How To: Make Trail Mix Cookies With Native Nuts

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From Xplor: September/October 2017

Leaves aren’t the only things that fall in fall. Pecans, walnuts, and hickory nuts also drop. If you can find these tasty nuts before the squirrels do, you can use them to make yummy cookies.

Here’s what you need:

  • Hammer
  • Parchment paper
  • Large, rectangular cookie sheet
  • 2 large mixing bowls
  • Electric mixer
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing spoon
  • Ice cream scoop
  • Spatula
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or hickory nuts
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries, blueberries, or cherries

Here’s what you do:

  • Gather a bucket of pecans, walnuts, or hickory nuts. Use a hammer to crack open the hard shells and then pick out the nuts inside. Be sure you don’t leave shells in the crevices of the nuts. No one wants to bite down on a hard shell in a soft cookie!
  • Set your oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a different bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the brown sugar, white sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla.
  • Add the ingredients from the first bowl into the second bowl. Mix in chocolate chips, nuts, and berries. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  • Use an ice cream scoop to place balls of dough onto the cookie sheet. Smash each dough ball until it’s about an inch thick. Leave an inch of space between each cookie and the ones around it.
  • Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes until they’re golden brown. Let the cookies cool on a counter before eating (if you have the willpower).

Native Nut Identification

  • pecan
  • walnut
  • hickory

To learn about Missouri’s nuttiest trees, visit field-guide and type “hickory” into the search bar.

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Bonnie Chasteen
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