Hermit Bar with Vanilla icing on plate

Hermit Bars are the best!  They are super moist and tender – like a dense spice cake.  And then there’s the chewy, sweet-tart raisins and crunchy walnuts.  Swoon.  If you really want to bliss out you can frost them with a quick vanilla icing, or go straight old school and eat them plain.  If you love spice cake or cookies with raisins and nuts in them, you HAVE to try these easy peasy Hermit Bars.  They come together in minutes, stay fresh and tasty for days, and will be a hit wherever you bring them!


pinnable image for Hermit Bars Recipe

Hermit Bars Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter or plant butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup cold coffee (fine to use instant or instant espresso)
  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt (not Kosher)
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice blend OR
    • ½ tsp. cinnamon
    • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts

How to Make Hermit Bars

Preheat oven to 325 and spray a 9” x 9” baking pan with cooking spray.

On medium-low speed, cream butter/plant butter and sugar together until well combined and a little fluffy – 1-2 mins.  Beat in egg, then beat in coffee (mixture will appear curdled).

In a separate bowl combine flour, soda, salt and spices.  Add to creamed mixture and beat on lowest speed until almost combined.  Add walnuts and raisins and beat on low till just combined.  Finish mixing dough by folding with a spatula so you won’t overbeat it.

Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.  Bake 30 minutes, or until they appear set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with a moist crumb or two.  Allow to cool in pan.


Baked Hermit Bars in their pan

Once your Hermit Bars are baked you have some options

I like options – don’t you?  First, you can serve the bars plain, which is the best option if you’re planning to pack them in lunches or whatnot.  Second, you can sift a little powdered sugar over the top.  Just be sure you do this right before serving because Hermit Bars are moist and your powdered sugar may melt into the top.  Tasty, but very unattractive!  Last, you can go over-the-top and frost your bars with a thin layer of a simple vanilla icing.  You’re the boss, applesauce!

Quick Vanilla Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. soft butter
  • ½ tsp. vanilla bean paste (or regular vanilla)
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • A splash of half and half or milk – just enough to beat icing smooth

Whisk together the sugar, butter and vanilla.  Add a splash of milk or cream.  Whisk, adding a few drops more of milk/cream until your icing is a soft, spreadable consistency.  If you add too much milk, just tip in a little more powdered sugar.


Hermit Bars with Vanilla Icing served with a cup of coffee

I hope you enjoy these old fashioned treats as much as we do!

Peace…

Elizabeth

If you love cookies here are a few more to try!

Hermit Bars

Moist and chewy bars filled with warm spices, nuts and raisins.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Bar Cookies, Fall Baking, Old Fashioned Cookies, Spice Cookies
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 16 bars
Author Elizabeth at thewildolive.org

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter or plant butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup cold coffeefine to use instant or instant espresso
  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. saltnot Kosher
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice blend OR
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts

Vanilla Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. soft butter
  • ½ tsp. vanilla bean pasteor regular vanilla
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • A splash of half and half or milk – just enough to beat icing smooth

Instructions

For Bars

  • Preheat oven to 325 and spray a 9” x 9” baking pan with cooking spray.
  • On medium-low speed, cream butter/plant butter and sugar together until well combined and a little fluffy – 1-2 mins. Beat in egg, then beat in coffee (mixture will appear curdled).
  • In a separate bowl combine flour, soda, salt and spices. Add to creamed mixture and beat on lowest speed until almost combined. Add walnuts and raisins and beat on low till just combined. Finish mixing dough by folding with a spatula so you won’t overbeat it.
  • Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes, or until they appear set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with a moist crumb or two. Allow to cool before frosting or serving. You can either serve plain, dust with powdered sugar or frost with a simple vanilla icing.

For Icing

  • Whisk together the sugar, butter and vanilla. Add a splash of milk or cream. Whisk, adding a few drops more of milk/cream until your icing is a soft, spreadable consistency. If you add too much milk, just tip in a little more powdered sugar