Sunday, April 3, 2011

Trail Mix Cookies

These are a slightly healthier version of regular cookies because they have reduced butter, oats, and whole wheat flour. They are still a treat though! Using melted butter helps encourage gluten formation, developing a chewier cookie. It also enables you to use less butter (only 5 Tbsp for 24 cookies!) because melted butter is easier to incorporate into the dough.
The cinnamon and brown sugar flavors combine perfectly with the oats, nuts, and dried fruit, producing a very flavorful cookie with great texture. Next time we will try toasting the oats to bring out their flavor more, and perhaps replacing some of the brown sugar with white sugar to cut back a little bit on the molasses notes and allow the oats and nuts to have their moment on the flavor stage. (Note: if you do this be sure to flatten the cookies a bit because they won't spread as much due to the reduced brown sugar; also, they will be less chewy)

Trail Mix Cookies
3/4 cup unbleached AP flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup of old fashioned oats (toasted)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 large egg
5 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup - 1 cup packed brown sugar*
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, almonds, or pecans
1/4 cup dried cherries, raisins, or cranberries
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds

1. Mix together flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl.
2. Beat egg and brown sugar with melted butter and vanilla extract.
3. Fold the flour mixture and butter mixture together, and then fold in the mix-ins.
4. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, depending on whether you like your cookies soft and chewy (underbake them) or browned and crunchy (bake just shy of burnt).

*if you like sweeter, chewier, moister cookies, then use 1 cup. If you like less sweet, crunchier cookies then use 1/2 cup - but be sure to flatten them a little bit before baking because they will spread less.


  1. these look really good! I make a similar oatmeal cookie, and I like to substitute a little applesauce in place of some of the butter. It makes them a little cakier, but when you melt the butter you still get that great chewiness you are talking about. I am def going to try out your recipe! thanks for sharing!

  2. hmmm very interesting about using the melted butter to maintain the chewiness, will have to give it a try!

  3. I added about 1/4 cup of molasses to mine, to bring out the molasses flavour from the brown sugar. Tasted great!