We took the classic hermit bar and reimagined it as a holiday drop cookie. We also replaced the traditional raisins with more festive dried cherries, then spiked them with allspice.
But if you prefer to stick closer to tradition, you could switch back to raisins and bake these as bars. Just spread the dough in a lightly oiled 9-inch-by-13-inch baking pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Cherry allspice hermits
Start to finish: 45 minutes
Makes 36 cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup molasses
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon allspice
2 cups dried cherries
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter, brown sugar and salt until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the buttermilk and molasses, followed by the flour, baking soda, baking powder and allspice. Beat together just until well combined. Stir in the cherries.
Scoop the dough by the tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between the cookies. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until beginning to brown around the edges and no longer glossy.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes on the pan before moving to a rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Per cookie: 160 calories; 25 calories from fat (16 percent of total calories); 3 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 15 mg cholesterol; 32 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 17 g sugar; 2 g protein; and 100 mg sodium.