Sunday, February 16, 2014

Big Fat Trail Mix Cookies!

Cookies for breakfast is perfectly acceptable around here.

You can do a lot of things that I might not approve of. Like, put black beans in your brownies, wear one of those thick high-waist belts more suited to a wrestling champ than a dress, or add sugar to a tomato sauce - WRONG!

But eating cookies before noon is not one of them. Grab a glass of milk and go nuts.

Though I've been known to eat every kind of cookie before lunch hour, these Trail Mix Cookies with their whole grains, nuts, seeds and dried fruit might help to give you a case if you need one.

Let's have a closer look down the recipe list...

We've got whole wheat flour
                    peanut butter
              rolled oats
                             natural almonds
                dried cranberries
                     pumpkin seeds
                        flax seeds.

You can see all of that greatness in each cookie.

We're sweetening with brown sugar and a bit of honey. That sounds like breakfast food to me. It actually makes the most efficient afternoon snack. I'm talking about near that 2 or 3 pm mark. I'll give you one guess how I know this...

Imagine your trail mix non-de-constructed.

It's the opposite of what chefs like to do. They pull things apart, but I sometimes like to put them all together. And that's how a trail mix cookie gets born.

You'll notice there's about half as much butter in this recipe compared to your typical cookie - another reason for you to make this your morning meal.

They come together quick:
1. Beat butters and sugars until creamy.
2. Beat in egg and vanilla.
3. Beat in dry ingredients and oats.
4. Stir in fruit, nuts and seeds.

Bingo, bango, bake them up! You will enjoy these for at least a week if stored well in an airtight container. But the magic is that they freeze incredibly well so that you can pull one out on the run and by the time you get to work they'll be ready to eat.

I know you're busy, but I know you like cookies too. I've go your back.

Big Fat Trail Mix Cookies
adapted from "The Breakfast Cookie" in my book Scientifically Sweet
Makes about 16 large cookies

¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup old-fashioned large flake rolled oats
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp golden honey
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup whole natural almonds
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp flax seeds
½ cup dried cranberries

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, oats, ground cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt until evenly blended; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together butter, peanut butter, sugar and honey until smooth and creamy using an electric hand mixer on high speed, about 1 minute. Beat in egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Add flour mixture all at once to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until it is mostly combined, about 10-15 seconds.

Use a rubber spatula to fold in almonds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and dried cranberries all at once.

Use a 1.5-oz ice cream scoop to drop mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 3 inches apart. Flatten each cookie slightly using the bottom of a drinking glass or dry measuring cup and bake until golden brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Let cookies cool on the pan for about 1 minute before transferring them individually to a wire rack to cool completely.

These stay soft and chewy for days in an airtight container!

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