Never Stop Improving: Trail Mix Cookies

Trail Mix Cookies

We’re in the middle of the fourth nor’easter this month and I’m trapped at home, making it a perfect day for baking cookies. I haven’t made one of my favorites, Trail Mix Cookies, in a long time. As happens quite often in my kitchen, I was missing one ingredient — almond meal. Well, today’s a good day to improve on this recipe. In the original version I processed some of the oats into flour, then added in whole oats and almond meal. For the new, improved recipe I placed all of the dry ingredients into a food processor and pulsed it into a coarse flour. I also added some almond extract which added a subtle flavor that made a big difference. So you might wonder what’s the big improvement in these cookies. I can’t put my finger on it, but my mouth knows. They came out with a better texture than before — kind of chewy and crisp at the same time. I used a larger scoop than usual. Maybe I baked them a little longer. Maybe it’s the extra oats or how I processed them has something to do with it. What I can say for sure is that the method I used eliminated a few steps. I can also say that substituting more oats for the almond flour is certainly a cost saving. Whatever the reason, these not-so-new, yet improved, Trail Mix Cookies are definitely delicious! Thanks for being Vegi-curious.

Trail Mix Cookies

Wet Ingredients

1 tablespoon ground flax + 2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or date syrup)
1 teaspoon almond extract
Zest of one orange (optional)

Dry Ingredients
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or other nuts)
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
¼ cup dark chocolate chips
¼ cup dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, raisins, etc.)
6 tablespoons (total) of any type of seeds: sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, flax

Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place wet ingredients in blender container and process until smooth.

Place the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder in food processor. Pulse until the oats are processed into a coarse flour. Place in a large mixing bowl and add the remaining dry ingredients. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir well until combined. Drop by rounded spoonful (I use a #14 ice cream scoop that measures about 2 Tablespoons) onto baking sheets. Flatten slightly. Bake cookies for 15 to 18 minutes until light golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack until completely cool. Wrap up and store leftovers on the counter or in the freezer, if desired. Makes about 18 cookies.

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