Happy Trails Adventure Cookies

194 comments

IMG 1170   Happy Trails Adventure Cookies

Last week was the week of the granola bar in my kitchen.

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It was also, unfortunately, the week of sticky fingers, sticky cupboards, sticky floors, sticky handles, and sticky clothing.

Actually, it still is. I should do something about that..

I’ve been testing oodles of baked and no-bake granola bars for the cookbook, working hard to get the perfect flavour, texture, and combination of healthy ingredients for each one. Granola bars are one of my all-time favourite things to bake and eat, but they can be tricky to get just right! One day, I’d like to write a cookbook devoted to granola bars, squares, and other snacks. That would be right up my alley.

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I planned this week of granola bar testing to coincide with our upcoming trip to Calgary (we leave tomorrow morning). We’re having a family reunion of sorts (Grandpa and Diane are also coming from Ontario…yay!!) so I will have lots of eager testers, most importantly my nephews. Kids are the best critics of all..they are just so honest.

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I’m just hoping the 60+ bars and two huge super soaker water guns (best aunt ever) don’t put my suitcase over the weight limit. I may be forced to eat all of the granola bars at the check-in counter (worst aunt ever). I’m willing to do whatever is necessary. That includes baking more and turning my mom’s kitchen into a sticky mess. Sorry mom.

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After last week’s granola-bar-athon, I decided it was time to move on. For now, at least. Next up: a portable hiking cookie to bring during our weekend hiking adventures.

I had a vision in mind:

1) Crispy around the edges

2) Chewy in the middle

3) Loaded with healthy ingredients

4) Fold in nuts, seeds, and dried fruit

5) A touch of chocolate, never hurts either (Enjoy Life mini chips are amazing and vegan too)

6) Props for being a bit homely looking! Ok, I added that in after the fact. ;)

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Here’s another great thing about the cookies – they are free of any added oil. The secret lies in a base of toasted pecans.

You simply toast pecans in the oven and process or chop them until they are smaller than peas, like so:

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This toasted pecan base creates a lovely “buttery” flavour without having to add a drop of oil. I’m sure you could also use walnuts here, but I love the sweetness of pecans. A mixture of the two might work well also. To round out these cookies I added dried sweetened cranberries, pepita seeds, and mini chocolate chips.

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The batter is very sticky so I had to dip my hands into a bowl of water, lightly shake them off, and then roll the dough into balls that way. Every 4 cookies or so, I re-dipped my hands into the water. This method worked really well. Be sure to pack the dough together firmly as this will help them stick together.

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After 11-12 minutes at 350F, we have a winner!

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Happy Trails Adventure Cookies

Print, Email, or Text this recipe

Yield: 13-14 cookies

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup pecans, toasted
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp oat flour (I made my own flour in the blender using 1 cup rolled oats)*
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp rolled oats*
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 scant tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed

 

Wet ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp brown rice syrup*
  • 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract

 

Mix-ins:

  • 1/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • 3 tbsp pepita seeds
  • 3-4 tbsp mini chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life brand)

 

1. Preheat oven to 325F and toast pecans for 8-10 minutes, watching closely. Remove and set aside to cool. Turn oven temp to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or grease with oil. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.

3. In a mini processor (or by hand) process/chop the pecans into small crumbs, just smaller than the size of peas. Stir into the dry ingredients.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir well until combined. The dough will be very sticky, but not to worry. Fold in the mix-ins.

5. With lightly wet hands, grab about 2 tbsp dough and shape into a ball, packing firmly. Place on prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Repeat for the rest, wetting hands every 4 cookies or so.

6. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes (I baked for 11.5 mins). Cool on baking sheet for at least 10 minutes. When completely cooled, store in a glass jar or freeze for maximum freshness.

Note: 1) To make these gluten-free, using certified GF oats and check all other ingredients. 2) If you eat honey, you can probably use it as a sub for brown rice syrup. I do think the cookies need either brown rice syrup or honey for the cookies to hold together and retain that nice chewy texture. I don’t recommend subbing it for more maple syrup.

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Enjoy the cookies with a cold glass of almond milk or simply as fuel for all your outdoor summer adventures.

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happy trails to you!

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{ 194 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa June 20, 2012

Fabulousness. I love your recipes, photos, and philosophy. I plan on cooking my way through your blog this summer!

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Zestful Lou June 20, 2012

Yay! Thank you! Road trip fuel!!

