Everyone’s favorite, or least favorite, Hermits.

Hermits have a bit of a shady history.  This soft raisin cookie was originally known as a “tea cake”, but started appearing as hermits in cookbooks sometime in the post Civil War era.  One thing for certain, it appears to be a very New England thing.  Very cake-like (due to three eggs), full of holiday baking spices, and delicious with tea or coffee, these will become family favorites.


1 ½ cups sugar

3 eggs

1 cup shortening

3 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. allspice

1 tsp. cloves

1 tsp. nutmeg

½ tsp. soda

1 ½ cups raisins

Chopped dates or nuts

Cream sugar and shortening; add unbeaten eggs one at a time, beating into the mixture. Then sift in dry ingredients, adding fruit with the flour. Drop by small spoonfuls on greased cookie sheet and bake in hot oven.


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