A Family Heirloom Recipe: Hermit Cookies

In honour of my dad’s birthday, I decided to whip out an old family heirloom –the Marr’s Hermit Cookie Recipe. There’s a special place in my dad’s heart for these cookies, full of dried fruit, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Every now and then when he’s reminiscing about his childhood he’ll bring up the hermit cookies that his aunt used to make. She would store them in a tin container and he would sneak into the pantry of their farmhouse to steal one, two, and three; all of which were oh so soft.  Just the aroma in the house while they bake will make you fall in love.

I decided to alter the recipe ever-so-slightly using 1 cup of multigrain flour along with the white flour. I also added in a variation of dried fruit rather than just the raisins. But please, use your imagination.

I have mentioned my philosophy of the 80/20 Rule, but while we’re on the topic of desserts, I think this is a great time to elaborate. The 80/20 Rule can be used to guide your eating choices on a regular basis. For many of us it is very difficult to follow a rigid diet that is free of saturated fats, sugar etc. If you aim however, to eat nutritiously 80% of the time, then 20% of the time is left for you to indulge a little. Pick your poison –cookies, chips, soda, fries, ice cream…. Whatever it may be, savour and enjoy it. For me, this helps to stay on track because I don’t feel like I’m falling off the bandwagon when I eat something that is not classified as “healthy”. Instead I think to myself, “this is darn good and I don’t feel guilty AT ALL!”

So in saying that, I will confess, I did eat the cookie dough… and yes, I LOVED it!

Hermit Cookies

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup shortening
3 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup multi-grain or whole wheat flour
3/4 cup AP flour
1 cup mixed dried fruit (I used cranberries, cherries, blueberries, raisins)
1/2 cup coursely chopped nuts (I threw raw almonds into the food processor)


Mix the brown sugar, shortening and eggs together. In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Add in the dried fruit and nuts and mix. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and chill in the fridge for 45-60 minutes. Remove and place spoonfuls of cookie dough on parchment paper. Bake in oven at 350 F for 12-15 minutes. When baked, remove and let cool completely. Store in airtight container to ensure they stay soft.

Have any favourite heirloom recipes of your own? What are your thoughts on the 80/20 rule? 


3 responses to “A Family Heirloom Recipe: Hermit Cookies

  1. My grandma makes similar ones called spice cookies (I like the sound of hermit cookies though) but uses a small amount of molasses. They are the perfect autumn cookie! Hope your dad enjoyed his day!

    • mmm molasses would be amazing….I should test that out! Hope you’re eating well in France, Lauren…. although I am sure you are! Say hi to Mark for me!!

  2. Pingback: Hermit Cookies: Revisited | One Tip For The Future·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s