This will be my first Father’s Day since Dad passed away. I’m doing my best to not dwell on the sadness and instead focus on remembering all the great times. I started thinking about what I would have baked for him if he were here, and I recalled a cookie I made for him a few years ago. That particular cookie had all sorts of things mixed in – not exactly the combination I used here, but lots of chunks and different flavors going on. I remember that at the time I wasn’t too fond of those cookies but Dad absolutely loved them.
This memory got the creative juices flowing and then I recalled one of Dad’s favorite snack foods of all time, sunflower seeds. The idea of a chunk-ified cookie involving sunflower seeds inevitably brought me to the idea of trail mix cookies, which seemed just the thing since Dad’s favorite pastime (other than playing with his grandkids) was hiking and camping. So I played around in the kitchen until I came up with these cookies. They have an oatmeal base, are a little bit sweet and salty, and have plenty of chunks. While they still aren’t my personal favorite cookie, they are pretty good, and I know Dad would have loved them. As an added plus, that other important dad in my life (you know, my husband) is crazy about them as well. =Cheers to all the dads for Father’s Day!
Trail Mix Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon; whisk to blend and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugars and beat on medium-high speed until light and smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Blend in the egg. Mix in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the dry ingredient mixture just until incorporated. Stir in the oats until evenly combined. Use a spatula to fold in the raisins, cherries, walnuts, chocolate and sunflower seeds, mixing just until evenly incorporated.
Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough at a time onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies at least a couple of inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until golden brown and just set. Let cool on the baking sheets about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
cookie, dessert, fathers day
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