Recipe: Hiker Crack Cookies

It's near the end of the hiking season and you're out on a backpacking trip.  Your stomach is growling and you know it's time for second breakfast, but all the foods you've been eating since springtime just don't sound appealing anymore.  Hungrily, you'll stuff a protein bar in your face while you walk and struggle to swallow.  Sound familiar?  All hikers tend to get tired of the same flavors of bars season after season, but I'm here to help!  My recipe for Hiker Crack Cookies will help get you through the rest of your season and are actually pretty good for you too!

These cookies are delicious all on their own, but on the trail I do step it up one more notch and add a filling.  When peanut butter or any other butter of your choosing (cookie butter, anyone?!) is added they make amazing sandwich cookies!  When I'm at home I dip them into yogurt or slather them with coconut butter as icing - even fruit spread is great on them.  Eat just one cookie and you'll see why we started calling them Hiker Crack!

 A plate of deliciousness! 

A plate of deliciousness! 

Hiker Crack Cookies (makes 4-5 dozen)  //   350 degrees for 10-12 minutes

Ingredients:
3 room temperature eggs
1 stick (1/2 cup) room temperature butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 cup nut butter (I've used all combinations of almond, cashew, peanut butter, and even Nutzo!
                             You just need it to equal one cup total)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup hemp seed (you can also use pumpkin, sunflower, or sesame seeds!)
1/4 cup chia seed
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I prefer the minis - you can get more in there!)
1/2 cup of currants/cranberries/raisins/blueberries - your choice!  Mixing is fun here too!
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup of almond flour or oat flour* 
3 cups rolled oats

Instructions:
1) Cream together the butter and both sugars until smooth and pale in color.  Slowly add in the eggs one at a time until mixed.  Add in your nut butter mixture until smooth, followed by your vanilla.  Scrape down the bowl.  Finally, add in the salt and baking soda and mix until smooth. 
2) While the mixer is going, put your hemp seed, chia seed, chocolate chips, dried fruit, coconut, almond/oat flour, and rolled oats in a mixing bowl and stir with a fork to evenly combine ingredients. 
3) Slowly add the dry into the wet ingredients until just combined.  
4) Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour - this is crucial or else your cookies will spread out and be very runny in the oven!
5) Preheat the oven to 350.  Using a tablespoon, drop the cookies onto the sheets and space them at least an inch apart.  
6) Bake for 10-12 minutes.  When they are just starting to turn golden brown on top, pull them out of the oven.  In my oven the bottom rack heats faster and I make sure to rotate my trays halfway through cooking.  Your oven may vary, so watch them closely on the first batch!
7) Let the cookies cool slightly before moving them to cooling racks. 

*Oat flour is simple to make at home if you don't have almond flour!  All you need to do is take 1 cup of rolled oats and throw them into a blender or a Magic Bullet.  I find that 1 cup of oats is pretty close to 1 cup of oat flour and makes a great substitute in recipes. 

Do you have any go-to recipes for day hiking or a backpacking trip that don't involve your typical trail foods?  I'd love to hear about them.  Leave me a comment below or join the conversation over on Facebook!