trail mix cookies


Sometimes you just need a serious cookie. None of these flimsy, wimpy ones that don't really hit the spot. I mean a serious, crunchy-but-chewy, hearty cookie that says, hey: it's not all bad.

And it really isn't when you decide to create these lovelies inspired by a big bag of trail mix. My favorite version of trail mix is closer to granola than your traditional peanut, raisin, chocolate candy mash up. Don't get me wrong, that stuff is delightful. But something about being on the actual trail with a ziplock full of nuts and berries feels a lot more, well, right.

For this recipe, you'll need:

1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup of brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup of dried fruit and nuts of your choice

It's hard for me to imagine you choosing a dried berry or nut that I would disapprove of, so I leave the option to you. In order for them to really resemble trail mix, however, variety is key. None of this handful of raisins nonsense. If you're looking for a little inspiration, I went with some banana chips, chopped pecans, chopped walnuts, almonds (whole and slivered), dried cherries and golden raisins. Whew. That's a long list and man, was it good. If only I had added coconut chips. Next time.

To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract. Add your egg and whisk together for one minute. In a separate bowl, whisk together your flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until evenly combined. Add your golden trail mix mashup and fold in until just combined.

Using a tablespoon, scoop out your dough onto your prepared baking sheets. Give each scoop a little press down (this particular dough won't flatten out much in the oven on its own) and transfer to the oven for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. When out of the oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes on the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Honestly, that phrase feels more like a joke every time I say it. Who on earth has ever let a cookie cool completely? What, I ask you, would be the point?