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Since National Trail Mix day is this Wednesday, I wanted to do something to celebrate it, but I was not really inspired to make or even eat any kind of trail mix. But my handy dandy sweet tooth came to the rescue and inspired me to make some cookies with a trail mix twist to them. I ended up actually going a little insane and making three different batches of cookies, each with a different trail mix inspired base. They all were so good and I am not able to even attempt to choose my favorite.
These cookies do not mess around! They are hefty, filling and extremely dense which makes it even better so I don’t plow through the entire batch in less than a day (but they may have been gone in two days!). Cookies that actually fill you up are my favorite ones because it feels like I actually ate something instead of it simply being gone and a distant memory. That being said, they don’t leave you so full that all you want to do is curl up in a ball and take a nap for hours, instead you are ready to go off an enjoy the final days of summer to their fullest.
Since Ben & Jerry’s came out with their new almond milk chunky monkey ice cream, I have been obsessed with the flavors. Chocolate and bananas has always been a perfect combination for me and the walnuts are just an amazing additional flavor. When making this one, I was trying to decided whether to add fresh bananas or banana chips to the cookies, but after munching on some banana chips, the decision was clear. The crunchy and soft/chewy contrast makes it even better and the ultimate cookie. You can add ½ cup of mashed bananas into the dough if you wish to have a little more of banana taste but don’t worry if you don’t. It is delicious all on its own and definitely will be gone in the blink of an eye.
Another flavor combo that I love is anything with tropical fruit and macadamia nuts. These flavor types, no matter the actual recipe, always seem to taste fresher and lighter than most other recipes that would otherwise make you feel heavy. It also is such a perfect flavor for the summer time and even helps the transition into autumn a little bit easier (but not the transition into the school year). This cookie combines the flavors of pineapple, mango, coconut, papaya, and macadamia nuts and makes a very subtly sweet cookie that will be enjoyed by even the stingiest of cookie eaters.
On the Trails
After making the other two batches, I decided that I needed to make a more ‘classic’ trail mix recipe that could be something I would actually take on a long hike through the hills instead of simply being a spin off of one of my favorite ice creams. This one is an extremely easy one to mix up and make perfect for your own tastes. All you need to do is to take some of your favorites nuts and seeds as well as some dried berries. I stuck with my usual trail mix combo of sunflower seeds, almonds, pistachios, and dried cranberries. This one tastes a little more like a breakfast cookie than the others but still is sweet enough to be a dessert, which I have been having with a cup of tea every night lately.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cup oats
- 8 tablespoons flax seed meal
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup vegan butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Chunky Monkey
- 1 cup Walnuts, chopped
- 1 cup Banana Chips, chopped
- 1 cup Chocolate Chips
- Tropical Bash
- 3/4 cup Dried Pineapple tidbits
- 3/4 cup Dried Papaya, chopped
- 3/4 cup Dried Mango, chopped
- 1/2 cup Coconut Chips
- 1/2 cup Macadamia nuts, chopped
- On the Trails
- 3/4 cup Sunflower seeds
- 3/4 cup Almonds, chopped
- 3/4 cup Pistachios, chopped
- 3/4 cup Craisins
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, oats, flax seed meal, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until it reaches a smooth and almost fluffy consistency.
- Once desired consistency is reached, add the butter/sugar mixture in with the dry ingredients and then add vanilla extract and milk into the mix. Stir until a soft dough is formed.
- Depending on which type of cookie you decide to make, add the mix ins into the dough and stir again until the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
- Take dough and roll into 1-1 ½ inch balls before placing into a baking sheet roughly 2-inches apart.
- Once all the dough has been used, place cookies into the oven and allow to bake for 11-13 minutes or until a light golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool before enjoying.