Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hermit Cookies

We usually like to go to downtown Chicago during the holidays to see the lights, and eat under that magnificent tree in the Walnut Room at Marshall Field's, I mean Macy's. it's still painful to see the Macy's sign on that iconic building in Chicago. Anyway, this year because of my husband's recent shoulder surgery, we have may have to wait until after Christmas, if we go at all, because of the bumpy train ride and jostling crowds.  

In lieu of the trip to Chicago, I thought that it would be fun to bake cookies together. We cook together all of the time, but had never baked together. I have baked many cookies, with my Granddaughter Aria, Anna, and Emma, and that has been wonderful. Baking cookies with my husband was not so much fun, because he wanted to make his Hermit Cookies and be the baker himself.  So, when I wanted to make Gingerbread dough for cutout  Gingerbread Boy,s he didn't want to help. just like a kid:) Of course, the fact that it was Football Sunday didn't help either, a fact that I had forgotten.

He had picked out the Hermit cookie recipe from McCalls Cook Book, Circa 1981,  because they looked "interesting."  This Hermit recipe is a gingery spice, soft cookie studded with raisins, and dried apricots. He used crasins instead of raisins, because he thought that they would look prettier. I have since found out that there are many, many versions of the Hermit cookie, some with molasses, however this one does not have molasses. These cookies turned out OK.  They will taste even better in a few days.Enjoy!  After he made the Hermit cookies, I started on the Gingerbread dough, and that's another story to be posted later.
Hermit Cookies Adapted from McCalls Cook Book, Circa 1961


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup cold coffee
  • 1 cup raisins  We used craisins
  • 1 3/4 c dried, chopped apricots


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F Grease cookie sheets. 
  2. In a large bowl cream together butter, sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in coffee on low speed. Sift in the flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Beat in dry ingredients, one third at a time until well blended. Stir in chopped dried. apricots and raisins or craisins.
  3. To make drop cookies: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F). Drop batter about 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet and bake 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on wire racks.


  1. I remember Hermit cookies as a faraway memory. I know, I used to make them and like them but don't really remember much more. I am glad you posted these so I can make them again. Thanks.

  2. Emily-Thank you! I can't take credit for the recipe, but it's an oldie, but a goodie!

    bookcasefoodie-Thank you for stopping by my blog, and I hope to see you back. If you make these Hermits. please let me know how you like them.

  3. Mmmm...these do sound good! And I'm impressed that your husband has an eye for what makes a good cookie...he's a keeper :)

    PS...yeah, Macy's in Watertower is no MF's.

  4. Lizzy-Yes, he is a keeper, and he even cooks, very well.

    The Macy's on State Street is no MF either, so sad.

  5. I love your photographs very much. ... That close up shots are making me to grab food from the screen.

  6. Loveforfood-than you for your kind words. My photography is always a work in progress:)


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