Cranberry Almond Trail Mix Cookies
This is kind of an uncharacteristically healthy cookie for me. (If you know me, you know it’s not often that I start tossing flax seeds and oats into my baked goods.) The recipe is my version of a super-yummy cookie that Whole Foods sells. They’re a real treat, but at almost $7 for a handful of cookies, I wanted to see if I could noodle out a similar recipe at home, based on one of my oatmeal cookie doughs. These come pretty close—and cost a lot less!
They’re chewy, and studded with a generous amount of sweetened, dried cranberries. (Yep, those are Craisins.)
Sweetened, dried cranberries
They’re fragrant with almonds from a generous amount of almond extract and a cup of sliced nuts. With such a strong marzipan-y flavor, I’ll take these over a granola bar anytime I’m craving an energy-packed snack. (A healthier snack that doesn’t taste like it? Yes, please!)
A handful of flax and sunflower seeds add some texture and nice crunch. For the sunflower seeds, be sure to get unsalted sunflower seeds (not the dry roasted kind).
Unsalted sunflower seeds
Flax seeds are fabulous for you. They’re packed with Omega-3s and protein. Most of the larger U.S. grocery stores carry the glossy little seeds these days. Whole Foods will definitely have ‘em if you’re having trouble finding them in your neck of the woods.
The trick to keeping these cookies nice and chewy is to undercook them ever-so-slightly. This means yanking them out of the oven when they look firm and are *just* starting to brown on the edges. (If you bake them ’til they’re very brown on top, they’ll be crispy—not chewy—when they cool.)
Take a peek at the pictures towards the end of this post, so you know just what you’re looking for.
Exciting stuff at The Hungry Mouse!
A quick update for you before we head to the ovens.
As some of you know, The Angry Chef and I have been in the process of relocating to Salem, Massachusetts—a fabulous—town about 20 minutes north of Boston.
It’s rich in history, and is home to a thriving community of artists, cooks and foodies, and other wonderful folks. We’re looking forward to showing you around the area in the coming months.
So! With the move pretty much done, we’re gearing up to celebrate our first anniversary (!!!) next month. We have a handful of over-the-top giveaways and contests planned—plus a very exciting and special announcement! Stay tuned!
Alrighty. To the kitchen!
Cranberry Almond Trail Mix Cookies
8 Tbls. butter (that’s 1 stick or 1/2 cup)
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups dried, sweetened cranberries
1 cup sliced almonds
2 Tbls. flax seeds
2 Tbls. unsalted sunflower seeds
Makes about 2 dozen large cookies
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set them aside.
Make the cookie dough base
Toss the brown sugar and butter in the bowl of your mixer (or a large mixing bowl if using an electric mixer or making the dough by hand).
Beat together until well combined. Crack in the egg.
Beat for a minute or two until well combined. You want the mixture to get lighter in color and look fluffy, like this:
Toss in the flour, baking soda, and a pinch of salt.
Beat until the mixture just comes together and is uniform. It will be very thick and rough looking.
Pour in the vanilla extract and the almond extract.
Beat to combine. The dough will still be very thick, but will smooth out a little from the liquid.
Add all the goodies to the cookie dough
Toss in the oats.
And the dried cranberries.
Add the sliced almonds, flax seeds, and sunflower seeds.
Beat together to combine all the ingredients. The dough will be very thick, and almost kind of dry. It should look like there’s more stuff in your bowl than actual cookie dough. That’s just fine.
Make and bake the cookies
Scoop out a blob of dough with a large soup spoon. You’re aiming for about the size of a golf ball. The dough should feel kind of loose in your hands. Roll it between your palms to smoosh the air out of it.
Put the ball on one of your prepared sheet pans. Repeat until you have a dozen on each sheet pan.
Line up the dough balls so they’re evenly spaced out.
Now, because there’s more stuff than dough to these cookies, they won’t spread much when baked. So, use your hand to smoosh the balls flat, like this:
Pop the pans into your preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 11-13 minutes, until they look firm and are just starting to brown on the edges. If you like, peek under one (carefully…like most hot cookies, they can be crumbly ’til cool). It should be lightly browned on the bottom, like this:
Yank the pans out of the oven when they’re done. Cool for 10 minutes on the pans, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
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