Happy Endings

While June technically brings summer our way, it's May that we look to for the true beginning of the summer season. And with it, May brings many opportunities to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Everything from hiking to biking to picnicking will be keeping us all busy from now until the fall. So, make sure you fuel those activities with something extra fun.

This month, I'm sharing a cookie recipe that packs all the goodies in a trail mix into a smaller package that's easier to enjoy on the run. Nuts, chocolate and dried fruit are all featured and the cookie stays moist since it's packed with brown sugar and peanut butter. And it packs an extra punch by substituting half of the flour needed with whole wheat flour.

Since these cookies are meant to fuel a long hike or other activity, I recommend using an ice cream scoop to make big, beautiful cookies. If you aren't the outdoor type, but would still like to enjoy these cookies, I'd recommend using a smaller scoop and baking these for about 10 minutes instead of 15 minutes.

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Trail Mix Cookies

  • 1/2 c. shortening
  • 1/2 c. chunky peanut butter
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 c. packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c. skim milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 c. oatmeal, uncooked
  • 2/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 c. dried cranberries

Beat the shortening, peanut butter and sugars until creamy. Blend in the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Sift together the flours, soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamy mixture and blend well. Stir in the oats, chocolate chips and dried cranberries. Using an ice cream disher, drop the batter onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

  • Yields: 24 cookies
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes