These cookies are delicious! Five tips I learned after baking them a few times: 1) Hermits are an antique cookie dating back to colonial times. White flour was not available until the late 1800s, so these taste wonderful w/ the original whole wheat as long as you get fresh flour. Whole wheat flour should not be bitter. If it is, it is rancid and should be replaced w/ a different brand. 2) The problem w/ the sticky texture is caused by the egg, probably a recent addition to the recipe. I made it w/o the egg & the dough was easier to handle, & results superb. 3) Don't mix the soda w/ the coffe. Put it w/ the dry ingredients so it retains its leavening power. 4) A tasty variation is to sub frozen oj concentrate & grated orange zest for the coffee. This version needs less sugar. 5) It can be made as a single 1/3" layer instead of strips, cooked a few minutes more, & sliced while warm, if you'd rather not fiddle w/ the dough.
Also I agree w/ reviewers who recommend increasing the spices. These end up the tastiest "healthy" cookie I've ever had.