Chewy Trail Mix Cookies
The melodic patter of a summer storm’s leaking clouds fills the air around the house. Plants rejoice in the refuge from the heat and cats dream of catching the dancing droplets from behind the safety of their window. Busy thoughts and never ending to-do lists seem to fade into the calming tap, tap, tap of the rain outside. If there is ever a reason to take the day off, to relax and enjoy an afternoon free of tasks, rain provides the perfect excuse. I sink into my couch and ponder what simple task I will do my best to coast through with as little effort as possible. Then it hits me. I leap from the couch and dart outside to put the top up on my jeep. After averting disaster I return to my rightful place on the couch.
Rain usually means a few things for me: a day spent on the couch watching bad movies, the revival of a puzzle long since abandoned, and of course baking. I rarely need an excuse to bake but when it is raining outside, no matter how light or heavy, I feel obligated to bake something, usually cookies. A big pile of cookies seems to make any rainy day activity a tiny bit better.
It is no secret I love cookies. I bake half a gross every week. Chocolate chip is my favorite cookie but my second favorite cookie, quickly closing in on the classic chocolate chip, is this scrumptious, chewy trail mix cookie. In fact, I may bake this cookie more often than I bake chocolate chip cookies. There is so much going on with this cookie that every bite holds a surprise flavor or texture. This is also a very, very chunky cookie. About half of it is chopped nuts, oats, seeds, raisins and chocolate. The other half is the normal makings of cookie dough.
While this cookie has many ingredients, it is very easy to make. And the best part? This cookie is ridiculously customizable. So long as you keep the weight or volume of all the extras the same–more on this in a moment–, any adjustments will not require any changes to the preparation or baking time. So if you don’t like candied pecans, you can substitute them with good ‘ole regular pecans… or cashews… or dried cranberries. The possibilities with this cookie are endless and just about every time I bake them, I try a different variation. This variation I’m sharing now is my favorite though. I definitely suggest starting with this recipe below.
As you may know I cook for 7-8 mouths on average so I typically bake cookies 5 or 6 dozen at a time. This particular recipe will make 5 dozen medium/large cookies. Feel free to cut the recipe if half if you only want 2 1/2 dozen cookies. The recipe will scale with no problem. And as always, I advocate baking by weight and not volume but because I want everyone to be able to make these delicious cookies I’ve included both volumetric and weighed measurements. I’ve broken the ingredients into three groups to help simplify the instructions part since there are so many ingredients. As you will soon notice, I use a mix of cake and bread flour, but as always you can use all all-purpose flour instead.
This recipe, like so many of mine, is inspired from and built on the base of a Bo Friberg recipe. I took his idea and made it to my liking.
Chewy Trail Mix Cookies
8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
6 oz (3/4 cup packed) brown sugar
6 oz (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
2 oz (3 tablespoons) maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspon vanilla extract
10 oz (2 1/3 cup) cake flour
3 oz (1/2 cup) bread flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
6 oz (1 1/2 cups) granola of your choice
4 oz (1 cup) chopped walnuts
4 oz (1 cup) chopped pecans
4 oz (1 cup) chopped almonds
2 oz (1/3 cup) flaxseed, ground/broken
4 oz (1 heaping cup) rolled oats
10 oz (2 cups) raisins
8 oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1. Preheat oven to 325F.
2. Mix the butter, sugars and syrup together until just combined.
3. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until combined. Add the vanilla and mix in.
4. Add the flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and mix well.
5. Add the rest of the ingredients (granola, walnuts, pecans, almonds, flaxseed, rolled oats, raisins & chocolate) and mix until the pieces are distributed evenly throughout the batter.
6. Spoon the batter on to baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Flatten each cookie to a 1/4 to 1/2 inch tall disk.
7. Bake in a preheated oven for 16-18 minutes or until golden brown.