NEDFM Challenge Day 13: National Trail Mix Day

 It’s the thirteenth day (already!) of National Eat Dessert First! Month, an entire 31 days dedicated to a different themed dessert but, more importantly, getting those desserts onto our plates and palates! Each day will feature a new guest chef’s photos and recipes for each theme. If you’re interested in joining in for a dessert-tastic month, read the details at the Dessert Month Challenge post. It’s never too late to start!

Our decadent Day 13 entry features every health nut’s dessert dream–Trail Mix Cookies!


Courtesy of: doubletake!)

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Nom nom nom

Trail Mix Cookies!

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

Recipe adapted from the one used at Seattle Central Culinary Academy
Yield: 32 hefty cookiesNOTE: 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.
85g cashews
85g walnuts
170g pepitas (peeled pumpkin seeds–these are green, not white)
85g sunflower seeds
340g bread flour (I have used AP with only minor changes in texture)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt (less if you have really salty nuts/seeds)
200g unsalted butter
170g brown sugar
170g granulated (white) sugar
85g honey
2 eggs
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
110g rolled oats (NOT minute or instant oats)
340g raisins (I used a mixture of regular and golden)
Mise en Place
Always mise en place…especially with recipes that have lots of ingredients!
  1. Chop the cashews and walnuts into raisin-sized pieces. Set aside.
  2. Mix together the pepitas and sunflower seeds and divide roughly in half. Reserve one half for later.
  3. Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl or mixer, combine butter, sugars, and honey until just combined. Don’t cream or over mix.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla, mixing after each addition.
  6. Mix in dry ingredients in a couple of additions, just until combined.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
Roll and Bake

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5 Replies to “NEDFM Challenge Day 13: National Trail Mix Day”

  1. Now why didn’t I know about NEDFM? LOL…maybe it’s a good thing! Thanks so much for your sweet comment on my blog…did you see that Tina is stopping the Crazy Cooking Challenge? But she said she has something new in the works…so hope to see you there 🙂

    1. Heh, I said the same thing myself when I found out about NEDFM…my pants hate me, but otherwise we’re in good order over here. (We are still missing a few entries is you’re interested!) And I guess I was too excited about the idea of a Crazy Cooking Challenge to notice…but I hope she does start up again in September!

  2. Dessert first? I’m totally there!

    1. If you’re interested, there are still a few spots open this month!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I’ve never had trail mix cookies! I never even knew anybody made them into a cookie. Great idea, though. Trail mix is kinda healthy – I like my food a little dangerous, so the cookies sound better to me! 😉

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