18 July 2010

Trail Mix Drop Cookies

Yes, that's really the best name I could come up with for these protein-packed little buggers. I'm pretty sure there are enough nutrients in these that they could be used as a meal replacement during times of duress, famine, or high-adventure sojourns in the Black Hills. Or for tomorrow when they sound better than a salad.

It's only fair that I send a warning with these cookies: they are not one of those tried and true, go-to when you need perfection type of cookies. These are for those unpredictable adventurous days when you have a hankering for a few wonderful things that would be even better enrobed in not-too sweet perfection. They'll be different every time you make them, so hitch on your sturdy boots, grab your jaunty adventure hat, throw caution to wind and use these as your "I'm better than a recipe" protein punch that really just tastes like a quick summer ball of gooey goodness.

Here's the basics:

1/2 cup fat—butter is always my preference for these endeavours
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp corn syrup (optional; not HFCS, if you just freaked out . . .)
1 tsp vanilla (or wah-nilla; it's your choice, really)
1/4 tsp baking soda
3.5-4 cups assorted mix-ins that reflect your current mood, desires, tastes, or intentions. I suggest:
  • nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, brazils, hazels, macadamias) chopped roughly if large
  • seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, flax, etc. salted or unsalted—it's your adventure!)
  • dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, dates, figs, pineapple, apple, banana, papaya, etc.)
  • candy (any type of baking morsel—chocolate, PB, white choc, M&Ms, Reese's Pieces, etc.)
  • rolled oats—I recommend using at least a cup of these for heartiness and overall perfection.
Combine your 4-5 cups of good things in a large bowl and set side. Combine fat, sugar, and corn syrup in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. It likely won't mix well, but that's okay because boiling it should fix that. Heat until mixture begins to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes. This is a small batch, so it doesn't have to boil very long to reach a caramel state, and you don't want it very hard or you won't be able to eat them. Remove from heat, mix in vanilla, being careful of splatter. Stir in baking soda and watch that baby foam. This foaming action makes it easier to spread the goo among the goodies, plus it's like a middle school science lab in your kitchen. Pour foamy sugar syrup over your reserved bowl of good things. Stir well, adding more mix-ins (I suggest using oats here) to thicken as needed. The mixture should be the consistency of a thick cookie dough. Drop by heaping tablespoon onto foil or paper and let cool. You could also press them into a greased 9x13 and cut them after they set. Eat. Be happy. Get a protein fix by accident.

That's the skeleton. Here's tonight's realization that made my whole family (even the nut-hater) happy to be alive.

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 Tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts
3/4 cups roughly chopped almonds
1/2 cup pepita (raw pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup+ rolled oats

I really didn't measure the oats, I just put them in after the rest was mixed until I liked the consistency. There's my best guess. These weren't too sweet nor too plain, and the agave not only kept them soft, but lent a beautiful complex flavour to the sweetness.

Break away! Have an adventure! Make cookies that are easy and aren't the same as the last time you had them!

Now that's living on the edge.


Mom said...

Rice krispie type bars on steroids. I did a similar thing once using granola as the base (granola bars). It was yummy, too. I think I'll have Jodi try this recipe!

Jodi said...

Oh my goodness! I'm completely in love. I must make these. I will make these.

Also, I love reading this blog. It makes me happy.