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The Blissful Baker June 20, 2012

These cookies look so great! Thanks for the post! I have been waiting for it since I saw your picture teaser yesterday :)

Check out my latest recipe @ bakingblissful.blogspot.com

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KellyB June 20, 2012

Hi
Bring on the granola bar cookbook. I also love keeping a stash of homemade bars in the freezer for kids’ after school snack and on the go in the car.

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Kelly June 20, 2012

They just came out of the oven and smell so good! Can’t wait to try one! Do you think apple would work in this recipe (not dried)? :)

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Earthy Nicole June 20, 2012

Those cookies sound yummy and I love the idea of a granola bar cookbook!
I hope this isn’t obvious, because I searched around your blog, but what ever happened to Glo Bakery? Do you still run it and accept orders?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 20, 2012

I closed it last year so I could pursue my cookbook. Who knows someday I might reopen it again in some shape or form. Maybe a store front someday! We’ll see :)

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Earthy Nicole June 20, 2012

Well that makes sense! I can only imagine blogging, running a bakery, AND creating a cookbook on top of that! Best of luck with the book! I know I’ll be buying copy when it’s out!

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Natalie (Willrunforveggies) June 20, 2012

I don’t have any summer hikes planned yet but I think I’ll have to make these cookies anyway! They look delicious. As do the granola bars–can’t wait to see which recipes you end up using in your book!

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luv what you do June 20, 2012

Trail mix is my favorite part of hiking and trail mix cookies sound even better!

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Emma June 20, 2012

These look delicious! I can always count on you for amazing baked treats. My favourite are your peanut butter chocolate crispies- to die for! xx

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Carrie (Carrie on Vegan) June 20, 2012

I’m so happy you posted the recipe for these! They look so good and perfect for a hiking trip (or a long day of traveling or just because). Hope you are enjoying the summer, Angela, it looks like you are having a lot of fun!

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Nicole @ it's about the journey June 20, 2012

These look delicious! The granola bars remind me of your OSG bars..speaking of, are you still selling/making them? Happy travels :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 23, 2012

Hey Nicole, I closed the bakery last fall, but I still make the bars on occasion. I hope to include a couple glo bar recipes in my upcoming cookbook :) As for the bakery, I may open it at another time in the future…we’ll see

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Stefania @ Revitalize with Stefania June 20, 2012

I myself am on a granola kick. Lately it’s not bars, just granola cereal. These cookies sound tasty and filling!

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Sara Lake June 21, 2012

Get some food handling gloves! The powder-free vinyl ones are great. Nothing sticks to them. They are brilliant for even the most sticky stuff.

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Adina June 21, 2012

YUM. I WANT.

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LizAshlee June 21, 2012

Crispy on the edges and soft in the middle sounds spectacular..my fav kind of trail mix cookie!

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Kristin June 21, 2012

These look wonderful!!! I can’t help but chuckle at the name after reading “50 Shades of Grey”
“Happy Trail” has a whole new connotation :)

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Alex @ Raw Recovery June 21, 2012

I’ve really been wanting to make cookies that aren’t the typical chocolate chip or snickerdoodle (although I love those and they have their place). I’m excited for more granola bar recipes in your cookbook and these cookies look great! My goal for the summer is to do a lot of no-bake recipes and things that can be frozen because it is ridiculously hot where I am.

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Courtney H June 21, 2012

Oh my goodness these look DIVINE!! I may have to make some this weekend :)

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Christine June 21, 2012

These are just what the doctor ordered! I just learned that I am allergic to cane sugar, so successfully substituted the chocolate chips for a mix of unsweetened carob chips and cacao nibs, and the sugar-sweetened cranberries for a mix of fruit juice-sweetened ones and black currants. Happy to have a nutritious and energy-giving sweet snack – thanks!

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Andrea June 21, 2012

These look delicious! And I would gladly come clean up all the stickiness in exchange for being your taste-tester! Haha! :) Have a beautiful day and a fun trip to see your family!

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Alook Training June 21, 2012

Hope you have a great time in Calgary! Come visit us if you need to get a quick workout in :). In the meantime… those granola bars look amazing- going to go look for the recipes in your earlier posts!

