One day the idea came to me to put my favorite trail mix ingredients into a cookie. I mean, what snack isn’t good in cookie form? Imagine a traditional, soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie with crunchy toasted nuts and chewy dried fruit.
What’s fun about this recipe is you can use whatever ingredients you love in trail mix. I used my favorite nuts- almonds, walnuts and cashews – but peanuts, pecans and hazelnuts would be good, too. Same goes for the dried fruit. The cranberries are important because they add a nice tartness, but feel free to use raisins or golden raisins instead of the apricots. The only ingredient I highly recommend you not substitute is the chocolate chunks. It’s a known fact that the best part of trail mix is always the chocolate- and in a cookie- even more so!
Makes 18 cookies
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Place the almonds, walnuts, and cashews on a sheet pan and roast for 10-12 minutes, until well toasted. Cool completely, then roughly chop and set aside.
Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl if you are using a hand mixer, combine the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
With the mixer still on low, gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the cranberries, apricots, chopped nuts, and chocolate chunks to the batter and mix with a wooden spoon to combine.
Using a 2¼-inch ice cream scoop (or two spoons), form round balls of cookie dough about 2-inches in diameter. Place 9 balls of dough on each sheet pan, evenly spaced, and bake for 12-15 minutes, until just starting to turn golden brown and still soft to the touch. The cookies should seem under-baked; they will firm up as they cool.
Sprinkle the cookies lightly with salt, and let them cool for 5 minutes before carefully transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Serve immediately, or store in a sealed container at room temperature.
I do recipe testing and social media for Ina and love to cook for my friends on the weekend. Ina has given me lots of tips for easy cooking and entertaining, and I'm excited to share them with you here!