Hermit cookies are so good, you must squirrel them away for the holidays.

Hermit cookies are so good, you must hide them away to last until Christmas. This 19th century recipe has endured because soft and chewy cookies always are sought after.

Feel free to add your own flavors including allspice and dates. The cookies refuse to go stale and are among the longest-lasting of holiday treats.


1 cup butter, softened

3 cups brown sugar

4 eggs

4 tablespoons milk

3 teaspoons baking powder

6 cups flour

2 cups seedless raisins

2 cups currants

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup nuts, chopped

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon grated orange rind

Cream butter and sugar. Add milk and eggs. Sift baking powder with 3 cups flour, add to creamed mix, stir. Add raisins, currants, nutmeats and orange rind. Mix well. Sift spices with remaining flour. Add to creamed mix and blend well.

Drop by rounded tablespoonsful 1-inch apart onto greased cookie sheet. Bake in 375 degree oven for 20 minutes or until light brown. Cool on wire rack.

Makes about 10 dozen cookies.