Ever since 101 Cookbooks posted that Black Bean Brownie recipe I have been interested in agave syrup (you know, the one I attempted and failed because of accidentally doubling the black beans, but then created something kind of marvelous in its place?). Cookie Madness also picked up on the agave craze and has been investigating.
Agave is a type of plant, typically found in Mexico, that has thick, pointy leaves. It actually looks a little like aloe. There are a lot of things you can do with it (like make tequila… no thanks!), but you can also use the syrup/nectar from it as an alternative to sugar. Vegans may like it as a substitute to honey, and diabetics can appreciate its low glycemic index.
It’s a powerful little plant, so it’s not a one-to-one ratio of subbing in agave syrup for sugar. One cup of granulated sugar can generally be replaced with 1/3 cup of agave syrup.
So I was chowing down on a small bowl of my new favorite cereal – Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin Flax Plus Granola with Omega-3 – with all this in mind while I was thinking up a new wholesome cookie recipe (I know the granola sounds really questionable and much like Chef Edwin’s personal hell… but I promise you, it tastes great!). I wanted a cookie that would be hearty and full of oats but without tasting bland, tough and like bran (we’ve all had THOSE before). Mid-bite I remembered a small bag of trail mix that someone gave me as a gift that had been sitting in the pantry. Yum, a trail mix cookie was born!
The key players were Nature’s path granola, trail mix that included dried cranberries, almonds and golden raisins, oats, a little bit of coconut and a small combination of semi-sweet, white and peanut butter chips. Everything came together beautifully.
I was a little nervous at first because the agave syrup and butter didn’t seem to want to combine, but once I began adding other ingredients it was fine. Because I used agave, I didn’t get the crispy, browned edges and bottom that typically come from using sugar, so it might feel a little different. But the taste was great. My husband kept going back to the jar (very unusual for him!) and exclaimed that he loved finding a bite with a dried cranberry. I also gave him some to take to work and apparently they went over extremely well. This cookie has a lot of tasty nooks and crannies to explore!
Agave Trail Mix Cookies
3/4 cup Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin Flax Plus Granola with Omega-3
3/4 cup trail mix (a mix of dried cranberries, almonds and golden raisins)
1/2 cup oats (regular, not instant)
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter chips
1/4 cup shredded coconut
7 ounces (slightly more than 3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup agave syrup
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, combine granola, trail mix, oats, semi-sweet, white and peanut butter chips, and coconut. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine.
Beat room temperature butter until smooth. Add agave syrup, vanilla and egg. Beat well. Fold in flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Then fold in granola, oats, trail mix, chips and coconut.
Use a tablespoon to scoop large balls of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Place balls approximately 2 inches apart. Bake approximately 12-15 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely (these cookies cooled surprisingly fast). Store in an air-tight container.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies.