 10, 2007



Wow, I've never even *heard* of hermit cookies. I wonder if it's a purely New England thing.


While I could have told you that a hermit was a type of bar or cookie, I could not have told you one other thing about them. Interesting to read this.

Lynn D.

Your post prompted a flurry of research into my own cookbooks and pamphlets. I found a recipe for New England Hermits in a one page flyer for Drifted Snow "Home-Perfected" Flour which includes a coupon for Friendship tablespoons which expired April 15, 1942. I like the idea of coffee in the hermits. I picture the frugal housewife dumping the cold leftovers into the mixture. There was no mention of hermits in any of my Western community cookbooks, but I did find a recipe for Chinese Chews in a 1950 Shoshoni, Wyoming VFW Auxiliary Post Cookbook!


did you love tenth muse as much as i did?


Kitt- They do seem to be of New England origin, but I've been making them for years. I think someone at college (in Wisconsin) may have made some and given me my first one.
julie- Eating them is especially interesting!
Oh nifty, Lynn! Do you have lots of old cookbooks and pamphlets? I always want to pick them up whenever I see them, at yard sales, in a pile on the street-anywhere.. I made the mistake of tossing some when I moved last time, and have regretted it ever since. Was the Chinese Chews recipe similar to mine?
sarah-I loved it too. I wrote about it a little in the post below. She's amazing.


Madison? (I went to gradual school there)

I'll have to try them sometime.


Yup Kitt, UW Madison-in the days. 1968-72.


How wonderful to see the hermit again! I've never been a tollhouse cookie fan-- always much preferred the blonde range or oatmeal cookies.

PS/ I love your banner art and the little painting in your sidebar.


I grew up eating hermit baked the way you describe - long bars sliced. I've seen recipes for drop hermits, but rejected them as blasphemous. If I remember correctly, my mother's Boston Globe cookbook recipe included coffee (and molasses).


The first time I ever heard of or tasted a hermit was in my college refectory in Providence, where Portugese-American ladies in hair nets baked them in logs, like biscotti but flatter, and sliced them into square cookies. Soft, chewy and spicy, they were one of the few reliably tasty things to come out of that kitchen. I can't begin to guess how many of them I ate in those years. I haven't had one since I graduated. I imagine that any recipe I might try would produce something rather different from what I remember.


Ann-Thank you- the banner painting is a watercolor I bought at a housesale, and I haven't been able to figure out who the artist is-I thought it was probably a local Pittsburgh painter- but I've asked around to no avail. I really love it- it's small and hangs in my bedroom. The sidebar is a detail from a painting by Chardin...I added the empty pot detail when I had the "Something Out of Nothing" cheap food recipe event.
pyewacket-I liked the coffee idea, I think I will try a bit next time I do these. So this semi-biscotti thing is a traditional New England method for these? You and Kimberly both recall it.I think it's better than my old, plain drop cookie method- and somehow it is nice to discover that it is not nouveau anything.
Kimberly- I associate these with college, too- though not in New England. But in Wisconsin, they were (in my day) overshadowed by the famous-and timely- Guerilla Cookies. It was there also, that I first met the Snickerdoodle.


1968-72! Those were some exciting days in Madison. I was there rather later.


They were, Kitt. They kind of set my standard for excitement.

the chocolate lady (eve)

I only knew of hermits as drop cookies before. I think my recipe was from Maida Heatter. Maida wouldn't blaspheme, would she?


I think Maida may be definitionally incapable of blasphemy, Eve; to many, she is canon.


Hermits! Oh I miss them. My grandma used to make them all the time when we lived in Boston. And, I thought/assumed everyone knew about them. But, when I made them down here and when I lived in N.C., people had no clue! I found that with Whoopie pies too!


I have a VERY old recipe for Hermits that you may be interested in. It is different than most. It belonged to my great-great-grandma. My grandma gave me the recipe. They are called "Grandma Price's Hermits"

350 degrees, 15 minutes

1.5 cups brown sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 cup sour milk (Take almost a cup of milk and add about 2 tab. of vinegar)
1 tea. soda
0.5 tea. cloves
1 tea. cinnamon
1 tea. vanilla

-Sorry I do not have the directions on how to mix the ingredients

-put dough on your cutting board. Flour both sides. Rollout. Cut with round cookie cuter. Don't roll real thin. Sprinklee with sugar and bake.
This is a soft cookie
Very old recipe
Very good.
My Grandma wrote:
"My grandma 'always' had a tin of these at her house."


Am looking for a recipe called soft spicey hermits featured in the Boston Globe cookbook of 1949. the year I was married. Oil was used for the shortening and they were baked on a cookie sheet.

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