Grandma Evelyn’s Christmas Hermits

Andrea Reinke has shared her grandmother’s Christmas Hermits cookie recipe with us, just in time for the holidays!

“My Grandma Evelyn used to make these every Christmas for my Mom and her six brothers and sisters,” says Andrea. “Her family looked forward to them every year because they had all sorts of rich ingredients (like cherries, dates and walnuts) that they couldn’t get the rest of the year. We still make them for the holidays – they are especially meaningful now because Grandma passed away several years ago on Christmas Day.”


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup dates, chopped
  • 1/2 cup jarred maraschino cherries, chopped
  • 1/3 walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 2 1/4-2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, cream the shortening, adding the sugar gradually. Add the eggs, fruit and nuts. In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water; then add this mixture to the shortening mixture.

In a medium size bowl, sift together the flour, allspice, cinnamon and salt. Add the flour mixture to the main bowl and stir.

Drop the batter in rounded teaspoons, about 1 inch apart, on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the cookies from the cookie sheet and place on a wire rack to cool. Serve and enjoy!

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