Hermit Hermits

Hermits Hermit Cookies. Pre-holiday cookie tasting. Making the classics easy

Without my reading glasses I might be persuaded into thinking someone was generously handing me a chocolate cookie. What a surprise that first bite would be. Likely I’d be pretty annoyed at first because we all know chocolate is the thing I hold most dear after say, nothing else (kidding) but I might also be intrigued because these are really big on molasses and spice flavors.

These Hermits kind of remind me of the old Archway version.  The same – only modern and made with stuff you can pronounce.

It makes a difference, the molasses. Don’t buy the brand that looks something like molasses-lite. The full monty – unsulphured blackstrap (organic) is the stuff you want. It is literally almost black and the flavor is mighty strong which is what makes a Hermit a Hermit and not a lightly brown cookie with raisins and nuts.

The good molasses is slightly more spendy but it lasts longer than the undercarriage of a Subaru in a northeast winter. A little goes a long way, so it all balances out in the end. Also, the flavor of the cookie will make you forget you aren’t eating a chocolate treat (though they contain a tiny bit of cocoa). The cookie is that good.

And it goes really well with a big cup of steaming hot tea or a big strong cup of high-test Joe. Even better, they take no time to make.

Think of these as a pre-holiday warm-up. This batch of Hermits is just a dressed down version (think: casual Friday meets Pajama Saturday). For the holiday you could neaten up the little dough balls and dust them with powdered sugar after they’re baked for a festive touch. Or drop the dough ball into a vat of coarse holiday colored sugar for a twinkly look.

Nippy outside? Then put on that pot of coffee or tea and make a few Hermits. Makes the house smell wonderful and keeps the chill away.

Hermits Hermit Cookies. Pre-holiday cookie tasting. Making the classics easy

Hermit Hermits
This recipe makes about 24 fairly large cookies. To increase the yield, just make smaller dough balls, but be sure to adjust the baking time by a few minutes. These soft cookies are best not over-baked. The added cocoa helps pop the big molasses flavor - don't leave it out. The raisins and/or pecans can be changed out for an equal amount of any other dried (small) fruit or nut.
  • 195 grams Canteen flour blend (1 ½ cups) (see notes)
  • 65 grams GF oat flour (2/3 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 192 grams Spectrum solid shortening (1 cup)
  • 100 grams brown sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 100 grams unsulphured blackstrap molasses (1/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon brewed coffee (decaf is fine)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 200 grams raisins (1 ½ cups)
  • 120 grams roughly chopped toasted pecans (1 cup)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line four baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together flours, cocoa, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. In a large bowl blend together shortening, sugar, molasses, coffee, and vanilla until combined. Add the flour mixture and stir until mixture is fully blended and dough starts to come away from the sides of the bowl. Blend in raisins and pecans. Scoop by generous tablespoon-sized balls onto the baking sheets, about 6 to a sheet. Flatten each dough ball slightly. Bake 13-15 minutes or until the tops look slightly dry and puffed. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely.
Canteen flour blend is 2 parts superfine brown rice flour plus 1 part each superfine white rice flour and tapioca flour by weight. See About Flour or Resources: Flour for more information.


Hermits Hermit Cookies. Pre-holiday cookie tasting. Making the classics easy


  1. These look amazing! I would live to try them but my daughter can’t have oats, even gluten free. Do you think I could substitute something like buckwheat or sorghum?

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Shelley – it would change the recipe so you’ll have to experiment. I’m not a fan of those flours, particularly in a cookie. try sticking to the Canteen blend and using just 260 grams or 2 cups to begin with. Oat flour and the Canteen flour have different weights per cup so they aren’t interchangeable by weight or volume in a 1 to 1 exchange. Just remember that when everything is mixed together thoroughly the dough should come away from the sides of the bowl – it will still be sticky to the touch (molasses). hope that helps.

  2. Can I sub butter for the shortening?

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Hi Julie. I’m afraid I have not tested the recipe using butter so you’ll have to experiment. But if I were making it with butter I might start with 12-13 tablespoons (about 3/4 cup) of unsalted butter and see how it worked. They might spread more and you might find they need a little bit more or less butter. The butter should be pliable, which means it might still feel slightly cold, and not warm enough to be greasy or melty. I’m also assuming you mean butter and not margarine which will not work well in the recipe. Hope that helps.