Hermit Cookies (small batch)

Saturday 15 May 2021

Hermit Cookies 
I am an old fashioned kind of girl when it comes to the things I like in life. I truly do love the simplest things best of all.  This applies in most areas, and I especially love old recipes.

Recipes such as these old fashioned New England Hermit cookies.  They are a pretty basic cookie with no bells and whistles. Perfect for enjoying with a hot drink or with a glass of milk. 

Hermit Cookies 
The recipe I am sharing with you today was one I adapted from a cookery book I have entitled, Lost Recipes, Beloved Vintage Recipes for Today's Kitchen, by Betty Crocker. 

You really cannot go wrong with these. I do have another recipe for Hermit Cookies on here, which makes rather a lot. They are baked in bars and then sliced into cookies.

You can find that recipe here.  They are also iced. I usually bake them at Christmas.

Hermit Cookies 
Some say that Hermit cookies got their name because they look like a hermit's brown sack-cloth robe, but the earliest recipes are for white and round cookies. 

One possibility is that the Moravians, an ethno-religious group well-known for thin spice cookies in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, were sometimes called "herrnhutter" in German or Dutch, and that might have sounded like "hermits" to an English-speaking cook.

Whatever their origin, Hermit cookies are delicious no matter!  I always have a hard time stopping myself at only eating one or two.

Hermit Cookies 
They are, I would say, a decidedly New England cookie, and an early American creation. New England Hermit cookies have molasses in them. This version does not.

Instead it uses a small quantity of cold coffee, hearkening back to the New England ingenuity of being able to use up every scrap that they have, eschewing waste and embracing thrift.

Hermit Cookies 
Whatever their origins I think one thing is certain, with or without molasses, coffee or not and that is this.  They are one very delicious cookie!

Me, being on my own, cannot possibly make use of 3 dozen cookies however. That is how many the original recipe made.  At best I could make do with half that amount and so I small batched the recipe.

Hermit Cookies 
Using a Wilton cookie scoop I got exactly 14 beautiful cookies.  Lightly rounded and puffed, and stuffed with sweet sticky raisins and toasted walnuts.

I am a real believer in toasting your nuts. Anyone who has been reading me for a while knows that. Its a very easy thing to do and makes a real taste difference in the finished product.

Hermit Cookies 
I have explained how to toast them many times in the past and at the risk of repeating myself, I won't. But if you would like to know how then don't hesitate to get in touch and ask me. I am only too happy to share.

This is a sturdy kind of a cookie.  Sturdy enough to pack into care packages and tuck boxes as gifts for people.

Hermit Cookies  
They are beautifully spiced with warm baking spices.  Ground Nutmeg and ground cinnamon.  These two spices give them a real wholesome homey flavor.

They are also two spices which go very well with coffee, raisins and nuts.

Hermit Cookies 

It also makes them the perfect cookie to enjoy with an iced cold glass or milk, or a hot cup of coffee or tea, in my case an herbal infusion.

Great for packing into lunches, or for picnics as well.  These go really well with a scoop of ice cream as a tasty old fashioned dessert.

Hermit Cookies  
I had never used a cookie scoop in my life, but my sister swears by hers. I started using hers while I was staying there and I was hooked. I just had to get one of my own. 

It certainly makes a clean job of scooping out the cookie dough and it ensures that your cookies are all the same size.  

Hermit Cookies 
I used old fashioned dark, seedless raisins in my cookies.  The recipe did not specify which kind of raisins to use, but I thought such an old fashioned recipe would surely use old fashioned raisins.

Nothing fancy, just simple dark raisins. Sun Maid kind of raisins.  Did you use to take small packs of raisins in your lunch box? Or get them given to you at Halloween?  I did and I have always loved them and the sunny girl on the box.

Hermit Cookies 
Brown sugar makes them nice and moist. I know some people don't like that word, but it doesn't bother me.

Mom used to make brown sugar cookies. Sometimes not all of the sugar would be blended in and we would end up with little nuggets of brown sugar scattered throughout our cookies and cakes.  

I never minded that.  So candy-like, they were a real treat.

Hermit Cookies 
She used to make these slice and bake butterscotch cookies that we liked to complain about, but we were all, each one of us, very happy if we got a little nugget of brown sugar in ours!

