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Hermit Bars

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Hermit Bars

Hermit Bars
Ann Stratton
Provided by:
total prep
Originating in New England in clipper-ship days, these spicy bars got their name because they keep so well. Sailors would stow them "like hermits" for snacking on long voyages.

Recipe courtesy of Good Housekeeping Light & Healthy Cooking: 250 Delicious, Satisfying, Guilt-Free Recipes by The Editors of Good Housekeeping/Hearst, 2012.



  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two large cookie sheets.
  • In large bowl, with wire whisk, mix flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and cloves.
  • In separate large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses until well combined. Beat in egg. With mixer at low speed, beat in flour mixture just until blended, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. With spoon, stir in raisins and pecans if using.
  • Divide dough into quarters. With lightly floured hands, shape each quarter into 12" by 1 1/2" log. On each prepared cookie sheet, place 2 logs, leaving about 3 inches in between.
  • Bake until logs flatten and edges are firm, 13 to 15 minutes, rotating cookie sheets between upper and lower oven racks halfway through baking. Cool logs on cookie sheets on wire racks 15 minutes.
  • Transfer logs to cutting board. Slice each log crosswise into 8 bars. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.