Chocolate Trail Mix Cookies

Chocolate Trail Mix Cookies by Brownie Mischief

Many people think of trail mix as a dry, chewy form of nourishment nibbled on during hiking or camping. Let me say that I think of trail mix as a highly customizable luxurious snack. That’s because I love to make my own delicious, personalized trail mixes by choosing my favorite additions. No hate to raisins and peanuts, but gorp is not allowed here. Chocolate covered nuts and fruit, step forward. Almonds, pecans, macadamias, pistachios, and cashews, please enter. Dried cherries and blueberries, welcome friends. White chocolate chips and caramel chips, you made it. Chocolate espresso beans, we’ve been waiting for you.

I took my love of personalized trail mixes to the next level by creating these Chocolate Trail Mix Cookies. Everything I love about those wonderful add-ins is combined in cookie form, then dunked in melted chocolate. They become beautiful when you decorate the tops with the add-ins. I used freeze-dried raspberries for my cookie tops because of the tartness and vibrant red color. Feel free to choose your favorite combination of add-ins and get creative when decorating the tops. Your additions combined, minus the oats, should be about two cups.

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Chocolate Trail Mix Cookies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in eggs and vanilla in three separate additions until well combined.
  5. On low speed, beat in flour mixture just until combined.
  6. Fold in oats, almonds, coconut, cranberries, pistachios and pumpkin seeds.
  7. Place 1 1/4 ounce round portions (about 2 tablespoons) three inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
  8. Bake until tops are set and no longer shiny, about 10-12 minutes.
  9. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  10. Combine melted chocolate and coconut oil in a small deep container, wide enough to fit the width of your widest cookie. Dunk cookies about halfway into chocolate. Top with nuts and seeds.

Maple Pecan Brownies

maple pecan brownies

Pecan pie was my mom’s favorite, but she didn’t bake pies, so I always used to bake her one for Thanksgiving. One year, I made a chocolate version. It was delicious, but let’s just say it wasn’t user friendly. It was gooey and hard to serve. Over the years, it eventually morphed into these Maple Pecan Brownies. The brownie version is still delicious, rich and gooey with toasty pecans, but much more user friendly.

Enjoying Maple Pecan Brownies with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee is a must. Thinking of it brings back memories. I can practically smell my dad brewing the coffee to go with these brownies.

Print Recipe
Maple Pecan Brownies
Rich, gooey brownies topped with pecan pie filling
Servings
brownies
Ingredients
Brownies
Pecan Topping
Servings
brownies
Ingredients
Brownies
Pecan Topping
Instructions
Brownies
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, overlapping the sides an inch or two. Spray parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together melted butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until well combined.
  3. Mix in eggs and vanilla, one at a time, until well combined.
  4. Mix in cocoa powder, baking soda and salt until well combined.
  5. Stir in flour just until combined.
  6. Spread batter into prepared baking pan. Bake just until top is set, about 25 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, prepare pecan topping.
  8. When brownie top is set, remove from oven. Gently pour pecan topping around the outer perimeter of brownies, to avoid making brownies sink in the middle. Evenly distribute the pecan topping over the top gently with a spoon.
  9. Return the brownies to the oven and continue baking until the topping is set, about 20-25 minutes. Brownies will stop jiggling and topping will look deep golden brown. Toothpick inserted inside will have a few moist crumbs on it. (If your topping starts to brown too much on the edges before the inside is done, apply aluminum foil around the edges as you would with a pie.)
  10. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting, about 2- 2 1/2 hours.
  11. Cut into squares, wiping knife between cuts.
Pecan Topping
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together maple syrup, butter, brown sugar, egg, maple extract and salt until well combined.
  2. Stir in pecans until well coated with maple syrup mixture.
  3. Set aside until brownies are partially baked.

Cocoa Meringue Brownies

One of my favorite things to top desserts with are meringue cookies. They’re as light as air and they look so pretty and whimsical! The color and flavor combinations are endless, so you can really have some fun getting creative. I decided to whip some up, especially for placing on top of my favorite brownies. They take even the most humble brownies to a new level. You can use your favorite brownie recipe or even a boxed brownie mix. I won’t judge! I like to make the meringues a day or two ahead since they take quite a while to bake in the oven. While they bake, a subtle chocolate scent will waft through your kitchen, reminding you of the smell of hot cocoa. They even taste like hot cocoa! You can make your brownies a few hours ahead or the night before. I cut mine into rounds with a 2 1/2-inch cutter. I cut 12 rounds of this size from a 13 x 9-inch batch of brownies. Right before serving, spoon some thick, glossy chocolate ganache on the brownies, then top them with your pretty meringues! To make these little bits of chocolate heaven, you’ll need:

  • 1 batch Cocoa Meringues (recipe below)
  • 1 batch of your favorite brownies
  • 1 batch chocolate ganache (see notes)


Print Recipe


Cocoa Meringues

Pretty, light and crispy treats that taste like hot cocoa!

Course Dessert

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Passive Time 2 hours

Servings
batch

Course Dessert

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Passive Time 2 hours

Servings
batch


Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Sift together powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.

  3. Place egg whites in a large bowl. Whip egg whites with the whip attachment of an electric mixer, at medium speed, until foamy.

  4. Add cream of tartar and salt to the egg whites. Whip at medium-high speed until soft peaks form.

  5. Gradually add granulated sugar and continue whipping, at medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form.

  6. Stop mixer. Sprinkle powdered sugar and cocoa mixture over egg whites and whip at low speed until until incorporated, about 10 seconds.

  7. *This step is optional. Place a large, disposable pastry bag, fitted with a round piping tip, into a tall drinking glass. (I used a Wilton tip #12.) Fold the top third of the bag over the glass, forming a cuff. Using a small, clean paintbrush, paint thin, vertical stripes of food coloring on the inside of the bag, from the piping tip to the edge of the fold.

  8. Spoon egg white mixture into the pastry bag. Pipe small kisses, 1 inch apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. (I made mine about 3/4-inch to 1-inch in diameter. If you'd like larger kisses, use a larger size piping tip.)

  9. Bake for 2 hours. Turn off oven and leave meringues in oven to cool and continue drying out for an additional 2 hours. Store tightly covered at room temperature for up to 3 days.


Recipe Notes

To make the chocolate ganache, I used a ratio of two parts semi-sweet chocolate to one part heavy cream. (Weighing the ingredients will give you the most accurate ratio.) Place 8 ounces of chopped semi-sweet chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the cream just to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, making sure to cover it completely. Let sit for 2 minutes, then stir gently until smooth.