Thursday, March 19, 2009


A Hermit is a soft cookie that I first had in the 1960's here in Kansas City.  The first place I knew of that sold them was an old upscale family grocery store called Wolferman's-now long gone.  This store was one of those institutions that people my folks age moon over.  I remember the cookie better from another long gone local bakery called the Cake Box.  One of their stores was on the Country Club Plaza (that location now contains an Apple store-times change).  I can remember going into the store with my cousin Howard, who loved those cookies when he was younger & wanted some each time he visited here from Montgomery, Alabama.  On that particular day we walked down from my Grandmothers-it was probably a summer Friday afternoon & when we asked for some Hermits, the clerk informed us that they only made them on Thursday & were now sold out & would not have any more until next Thursday.  Well, if any of you know my cousin Howard, you would know this information was not well received!  In fact, I can remember our indignant response well with statements like "What kind of a way was this to run a business.  If you think we will ever shop in this store again, you are sadly mistaken"!!  Now after having run a gourmet shop for years, I can understand how some days you fill the case with foods & wonder if anyone is coming in to buy what you have labored over.
So what is a Hermit?   Cookies fall into several basic types.  A Hermit is a cake cookie-that is, something closer to a muffin or a small round cake, than a crisp cookie such as a chocolate chip.
Mine have nuts & raisins in the cookie & are flavored with cinnamon, cloves & nutmeg.  I am currently making one for lunches that is non-fat, replacing the oil with applesauce.
Here is Wolferman's original recipe:
Wolferman's Hermit Cookies

1 cup butter or butter flavored shortening
2 cups brown sugar
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup cold coffee (the stronger the better)
1 tsp baking soda
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 cup raisins (more if you like)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine shortening and sugar, then beat until creamy. Beat in eggs until light and frothy (the mixture, not you.) Mix all that together with the coffee and baking soda, then add in remaining ingredients and mix well.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake approximately 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.


  1. I'm going to try this recipe--it looks great!

  2. teaspoonful? I remember those cookies were huge! Are you sure this recipe comes from Wolfermans? Where did you find it?