Old-Fashioned Hermit Cookies with Spices and Dried Fruits

As you know, we’re exploring older cookies this year and bringing back the nostalgia, along with some sweet delights. If you’re nostalgic for these cookies, well, we’re not saying you’re old, but you may also have been friends with Red Cross founder Clara Barton and remember Washington becoming a state. These cookies are old – according to the knowledgeable CakeSpy, they likely harken back to the the 1880s. Our recipe comes from the Joy of Cooking, written on a scroll.

Fruit and Nut Hermits
Fruit and Nut Hermits

Preheat the oven to 375.

Apricots, Figs and Spices
Apricots, Figs and Spices

Whisk until blended 1 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 tsp baking soda and pinch of salt, 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon and 1/2 tsp ground cloves.

Beat in a large bowl until creamy – 1 stick butter with 1 cup packed light brown sugar. Beat in 1 large egg, 1/2 cup buttermilk. Add the flour mixture.

Hand stir in the 1 cup chopped fruit, 1/4 cup chopped nuts and 1/4 cup sweetened coconut.

Drop the dough by teaspoons about 3″ apart onto the cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for ten minutes. As you pull the cookies from the oven, sprinkle lightly with kosher salt if you’d like.

Fruit and Nut Hermits
Fruit and Nut Hermits


  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 stick butter (softened)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup chopped dried figs and dried apricots (you could use any dried fruit)
  • 1/4 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (if you desire; we did desire)

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Gardening, foraging, exploring and cooking. Time for a delicious adventure.

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