My mom grew up in upstate New York and loved cookies called Hermit Bars from a regionally local bakery. After living all over the United States and never find a bar cookie like the one from her childhood, she devised this recipe to approximate happy memories and flavors.
The funniest story about these cookies? My sister made them with a church group to give away at Christmastime. Everyone kept asking her why they weren’t green. She couldn’t figure out why anyone would think Hermit Bars should be green. Then she realized they thought she was saying Kermit bars (as in Kermit the Frog). I suppose you could add green food coloring to the batter or the glaze but I won’t be held responsible for the results…
- 1 ¾ cups flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg, heaping
- ¼ teaspoon cloves, heaping
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, heaping
- ¼ teaspoon allspice , heaping
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1¼ cup raisins
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2-3 tablespoons half and half
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine flour, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl cream butter and brown sugar. Add molasses and mix.
- In a food processor, put in egg and raisins. Process until raisins are little bits.
- Combine processed raisin mixture with butter mixture.
- Add flour mixture. Stir together well but don’t beat for a long time.
- Spray a 9”x13” pan—Baker’s Secret® Signature 9" x 13" Oblong Pan is the best—with Pam®.
- Bake for 9-12 minutes or until edges pull away slightly from pan sides. Bars will seem doughy. Insert a toothpick or thin knife to make sure they are done. As the bars cool, they will set. Let cool in the pan over a wire rack.
- Cream butter and confectioner’s sugar. Add vanilla and 2 tablespoons half and half. Make the consistency such that it will drizzle off a fork.
- Drizzle thin lines of icing diagonally across the pan after bars have cooled for 2-3 minutes. Drizzle again in the same pattern. Cool for another 15 minutes then cut into bars.
- When still warm, serve with ice cream.
- To store, line a container with waxed paper and and layer cookies between more waxed paper. These bar cookies do freeze well.