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Alook Training June 21, 2012

Just looked- no granola bar recipes? Suppose we’ll have to wait for the cookbook! :)

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Heathy @ Sweetly Raw June 21, 2012

Granola bars are one of m y favorites too. It’s so fun to come up with recipes, and eat the trials in the process :) I’m sure that all your family will love them. Super soakers too?! Definitely the best aunt ever. Great idea to use pecans as a base in the cookies! Have a great trip.

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Katelyn June 21, 2012

These look super yummy Angela, thank you!! Any chance you might start posting nutrition info for your recipes? Either online or in the book? I’m looking for a good granola recipe too… not bars though so I’ll wait to you get to that category ;)

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Sandra T June 21, 2012

My son just went “YUM!” when he saw the recipe!! :) As part of PE lessons, he and his class are going swimming every morning, from next week for the next two weeks. These cookies will make a perfect “after-swim” snack – so I’d better get baking then! :D Thanks for the recipe Angela xx

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sarah@thesweetlife June 21, 2012

your granola bars look amazing! As do the cookies. I’ve been working with breakfast cookies recipes recently because I love the idea of cookies for breakfast!

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Healthy Eater June 21, 2012

All of the pictures look so yummy! Can’t wait to read your cookbook!

Will the airport security think your two super soaker water guns are real and take them away? :)

Random question since you recently went to Arizona. When you fly to the States, do you opt out of the scanners that emit the radiation (backscatter = 2 blue walls) Thankfully, Canada does not use the ones with radiation.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 23, 2012

Thank you! Thankfully they didnt take the water guns :)
I have been through the body scanners a couple times…even though I didnt have a good feeling about it. :\ Can you just say you dont want to go through? Do they give you a pat down instead?

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Healthy Eater June 23, 2012

I think you can opt out of the scanners in the US and just take a pat down. I prefer less radiation, esp. if it’s concentrated on the top layers of my skin and exposing areas not normally xrayed (you usually get a lead shield to wear at the dentist and most people don’t get their eyes xrayed).

Can’t wait for your cookbook!!!!!!!

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The Cozy Herbivore June 21, 2012

Wow! These look so chewy and delicious, perfect for an after-hike snack! I love the fact that there’s no added oil– the pecans are an inspired choice. Can’t wait to give these babies a try!

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Amber from Slim Pickin's Kitchen June 21, 2012

Yum, yum, yum! These looks awesome. I also couldn’t agree with you more. Granola bars are really difficult to nail. Sometimes they are so right, but sometimes they are oh so wrong! PS. I dreamed about your endurance crackers last night. Weird.

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Amanda June 21, 2012

Is it just me or do the posts seem to be taking up less space and the ads more space? I might just be crazy!

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B @ Crags and Veggies June 21, 2012

Wow, these look so good! Especially the large chunks of chocolate!!!

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Jonathan Aluzas June 21, 2012

Wow, these look good. I just read Scott Jurek’s “Eat and Run” (or “Run and Eat,” can’t remember, but it’s pretty much the same either way) in which he includes a bunch of tasty vegan recipes, this comes, so my mind is much more open to these kinds of recipes than it has been in the past. Will definitely try it out!

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Kata Santek June 21, 2012

delicious…

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Jess June 22, 2012

These look unreal! Can’t wait to try them! :)

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Kate June 22, 2012

I really enjoyed these! I subbed honey for the brown rice syrup (worked just fine!), and mixed in raisins instead of cranberries/pepitas/chocolate chips, so I had more of an oatmeal raisin cookie. My boyfriend, who usually does not enjoy my “healthy” cookies, really liked them too. The flavor of the toasted pecans really made these cookies. Thanks for the great recipe!

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Living, Learning, Eating June 22, 2012

Yum, bars and cookies are the best!

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Ashley Dodge June 22, 2012

These cookies look amazing! I’m going to buy the ingredients this weekend:)

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Laura and Denise June 22, 2012

This is such a good idea as I have been hiking more this summer. This would be the perfect snack and the perfect way to lure my friends to come with me more often!

Also, I think I would miss the oil a bit. Isn’t it a good source of fat? I guess pecans are too though.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 23, 2012

Yes, in this recipe the pecans provide a healthy source of fat.

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Flower June 22, 2012

I always struggle with cookies bc I cant stop at one. Then I always feel guilty. These look guilt free and no OIL! How awesome!

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Ellie@Fit for the Soul June 22, 2012

So far any healthy cookie from you that I’ve tried, I have LOVED. and I agree that kids ARE the best food critics!! That’s why I always get really happy if they devour them…;)

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