As a globe trotter, I’m always searching for the perfect, nutritious snack to tuck into my pack and hit the trail. Something like gorp, or “good old raisins and peanuts” (usually tossed in with granola). In the U.S. this is a piece of cake. In places like Southeast Asia and Latin America, it’s not as easy to find such a creation. You see, it must withstand oozing hot temperatures and colossal downpours, or the inevitable crash of your pack being heaved on top of a bus with chickens. When Bobby and I opened a guesthouse and cafe in Nicaragua, La Buena Onda, I was determined to make such a cookie-bar for our guests.

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I tested recipe after recipe, shifting quantities of baking powder and baking soda to accomodate the slight elevation of our city, Matagalpa, plunked in the middle of coffee and cocoa-growing hillsides. I used peanuts produced in-country and chocolate from our the confectionary down the road, El Castillo del Cacao. The result was a comforting, hearty, belly-satisfying snack.

Two years later in good ole’ Ithaca, I longed for a morsel of these cookies again. I got to baking, and discovered entirely new results! Despite following the exact same recipe, the combination of new conditions like the wonderful Farmer Ground Flour I use, my temperamental oven and the lower altitude rendered a new cookie all together.

And you know what, this recipe is pretty damn good! The cookies are light in weight, but sturdy in flavor and form. Fresh out of the oven, they are chewy on the inside and crisp around the edges. Over the course of the day, the cookies crisp up entirely, making them perfect for dipping in rose tea or coffee.

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Trail Cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 30 cookies

Ingredients

  • Oats - 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • All-purpose flour - 1 1/4 cups
  • Baking powder - 1/2 tablespoon
  • Baking soda - 1/2 tablespoon
  • Sea salt - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon - 1 tablespoon, ground
  • Butter - 1 stick unsalted, softened
  • Organic cane sugar - 1 cup
  • Eggs - 2 eggs
  • Vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon
  • Milk - 1/4 cup
  • Raisins - 1/2 cup
  • Peanuts - 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted
  • Chocolate chips - 1/2 cup

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease it with butter.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a small bowl beat together the butter and sugar until it is fluffy and creamy. Add the eggs, vanilla and milk, and beat until it just comes together.
  4. Make a pit in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the center. Using a spatula, fold the cookie dough together until it is thoroughly mixed (no puffs of dry flour).
  5. Mix in the peanuts, raisins and chocolate chips.
  6. Pinch off about 2 tablespoons of cookie dough and roll it into a ball. Place it on the baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the cookies about 1 inch apart. Use a fork to flatten the cookies.
  7. Bake for about 24 minutes, flipping the tray around halfway through. When the cookies become toasted brown, remove them from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
  9. Note: You can store the cookie dough in the freezer for up to 3 months, and when you're ready to make another batch you can start from step 6 after removing the dough!

Notes

Allergens: dairy, eggs, peanuts

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