Now that all the Christmas goodies are gone, I find myself still scurrying through cabinets for something sweet. Bad habits dying hard, I suppose.
Rather than the traditional January crash diet, I like to move myself slowly back to healthy bathing suit season food. Swap the rich, sugary fluff for a hearty oatmeal cookie instead. I'm on an apricot and cranberry kick right now, providing direction for Trail Mix Cookies. Hearty, protein-packed cookies shoved full of spices, fruit and nuts. Granola wishes it had grown up to be this cookie. I can hear its muffled regret from inside the cereal box. These are seriously delicious.
A few notes about the recipe:
- Having been diagnosed with Celiac's Disease, all of my recipes are gluten free now. For you non-gf folk, just use the same amount of all purpose flour.
- On the subject of gf flour: Cookies don't bake long enough to burn off the taste of legume flours. The batter for your cookies should be delicious because it's not going to change that much. I usually use sorghum flour as my whole grain in cookies. This time I used sweet potato because it fit so well. (Thanks Sis for the Christmas gift).
- The stir-ins: Except for the oats, the amounts are estimates. I usually measure in fistfuls. Really like an ingredient? Add more of it. If you want to simplify this recipe to just chocolate chips or just raisins, take out the orange zest and add 1/2 c of oats. But seriously, try it this way first. These are top shelf.
- To toast almonds: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds out on a stout cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, shuffling the almonds every 5 minutes. If you're like me, my oven always preheats before my cookies are done. With some multi-tasking, you can toast the almonds while you prepare the dough. Don't skip this. The smoky almonds are amazing.
Trail Mix Cookies
Adapted from the Joy of Cooking. Spices, additions, gluten free substitutions, bake temp and time are my own. Yields about 60 cookies.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk together dry ingredients:
1 c sweet potato or sorghum flour
3/4 c tapioca starch
3/4 t baking soda
3/4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/4 t nutmeg
In stand mixer on medium speed, cream:
1 c softened butter
1/4 c sugar
1 1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 T vanilla
1 t orange zest
+/- 1 T milk
When wet ingredients are well blended, add dry ingredients in three parts. Turn down mixer speed and stir in:
3 c oats
1 c white chocolate chips
1/2 c toasted almonds
1/2 c toasted chestnuts - these grab your attention mid-chew. On sale at Costco right now for $4.
1/2 c craisins
1/2 c dried cherries
1/2 c chopped dried apricots - unsulfured is best
Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto lined cookie sheet spaced about 2 inches apart. Flatten the dough slightly to make rounds. Bake one cookie sheet at a time in the center of the oven for 12 minutes. Let cool 2-3 minutes on cookie sheet before moving to cooling rack.
I hope you enjoy!
I hope you enjoy!