About this recipe: Here's something out of the ordinary - spicy treacle biscuits with a hint of coffee are baked in long strips then cut into bars after baking.
These were very good-- I'd just make a few changes to make them even better! Add about 3/4 cups extra flour to make sure the dough is "dough-y" enough, and chill for half an hour before trying to shape it. Make sure the coffee is strong so you get the flavor, and I added some ginger to add a kick to it. Also, these cookies spread and puff up, so make sure there's about 2 inches between the long strips on the cookie sheet-- I'd use two separate sheets. - 27 Jan 2004 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
These cookies are delicious! Five tips I learned after baking them a few times: 1) Hermits are an antique cookie dating back to colonial times. White flour was not available until the late 1800s, so these taste wonderful w/ the original whole wheat as long as you get fresh flour. Whole wheat flour should not be bitter. If it is, it is rancid and should be replaced w/ a different brand. 2) The problem w/ the sticky texture is caused by the egg, probably a recent addition to the recipe. I made it w/o the egg & the dough was easier to handle, & results superb. 3) Don't mix the soda w/ the coffe. Put it w/ the dry ingredients so it retains its leavening power. 4) A tasty variation is to sub frozen oj concentrate & grated orange zest for the coffee. This version needs less sugar. 5) It can be made as a single 1/3" layer instead of strips, cooked a few minutes more, & sliced while warm, if you'd rather not fiddle w/ the dough. Also I agree w/ reviewers who recommend increasing the spices. These end up the tastiest "healthy" cookie I've ever had. - 06 Jul 2011 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
Much to my father's dismay, our local bakery outlet store (Freihofer's) discontinued making their Hermit Bar Cookies. I've tried several recipes and this comes the closest to the original. When I made them as bars, they never baked to the right consistency, so I tried them as drop cookies and they're perfect. (12 minutes per batch, same temperature - I also chopped the 1 cup raisins for better consistency). This will be a keeper in our family now for generations! - 06 Jul 2008 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)