These hearty, chewy, crunchy cookies are wonderful for a mid-day snack or a picnic lunch in the middle of a hike--just like traditional GORP or trail mix, there's lots of fiber to keep you feeling full, plus healthy fats and protein from the seeds and nuts...and of course, delicious, delicious carbs for energy.
They may not look like much (especially through my cell's camera, sorry) but these were the most popular cookie we made at the pastry school I went to--topping even the Ginger Valrhona cookies, which is a difficult feat!
Trail Mix Cookies
NOTE: This recipe is pretty versatile. I love the original combination, but feel free to substitute equal weights of nuts, seeds, or dried fruit if you're not a fan of or allergic to one or another of the stated ingredients. Or, go even easier and swap in a pre-mixed trail mix combination.
ANOTHER NOTE: If you use a lot of heavily salted nuts or seeds, you may want to adjust the salt a little to compensate.
YET ANOTHER NOTE: If you're substituting, try to stick with seeds for the outer coating. Dried fruit tends to over-caramelize when it's on the outside (yuck), and many nuts can over-brown or burn and develop off flavors, especially with the long bake time.
- Chop the cashews and walnuts into raisin-sized pieces. Set aside.
- Mix together the pepitas and sunflower seeds and divide roughly in half. Reserve one half for later.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl or mixer, combine butter, sugars, and honey until just combined. Don't cream or over mix.
- Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla, mixing after each addition.
- Mix in dry ingredients in a couple of additions, just until combined.
- Slowly incorporate (if you're using a standard KitchenAid mixer this will almost overflow your bowl, so be careful) the chopped nuts, one-half of the seeds, the rolled oats and the raisins. DO NOT OVER MIX.
- Use a 1/4 cup (#16) disher (ice cream scoop) to portion dough onto a lined sheet tray. You can crowd the scoops together. You should end up with about 32 scoops. Place the tray in the refrigerator until dough is firm--at least half an hour.
- Roll the chilled dough balls in the reserved seeds to lightly coat (don't try to get every bit of dough covered--you just want a few pretty seeds to show on the outside to let people know that these aren't ordinary oatmeal raisin cookies). Place the balls at least 2" apart--these are BIG cookies and they will spread! Press each cookie with your palm to flatten slightly.
- Bake in a 300 degree (F) oven for 20-25 minutes. They should be golden brown (a little darker on the edges) and smell wonderful. A little soft in the center is fine, especially if you (like me) prefer underbaked cookies.