Friday, May 24, 2013

{Nut-Free} Trail Mix Cookies

Am I the only one who can't believe it's Memorial Day Weekend? May has gone by so quickly!
Since summer is on our doorstep, I think it's a good time to share these cookies with you. I've been anxiously holding on to them, you see.

I made these at the same time as my Road Trip Chocolate Chip Cookies because they use the same cookie dough base. Those are fabulous, but we all (my accomplished taste-testers and I, that is) agreed that these are better.
And that's really saying something.

To me, summer means hiking and camping. Which means trail mix: Sweet, rich chocolate, chewy raisins, crunchy, nutty sunflower seeds, crisp and salty pretzels.
When I put together this recipe, I had my darling little nephews in mind. They have allergies to tree nuts, which meant I couldn't just throw your standard trail mix into the batter and go. Sunflower seeds have a nutty flavor, with none of the allergens involved with peanuts. If you don't have an allergy to consider, however, feel free to sub in chopped peanuts. Or whatever crunchy, salty nut your heart desires -- cashews and pistachios would also be lovely. Either way, you will be beyond pleased with these cookies.

Trail Mix Cookies

2 c. + 2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) salted butter, melted (or browned!) and slightly cooled
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 c. M&M candies
1/3 c. coarsely chopped pretzels
1/4 c. raisins
1/4 c. shelled, roasted sunflower seeds or coarsely-chopped peanuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Mix the flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the butter and sugars until combined. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until well mixed. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until a stiff dough forms. Gently fold in M&Ms, pretzels, raisins, and sunflower seeds/peanuts into the dough until evenly distributed.
Shape dough into walnut-sized balls (I use a cookie scoop), and place on parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until the edges are slightly brown. Be careful not to overbake.
Let cool for a few minutes on the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


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