A “hermit” is basically made from a drop cookie batter, and they bake up dark, chewy, and spicy. These are made in free-form strips, then cut after baking. Using candied cherries adds more moisture to the dough - causing them to bake flatter than usual. Using raisins will yield a puffier cookie.
I found a used book that has some great recipes - but I have to use them judiciously or it would be easy to go crazy. Just the title makes your mouth water... “Rosie’s All-Butter, Fresh Cream, Sugar-Packed, No Holds Barred Baking Book.”
In Rosie’s own words, she describes how she can have her cake (staying thin) and eat it too... “I lived on a strict diet of brown bread, cheese, fruit, nuts, and vegetables - sensible, healthy, balanced eating. Then I’d polish the meal off with a fat slab of cheesecake... after all, guilty pleasures are still pleasures.” Maybe I’ll try that diet...
I tried this recipe because it reminds me of a cookie that my sweet friend Irma brings to our shift at the LDS Conference Center. (She’s almost 90 years old now, and she still comes bearing treats) The cookie she brings is called “Fruit Bars” which they make at a little market in Bountiful, Utah called “Dicks Market”.
If you’re interested in the origin of the name “hermit” - Martha Stewart’s Cookie Cookbook explains it this way: “Hermits, which originated in colonial New England, supposedly gained their name because the flavor of the cookie improves after being stowed away - like a hermit - for a few days.”
These are not as “puffy” as I imagined they would be (probably a difference in altitude, but I’m checking that out...) but they were really yummy. I made these last summer, and my soon-to-be son-in-law said he thought they were great. Who knows, maybe that’s why he proposed?!
For this recipe and a photo tutorial, go to: