I have no green thumb to speak of (as evidenced by my office succulent that I somehow managed to kill), so instead of cultivating a garden, I’ve been working on growing my pantry. What used to be a sad, spartan collection of cans has now proliferated into jars of random spices, flours and oils. I used to be intimidated by funny-sounding ingredients, but now I heartily embrace them for their kitchen-experience-enhancing properties.
My latest additions have included almond meal, coconut oil, plain cashews, and flax seed meal. I bought these ingredients without any purpose or prior experience, trusting that my “alternative” cooking instincts would find a use for them. As my cooking instincts are wont to do, they naturally turned to dessert and compelled me to make cookies… healthy cookies.
I took the “kitchen sink” approach to these treats, throwing in whatever nuts and dried fruit happened to be lying around. I also added gluten-free oat flour for flavor, flax seed meal for heartiness, and dark chocolate drizzle ’cause I wanna. I brought these to dinner with friends and earned absolute rave reviews; they had a hard time believing that these cookies were vegan! We paired these with ice cream and all was good in the world.
Trail mix cookies
Adapted from Elana’s Pantry. Makes 32 cookies.
- 2 1/2 cups (240 grams) almond meal, sifted
- 1/2 cup (80 grams) rolled oats, pulsed until fine
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons flax seed meal
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, softened
- 1/2 cup agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Optional toppings: you can really throw in anything you’d like, but here’s what I used with great success
- 1/2 cup (40 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup (28 grams) plain cashews, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) cranberries
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) pumpkin seeds
- Optional drizzle
- 2 ounces of dark chocolate
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix dry ingredients in one bowl.
- Mix wet ingredients in one bowl, making sure that the coconut oil is not too hot (which will melt your chocolate) or too cold (in which case, it’d be solidified).
- Stir together the wet and dry ingredients. Add in your optional toppings and mix thoroughly.
- Form cookies into 1-inch flattened balls on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. You may want to refrigerate the dough for a few minutes beforehand in order to let it set and scoop more easily.
- Bake for 7-10 minutes or until the outer edges of the cookies turn golden brown.
- Remove and let cool.
- To make the drizzle, warm the dark chocolate in a double burner until it takes on a liquid consistency. Set up your workstation so that there is minimal space between the cookies (which should still be on parchment paper) and your double burner. Dip a rubber spatula in the melted chocolate and quickly run over the cookies. Design as you desire and finish with a tiny sprinkle of sea salt.