Trail Mix Cookies

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The Perfect CookiesUnlike cakes and pies, we tend to think of cookies as anytime treats. Still, enjoying cookies with some frequency is easier to justify when the cookie doesn’t just taste good but is also good for you. In our quest to develop a more healthful cookie, we sought to pack a whole-grain dough with a variety of interesting mix-ins. A full cup of oats, combined with whole-wheat flour and a small amount of all-purpose flour for structure, formed our cookie’s base. Taking a cue from trail mix and its ideal blend of healthful yet tasty ingredients we added dried fruit, seeds, nuts, and chocolate chips. Trail mix preferences vary, but we found that our cookie base was versatile enough to support any combination of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit that you enjoy. A small amount of cinnamon gave the cookies a rounder flavor, and using brown sugar rather than white gave us the biggest bang for our buck; its deeper flavor meant we didn’t need to use an excessive amount of sugar. We needed just 5 tablespoons of melted butter, along with an egg, to bring the dough together. The result was a chunky, satisfying cookie filled with tasty goodness that you can enjoy whenever you like. We prefer the texture and flavor of old-fashioned rolled oats; however, quick oats can be substituted. Do not use instant oats.

  • Yield: 24 Cookies


  • 1 cup (3 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup (2¾ ounces) whole-wheat flour
  • ¼ cup (1¼ ounces) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup packed (7 ounces) light or dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup dried cherries, dried cranberries, or raisins
  • ½ cup unsalted pumpkin or sunflower seeds, toasted
  • ¼ cup pecans, walnuts, or almonds, toasted and chopped coarse
  • ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips
How to Make It
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk oats, whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda together in bowl.
  2. Whisk melted butter, egg, and vanilla together in large bowl. Stir in sugar until smooth, smearing any remaining clumps of sugar against side of bowl. Stir in oat mixture until just combined, then stir in cherries, pumpkin seeds, pecans, and chocolate chips.
  3. Working with 1 heaping tablespoon dough at a time, roll into balls and space them 2 inches apart on prepared sheets. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until edges are set and beginning to brown but centers are soft and puffy (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone), 12 to 16 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheet for 10 minutes. Serve warm or transfer to wire rack and let cool completely before serving.

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