Hermits were a regular part of the snack rotation of my childhood. I suspect, like so many recipes from that time, it came from the back of a box or can of something. My guess is the corn syrup, or maybe the flour. In any event they are delicious and remind me of simpler times.
This recipe is based on one from The Way We Cook by Sheryl Julian and Julie Riven. I’ve tweaked the ingredient list a bit and written up the instructions in my own words. Enjoy.
Servings: 15-20 bars
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes (plus cooling time)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. ground ginger
- 2 tsp. ground allspice
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp. table salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups currants
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray the bottom and sides of a 13″x9″ baking pan with vegetable spray. (see notes)
- Combine the dry ingredients (the first 6) in a large bowl and stir with a whisk to combine.
- Add the oil, molasses, corn syrup, water, milk and eggs in the bowl of stand mixer. Beat until well combined. Add the sugar and beat until mixed.
- Add the flour in 3 installments, mixing until just incorporated after each addition. Remove from the mixer, scrap the sides of the bowl with a spatula and stir in the raisins.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared 13″x9″ pan. Allow it to settle into the pan in a (fairly) even layer.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for 5 minutes.
- Cut the hermits while still warm. Store leftovers (ha) in a ziptop bag.
I made a sling of sorts in the pan with a piece of pre-cut parchment paper that is sized for a half sheet pan. I sprayed the bottom and sides of the pan then laid the parchment into the pan to form an U. The spray on the bottom helps the parchment to stay in place while you spread the batter. When the cake was ready for serving I ran a knife along the edges not covered with parchment and lifted the entire cake from the pan with no fuss.
The original recipe called for “dark” raisins, whatever those are. We prefer currants over raisins anyway so it was an easy substitution.