Saturday, April 16, 2011

Trail Mix Cookies

We are moving in a few weeks, and while thinking about packing, I realized that I had several miscellaneous ingredients in my baking cupboard.  A variety of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and chocolate chips had been stashed away for some future use.  Rather than packing them up for a move to a new cupboard, I decided that future use should be a delicious cookie.  You can call them Amnesty, Compost, or Kitchen Sink Cookies (as in “everything but…”), but I call these Trail Mix Cookies.  A perfect snack in cookie form! 

I based this recipe on one for oatmeal raisin cookies in Baking Boot Camp by Darra Goldstein, and added a mix of raisins, dates, sliced almonds, and pumpkin and sunflower seeds.  You can of course add whatever mix of add-ins you prefer or happen to have on hand.  About the cookbook – the author chronicles her-week long Baking and Pastry “Boot Camp” at the Culinary Institute of American in Hyde Park, New York and shares all of their boot camp recipes.  Wouldn't that boot camp be fun?

Feel free to use your mixer for these cookies.  I mixed by hand since my pink Kitchen Aid mixer met its match with a hardened chunk of dark brown sugar, and the paddle attachment now wobbles uncontrollably.  You can find me at Bed Bath and Beyond tonight making an exchange!  Did you know they will exchange your broken appliance for a new one, no questions asked?

Trail Mix Cookies
Makes about 18 cookies

1½ cups AP flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar (I used a combination of both)
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups rolled oats
1½ cups mixed nuts, fruits and/or seeds (I used raisins, chopped dates, sliced almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds)

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl.  In another bowl, cream together the butter, and sugars until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.  Mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition.  Mix in the vanilla.  With the mixer on low (or stirring by hand), add in the flour mixture, oats and dried fruits/nuts seeds until combined.

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.  Using an ice cream scoop (or a big spoon), scoop the dough into large balls (about 2 inches in diameter) and place them on the cookie sheet.  After all the dough has been portioned, place the cookie sheet in the freezer for at least one hour.  At this point, the dough balls can be placed in freezer bags until ready to be baked (or baked immediately).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.  Place the cookies at least 3 inches apart, as they will spread a bit (I fit six cookies on a sheet).  Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 16 minutes until the edges are brown and the middle of the cookies are set.  Allow to cool on the baking sheet.  Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container or a Ziploc bag.

(Recipe adapted from Darra Goldstein's Baking Boot Camp)

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