Trail mix cookies (oatmeal, dark chocolate and GORP)

These cookies are really doing it for me.  They’re moist, nutty and chunky.  When they’re warm, they overflow with dark chocolate.  As soon as I claim I’ve had enough, I find myself reaching in for another…

I started thinking about trail mix a couple weeks back when Alex and I threw work aside, haphazardly packed the car with whatever gear we could find, and headed off to Mt. Shasta.

Mt. Shasta is a big ole volcano that stands high above its surrounding mountains.  It’s a dramatic mountain.  For those of you who care about these things, the summit rises to 14,162 ft.  The base is at around 7,000 ft.  We planned to hike up in a single day, leaving at 3 am and getting back whenever we did.  Sound exhausting?  It was.  In all the mountains I’ve climbed, I’ve never ascended 7,000 ft vertical in a day.  Let alone after coming from sea level the day before.

It was incredible!  Gorgeous!  But the altitude was beating us up.  As we switchbacked up the hill, kicking steps into the snow with our crampons, I snorted down trail mix and chile-rubbed dried mango (thank you Trader Joe’s).  I hoped that the calories would turn into magical wings and fly me up the hill.  Eventually I gave up hope on the wings and started dreaming about trail mix cookies.

I was so spent by 13,000 ft that I fell asleep, crampons on my feet and an ice axe by my side.  Not faking.

Thankfully, the decent was a blast!  We plopped onto our tails at the top of the hill and zoomed down.  When we got to the bottom I was simultaneously thrilled and totally deflated.  The same pitch that we had started walking up in the dark, the same one we were still trekking up when the sun was high in the sky, crisping the underside of our noses,  we butt-skied (official term: glissaded) in 10 minutes.

When we finally returned to the car we ate a couple tacos, drank a couple beers and fell asleep in our tent while the sun was still out.  I slept without flinching for 12 hours straight, trail mix cookies dancing in my head.

Trail mix cookies!  Mixed with dark chocolate and Good Old Raisins and Peanuts (the most traditional trail mix of all), they have a base of oats and whole wheat flour that’s not too sweet.  It took me four tries to get the cookies just right, but I’m really happy with them now.

By batch four I was beginning to wonder what we were going to do with the backlog of cookies (I don’t have co-workers during the summer…).  Thankfully our friend Jacob came over and put a significant dent in the cookie jar.  He doesn’t seem like someone who would naturally gravitate toward a whole wheat cookie, so that made me feel like these will pass the test for anyone.  I hope you like them, too!  Next time we head to Shasta I’m going to make a big batch and use them to propel us up the hill.  For now, I’m relying on them to help me pass the time in my desk chair.  Woot woot!

Trail Mix Cookies
Loosely adapted from the whole wheat chocolate chip cookies in Good to the Grain

Makes 36 cookies

  • 1 3/4 c (210 g) whole wheat flour (I use white whole wheat flavor, which has a milder flavor)
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t fine sea salt
  • 1 c butter (2 sticks)
  • 1/2 c brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 c natural cane sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 c rolled oats
  • 6 oz (170 g) dark chocolate, chopped (or you can use the hammer technique: I put the chocolate in a plastic bag and hit away)
  • 3/4 c raisins, packed
  • 1 c dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Mix well (a whisk works well).

In a separate bowl (or your stand mixer), cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, vanilla.  Mix until well combined.

Add flour mixture, stir until just combined.

Add oats.  Stir until combined.

Add chocolate, raisins and peanuts.  Stir until combined.

On a cookie sheet, place dough in ball that are the size of approx 1 heaping tablespoon 2 – 3 inches apart.  Cook for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are brown.

Let the cookies cool for a minute on the baking sheet, and then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.  Store in an airtight container.

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10 thoughts on “Trail mix cookies (oatmeal, dark chocolate and GORP)

  1. cookies are my favorite! i cannot wait to try this recipe (it kind of reminds me of morley’s trail mix for our cb hike)!

  2. Well shit, I reversed my name and email, can you delete the above?! Argh!!!! Here is my comment again, correct things in the correct place:

    This looks like a delicious and energy-packed recipe. Thank you! I found your blog thanks to PWSux, and have bookmarked it. I love a good healthy recipe. 🙂 (Unlike the ones I’ve been making of late ha ha!)

  3. Oh my word- they look outrageously good. And I don’t even have that much of a sweet tooth. NB, I just stumbled over to your blog and have had the loveliest time trawling through the archive with a cheeky thank god it’s friday evening glass of wine- thank you!

    • Thank you so much! I love this comment. As a warning — don’t make these cookies. They are too addictive. I think I’ve eaten 10,000 of them in the last week. Since they’re not too sweet I can just keep eating more and more and more…so bad!

  4. I can concur with Alex and Allison’s reply to Tori’s post. I must have had 15-20 of them while over at their house. The perfect cookie which tricks you into thinking it’s healthy until after you’ve eaten two dozen and wonder why you can’t eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

  5. I am not looking to start any wars here because DAMN, I know these cookies are incredible HOWEVER (and of course I am not blaming you, but it is all your fault that I tried in the first place) …I CAN’T MAKE COOKIES WORK….EVER!!!! I totally got all my stuff together and followed your directions clearly and soberly yesterday afternoon–the only thing I changed was using just a tiny bit under 2 cups of oats and then I switched out the raisins for dried cranberries.

    First batch at 350 for 7 minutes burnt on the bottom and stayed in kind of uncooked-looking haystack shapes, as if something was wrong with my dough in general. From your picture of your cookies, this is not the intended outcome and so I tried a few in smaller balls at a lower temp. Same basic outcome, add in some cursing and self loathing. Then I bashed the next batch over their little GORCY heads with a spatula to flatten them a little. Their bottoms still burned up, but they tasted good and I was less prone to whining about my failure. So after that I abondoned the project and put my dough in the fridge.

    JUST NOW I pulled it out and thought, yes! A fresh start. I fired up the oven about 330 and had my half-mushed drops of dough in about 7 minutes. And the damn bottoms burned more than yesterday. I was about to smack myself in my own head with the cookie sheet. Even the ladies at the grocery store when I was buying my whole wheat flour told me cookies were “easy to make”… liars!

    wwwwwwhhhhhhhy can’t I not burn the bottoms?! Is it bio-rhythms? I am feeling very nervous about attempting the zucchini casserole which I reeeeeaaaaallly want to make. Send me positive vibes… I HAVE NO SKILLS!!!

    • Carrie, as always, you make me laugh. Just remember, IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT.

      For anyone who’s following along here, I wanted to let you know that Carrie and I did a little troubleshooting via email, and it seems that her oven runs hot. She turned it down to 325 and things got better. She might even go lower next time. But you shouldn’t do that unless you’re convinced your oven is hot, too.

      If you’re having problems with burnt bottoms but don’t think you’re oven’s hot, check out this quick Food52 video on how to measure flour. Also, check out our previous post on why weighing flour makes baking results more consistent (I’m a total weighing convert now). Too much flour will made them burn, too.

      Happy baking!

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