I hesitated a bit in calling these breakfast cookies, because as a general rule, I don’t think that cookies are suitable breakfast food. However, these trail mix cookies are full of whole grains, dried fruit and seeds. I also tried the limit the amount of added sugar in these cookies, relying on the fruit to provide some of the sweetness. They really are not a typical dessert cookie.
These trail mix breakfast cookies are filling, provide some nutritional value and taste good. I don’t eat them for breakfast, but I do think they make a great snack.
I adapted from this recipe in the 2013 Milk Calendar.
I am a snacker. I graze throughout the day, eating snacks between each of my three meals. My “snacks” are not what many would consider a snack, but are often fruit, nuts, cheese, homemade muffins, or carrots and hummus.
My goal in making these trail mix cookies was to create a snack item that is filling and easy to grab and go. I included pumpkin seeds to boost the protein content so they would be sustaining. Pumpkin seeds are very high in protein. One ounce (28.3 g) of roasted pumpkin seeds contains an astonishing 8 g of protein. That is more than most nuts and significantly more than other seeds. The whole wheat flour, oats and dried fruit provide fibre, creating a well-balanced snack.
These cookies are not very sweet. That was deliberate on my part. I am not overly fond of very sweet things. I also wanted to limit the added sugar in something that would be eaten as a snack.
I chose some of my favorite trail mix ingredients for these cookies. I don’t like raisins, so I don’t buy commercially prepared trail mix. I make my own, which allows me to tailor it to my taste. I love apricots.
I used unsweetened coconut, to limit the added sugar and the sweetness level. Dried cranberries always have added sugar, so they and the maple syrup are the sources of added sugar in these cookies. I used unsalted peanuts in my cookies. Greg is allergic to tree nuts. If he were not, I probably would have used pecans instead of peanuts. I also used unsalted pumpkin seeds that are dry roasted. That way I get just the pumpkin seeds, with nothing else added. I buy mine at the Bulk Barn.
On my first attempt at these trail mix cookies, I was able to achieve the right proportions of fruit and seeds, but the cookies were not as flavourful as I had hoped. Greg’s comment was that they were not sweet enough. While adding more sugar (in this case maple syrup) might have been the obvious choice, I went a different route. I opted to add more spices the second time around. I added some fresh ginger, nutmeg and orange zest. Orange zest is almost like a spice to me, it is so flavourful. Spices add flavour; they can bring out other flavours, making more sugar unnecessary.
After some fine tuning, these trail mix breakfast cookies hit the right note. They are satisfying, have lots of flavour, and are not very sweet. These are not a dessert cookie, but rather a hearty snack that can be eaten on the go.
Recipe: Trail Mix Breakfast Cookies – makes about 3 dozen
Adapted from 2013 Milk Calendar
- 2 cups (500 mL) quick-cooking rolled oats
- 1 ½ cups (375 mL) whole wheat flour
- ½ cup (125 mL) ground flaxseed
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ teaspoon (7 mL) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (2 mL) salt
- ¼ cup (60 mL) canola oil
- 2/3 cup (160 mL) maple syrup (or liquid honey)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup (250 mL) milk
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) minced fresh ginger
- Zest of one orange
- Juice of one orange, about ¼ cup (60 mL) *
- 1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup (125 mL) unsalted peanuts
- 2/3 cup (160 mL) unsalted, dry roasted pumpkin seeds
- ¾ cup (180 mL) chopped dried apricots
- ½ cup (125 mL) dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, flaxseed, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together canola oil, maple syrup, eggs, milk, vanilla, ginger, orange zest and orange juice.
- Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients. Then add coconut, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, apricots and cranberries. Stir until just blended. If you over-mix, the cookies will be tough.
- Drop batter by the tablespoonful onto the lined cookie sheets. Space cookies about 1 ½ to 2” (4 to 5 cm) apart, as they will spread.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, until cookies are a bit golden on top. Let cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
* Tip: To get more juice from a fresh orange I find these two things helpful:
- Use an orange that is at room temperature; and
- Before cutting the orange, roll it on counter, pushing down a little with palm of hand to squeeze juice from pulp.
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