Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Trail Mix Cookies

Our friend, Lennie, comes to have dinner with us and watch sports about twice a month, more often during baseball season. It's our way to have an enjoyable evening with him, share our love of sports, and give this man, now seven years a widower, a home-cooked meal. He always asks what he can bring, which is generally nothing, as we have plenty, but sometimes during busy weeks we'll assign him a salad, snack, or dessert.

A couple of weeks ago Lennie brought us a big bag of mixed nuts to nibble on during the first four innings while the dinner was cooking. As we were sipping our drinks and enjoying the
fancy nut assortment, he mentioned that he had seen another type of nut mix, but it had chocolate in it and wasn't sure if it would be something I would like. I was nonplussed.

“Did you hear what you just said, Len?” I asked him.

          I think I did, he said, screwing up his face remembering.
Oh! the light dawned. Should I have gotten the chocolate?"

Yes, Len, I told him. Any time there are options, no matter what they are, if one of them involves chocolate, you go for that one."

The next week he arrived carrying a 4-pound bag of trail mix containing almonds, cashews, peanuts, raisins, and good old M&Ms. He did good. But four pounds is a LOT of trail mix. We whittled it down during the course of a very stressful game, all of the while I sat there thinking that this would probably be wonderful in cookie form.

So today I decided to make some cookies using the trail mix, and a few of my own additions just to see if the cookies would be any good. In order to properly compare, I made chocolate chip and toasted pecan cookies as well so we could compare them side by side.

Hands down the trail mix cookies won!  The salty and sweet, crunchy and chewy combination of ingredients made for some satisfyingly delicious cookies. My addition of toasted pecans gave them a bit of smokiness; the Aronia berries added a bit of tang to the sweet. (If you can't find Aronia berries, substitute dried cranberries.)
Trail Mix Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup M&Ms
1/3 cup peanuts
1/3 cup whole almonds
1/3 cup cashew halves
1/3 cup toasted pecans, rough chopped
1/3 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 375

Cream the butter with the brown and granulated sugars. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt and add to the creamed mixture. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Drop rounded spoonfuls of batter 2 inches apart onto a baking sheet. Bake the cookies until they're pale golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Makes about 48 cookies.
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Linda said...

What a great idea! I love that you had a baseline batch for comparison. ;)

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

They look great and I bet they tasted good also. Thanks for the recipe.
Have a great weekend.

Maria said...

Love your photos of the delicious cookies! stop by Fabulous Friday and share your post Thanks Maria

Maria said...

Hope to see your amazing creative posts at Fabulous Friday, which is going on now. Have a wonderful week. I love the cookies you shared at the last one.
Hugs Maria