Chewy hermit bars recipe – a classic molasses cookie

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Chewy hermit bars are a classic molasses cookie recipe that are nicely spiced and have a wholesome texture.

For years I have been pilfering my mom’s big recipe box and copying down all of my old favourites.

I suppose that I could just photocopy the entire box full of recipes, but there is something I always loved about browsing through the box from time to time, pulling out recipes that catch my eye or spark a memory.

This recipe for hermits was wedged into the overstuffed cookie section of that big memory box.

Chewy hermit bars are a classic molasses cookie recipe - nicely spiced with a wholesome texture.


Back in my university days I was on a mission to gather my own collection of favourites so on visits home I’d copy pages and pages of recipes.

That’s what led to this delightful little message…


My brother's request for homemade cookies

I have a whole stack of cookie recipes that have written at the bottom in tiny print (and not in my handwriting): “and send home to Tim.”

That little note from my twin brother still makes me smile.


Chewy hermit bars are a classic molasses cookie recipe - nicely spiced with a wholesome texture.


Mom thinks that she wrote out this particular hermit bars recipe while watching a Martha Stewart episode and sure enough I found it on the Martha Stewart website. But I also found it in my book “Rosie’s All-Butter, Cream-Filled, Sugar-Packed Baking Book” so may be it’s one of those recipes that has been around for so long that it’s everywhere.

The fact that it’s in some pretty popular places just goes to show that it’s a keeper.

Mom’s chewy Hermit bars recipe

  • 2 cups + 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup raisins (or dried cranberries)
  1. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
  2. In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar. Add the molasses and then the egg.
  3. Combine well then stir in the dry ingredients.
  4. When it comes together as a dough add the raisins.
  5. Divide dough in half and form each piece into a 12” log.
  6. Place in a parchment lined baking sheet a few inches apart.
  7. Flatten the logs slightly.
  8. Bake at 375 F for 18 minutes.
  9. Start checking them at the 15 minute mark because you don’t want them to get dark around the edges.
  10. Remove from oven, cool on the pan and cut into strips on the diagonal.
  11. “Bake and send home to Tim”

 That little note from my twin brother still makes me smile.

A few months back I fiddled with this exact same hermit recipe to create chocolate hermits with vanilla glaze.

Chocolate hermits - 1 - crop



21 thoughts on “Chewy hermit bars recipe – a classic molasses cookie

  1. Lois Auger-Barrie says:

    Your mother and my mother must have got their recipes from the same source. Keep them coming.

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Lois,
      More great “mom” recipes to come! Let me know if you have any favourites to share.

    1. Bridget says:

      They are so delicious…I ate them all weekend…Couldn’t stop.

  2. Darlene Bertin says:

    I was interested in making the Chewt Hermit Bars like mom used to make Could you tell me what the 1-4 quarter tst clove is thats on the recipe ingredients list does it mean a tsp of clove if so what kind of clove is it

    1. Bridget says:

      Hi Darlene,
      Thanks for flagging a typo. Yes, it should read “tsp”. All fixed now…

    2. Marilyn Keating says:

      > Can all your recipes be used with Gluten free flour or do you have to use ordinary flour.

      1. Bridget Oland says:

        Hi Marilyn,
        Substituting gluten-free flour is worth a try, and cookies are often more forgiving than other baked goods so go for it. Let me know how things turn out.

    3. Connie says:

      > Hi Darlene, Hopefully someone has already answered your question about the cloves but I wanted make sure you got your answer. The cloves are actually ground cloves found in spice section of your grocery store. Happy Baking, old timer cookie cuttin’ grandmother. 🙂

  3. Helene says:

    I have the same cookbook 🙂 They look so good I have never made Hermits before.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Helene,
      Something tells me that there might be a lot of similarities on our cookbook shelves. If you ever want to give hermits a try I’d say this recipe is the one to start with. Also, my mom made them last weekend with dried cranberries instead of raisins.

  4. marie says:

    I love to receive a copies of your molasses receipes as I am not good with computer I need some to help thanks

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Marie, Do you have a copy of our Family Favourites cookbook? That’s the only book that we have in printed form. All of the others are online only. (No e-reader required, just double click to open). Please forward your mailing address to if you’d like a Family Favourites copy.

  5. Judy LaForme says:

    May 19/13 8:00pm., Hagersville, Ontario , Canada, New Credit Indian Reserve.

    This is my favourite kind of okie. Going to try this for ure.

  6. Sheila MacKenzie says:

    They are great.

  7. claudette says:

    once the cookies have baked for 18 min and you take them out of the oven, do you then slice them diagnolly and then bake them again for a few minutes, like you would when baking biscotti?


    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Claudette,
      With these cookies you don’t bake them again. Just cool, slice and eat. That way they’re nice and chewy.

  8. Joni says:

    I have been buying these from the local grocery store, they have an awesome bakery. my oldest son loves the (BTW he is 27) Now i can surprise him and make them myself!

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Joni, Aren’t hermits the greatest cookie invention ever. I hope you (and your son) enjoy the recipe.

  9. Ruthie says:

    These are wonderful! I baked them for 16 minutes and doubled the amount of raisins.

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Ruthie, Glad you liked the hermits. They’d be great with extra raisins. Thanks for the suggestion.

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