Christmas Hermit Cookies

My mother made these cookies for Christmas throughout our childhood.  She would make them about 4 weeks before Christmas and let them meld in an airtight container.

You can add 1 cup of candied fruit (cherries, citron, pineapple) if desired.

½ cup soft butter
½ cup shortening
3 eggs, beaten
2 cup sifted flour
1 ½ cup brown sugar 
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
1 cup raisins or currants
1 cup dates (quite small pieces)
1 cup chopped nuts

Cream the butter and shortening together.  Add eggs and mix.  Add sifted flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix to blend.  Mix in cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  Add fruit and nuts.  Beat until combined.   Cover and chill for about 1 hour. 

Drop dough from a teaspoon about one inch apart on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes until edges are firm and lightly browned.

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