Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.
I don't know what hermits are, but I substitute butter for shortening all the time. Butter has more water content, so you may have to increase your cooking time slightly.
hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.
Yes, but it will likely affect the texture of the final product. Per Cook's Illustrated "cookies made with shortening spread less during baking than cookies made with butter".
Agreed with hardlikearmour -- and adding that taking out the shortening will make the hermits crunchier, rather than soft the way I think hermits are supposed to be...
I have checked 2 sources for what should be traditional Hermit recipes. Both use only butter, not shortening. (Time-Life Foods of the World: American Cooking, New England, & Cooking with Wholegrains, Mildred Ellen Orton -- co-founder of the Vermont Country Store) Newman's makes a delicious Hermit, if you're not baking.
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