These may not have nuggets of brown sugar in them, but they do have plenty of nuggets of sweet raisins, and crunchy toasted nuts.

Hermit Cookies

I am almost sorry I small batched the recipe now because I could easily scarf down half a dozen of these without blinking an eye. That is the glutton in me speaking.

The angel in my however is glad that I don't have as many to pig out on.  

If you are looking for  nice all rounder to bake this weekend, you can't get much better than these. They are quite simply delicious!

Hermit Cookies (small batch)

Hermit Cookies (small batch)

Yield: Makes about 15 cookies
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 10 MinTotal time: 15 Min
An old fashioned type of cookie small batched for the smaller family. If you wish to double them, just ask me and I can send you the amounts.


  • 1/2 cup packed (100g) soft light brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup (about 25g) white vegetable shortening
  • 1/8 cup (30g) butter, softened
  • 1/8 cup (30ml) cold coffee
  • 1 large egg yolk (freeze the white for another use)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup + 6 TBS (100g) all purpose flour 
  • 1/3 cup (45g) raisins
  • 1/3 cup (35g) toasted chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat your oven to 375*F/190*C/gas mark 5.  Have ready a medium baking sheet, ungreased.
  2. Measure the shortening, butter, egg yolk, brown sugar and coffee into a bowl and cream together until smooth.
  3. Sift together the soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour and salt.  Add to the creamed mixture, mixing together well.
  4. Stir in the raisins and the nuts.
  5. Drop by the TBS onto the baking sheet, leaving 2 inch in between each cookie. (I use a cookie scoop)
  6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until almost no indentation remains when you touch one in the center.  
  7. Allow to cool on the pan for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Store in an airtight container.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @marierayner5530 on instagram and hashtag it #marierayner5530
Created using The Recipes Generator
Hermit Cookies
This content (written and photography) is the sole property of The English Kitchen. Any reposting or misuse is not permitted. If you are reading this elsewhere, please know that it is stolen content and you may report it to me at: mariealicejoan@aol.com 


  1. I love Hermit Cookies! I will definitely be making these soon but I'll make the larger quanity and freeze some unbaked. That way I can pull a few out and bake them withiut all the fuss of preparing the batter. I use a cookie scoop, too. And I used to love those little Sun Maid boxes of raisins. We saved the boxes and mom would refill them from her stash. I don't see them for sale much anymore even at Halloween. Thanks for the recipe, Marie. Love and hugs, Elaine

    1. I hope you enjoy them Elaine! I love this kind of cookie myself. Very homey and comforting without any bells and whistles! I haven't seen the little boxes of raisins in a long time, not here in Canada at any rate, although I do think you could still get them in the UK. You are very welcome! Love and hugs, Marie xoxo

  2. These sound lovely. I often make your oat and raisin cookies and these will make a nice change. Cinnamon and nutmeg are spices that I love in baked goods. I'm sure I have everything at home to make these tomorrow.

    I don't think I've ever seen a cookie scoop. Your cookies do look very even, so maybe it's a good thing to have. Not for sale here unfortunately, so I'll have to just use a trusty spoon. :)

    1. A cookie scoop is like a small ice cream scoop Marie. I had never had one but my sister had one and I liked it so I bought one for myself. I love those oat and raisin cookies too. I love any cookie with raisins and or nuts in it! Add some spice and I am in love! I am sure your trusty spoon works fabulously! And much more rustic looking as well! xoxo

  3. I’ve never used a cookie scoop either, once we can get out to the shops again I’m going to look for one.

  4. They look delicious...much in appearance to my grandmother-in-law's applesauce cookies...thanks for sharing!!

  5. Thank you for another great recipe.

  6. I have made your other Christmas Hermits recipe. I will be baking this small batch recipe today. Thanks for finding this oldie but goodie, can't wait to try them.

    1. I hope that you enjoy these just as much! xo


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you so do not be shy!

Did you make the recipe as directed? Recipe results are not guaranteed when changes have been made.

Is this comment helpful to other readers? Rude or hateful comments will not be approved. Remember that this website is run by a real person.

Are you here to complain about ads? Please keep in mind that I develop these recipes and provide them to you for free. Advertising helps to defray my cost of doing so, and allows me to continue to post regular fresh content.

Thanks so much for your understanding! I appreciate you!