On the eve of our vacation, Mom raced to Target for a few last-minute airplane snacks. Since going mostly gluten-free, she mainly munches on cocoa-coated almonds, dried fruit, and dark chocolate. (Yes, chocoholism is genetic!)
Recently, Mom came across two new Archer Farms gluten-free trail mixes at Target: Monster Mix, with M&Ms, peanuts, raisins, chocolate chips, and peanut butter chips; and Caramel Cashew, with M&Ms, peanuts, cashews, and chocolate-covered caramels.
By the end of our first day, Mom and I had both developed the deadly habit of picking out the chocolate pieces from each bag, especially the M&Ms. (The chocolate-covered caramels weren’t far behind!) And because of Mom’s peanut allergy, I snuck out all of the peanut butter chips too.
On Day 3, my brother noticed the lonely nuts and raisins sitting on the counter, so Mom took pity on them and bought two bags of M&Ms to dump inside. (Which we ended up picking out all over again anyway!)
After returning home, I decided to combine my favorite bits of trail mix into one cookie: peanut butter, raisins, almonds, pretzels (I’m not gluten-free yet!), and M&Ms. Lots of M&Ms.
I ended up sneaking more warm cookies off the pan than I did chocolate out of the trail mixes… Oops!
These thick cookies are super soft and totally addictive. They incorporate all of my favorite parts of trail mix—especially the mini M&Ms!
- Preheat the oven to 350°, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, powdered peanut butter, baking powder, and cornstarch. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and egg whites for 1 minute, or until slightly frothy. Stir in the brown sugar and vanilla extract. Add in the dry ingredients, and mix until just incorporated.
- Reserve 4 teaspoons of mini M&Ms and 2 teaspoons of the chopped almonds, raisins, and pretzels. Add in the remaining ingredients, stirring just until incorporated. At this point if the dough is really sticky, refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Drop spoonfuls of batter onto the prepared cookie sheets. Shape the cookie dough so that it’s taller than it is wide. (This is important!!) Press 2 mini M&Ms and 1 piece each of almonds, raisins, and pretzels into the top of each dough ball. Reshape the dough if necessary (make sure they’re taller than they are wide!), and bake at 350° for 11-13 minutes. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
Notes: Roughly chop the almonds, raisins, and pretzels so that they’re about the same size as the mini M&Ms. With smaller pieces, it’s easier to shape the dough.
It’s really important to make the dough balls taller than they are wide. They won’t spread as much in the oven and result in thicker, softer cookies—my absolute favorite!
While it may seem like a strange ingredient for cookies, cornstarch helps keep the cookies soft too. (I can’t take credit for these last two brilliant tricks; they’re all thanks to Sally at Sally’s Baking Addiction!)
Mrs. Herb says...
I do the same thing and pick out all the M&Ms from trail mix! Or from anything, really 🙂 Love the idea of trail mix cookies, though – sweet+salty=mmmm!
I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one! Anything with chocolate is never safe around me. And thank you! I love the sweet and salty combination too. I can’t keep chocolate-covered pretzels in the house; they’ll disappear in just one afternoon!
Kylie @ immaeatthat says...
I’ve never been a huge fan of the taste of PB2 made into peanut butter…but in a cookie?! I think that could be something wonderful (and a way to use up my PB2 jar:))
Thanks Kylie! I treated the PB2 like flour (just like how we use almond flour made out of ground up almonds!), and it really enhanced the taste of the cookie. I’ve heard PB2 is also good in smoothies, and I’ve been enjoying mixing it into my yogurt! Just a few other ideas to try with the rest of your jar. 🙂
Mary @ Fit and Fed says...
Interesting tips (via Sally) about making the drops of cookie dough taller than wide and about including a little cornstarch in the dough. Good to know!
I agree, Mary! Sally is so smart when it comes to baking, and she’s a total sweetheart too! She has a number of other tips, including chilling the dough and adding an extra egg yolk. (I skipped that last one though since I try to post healthier recipes!)
Julie @ RDelicious Kitchen says...
I totally believe chocoholism is REAL. haha those cookies look delicious
Want to know my favorite part of trail mix? The raisins that get covered in the salt from the peanuts and pretzels!! Sounds weird, but if I could buy a bag of only those I totally would! 😉 These cookies look to die for… Taller than wide, huh? Why? So they don’t spread out too much?
That doesn’t sound weird at all, Andrea! Sweet (from the raisins) + salty = super yummy combination! And yes, to keep the cookies soft and thick, it helps to shape them taller than normal. I may have exaggerated just a bit with the “taller than wide” part… But the cookies stay soft for at least 5 days after in an air-tight container! I’ve never had that success before. 😀
These sound really good, but I’ve never heard of powdered peanut butter. Where do you find it??
Thanks Fran! I found my powdered peanut butter (sometimes called “peanut flour” too) at Whole Foods. They carry the brand PB2, and I’ve been really happy with it! Other grocery stores may carry powdered peanut butter as well, and you should find it on the same aisle as regular peanut butter.
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