Our ski hill has two supremely slow, double chairlifts. Andy and I always take turns with the kids, hugging them against the wind as we amble up the slope, snow ghosts saluting our efforts. We always took turns, until one weekend last winter when both of our daughters wanted only to ride with Andy. Every run they fought over sitting with him while I stood alone in line, scooping my ego up off the ice cold earth.
Turns out homeboy had chocolate in his pocket! Yep. I discovered this sweet secret at the end of the day when my family choked back giggles to my question, “So, what gives with nobody wanting to ride with mama on the chair?!”
So now I carry treats too and again feel adored on the chairlift. Whew.
Of course, my sweets are also packed with nourishment. I mean, my kids would be shocked if I didn’t try to slip some sort of hippie somethingerother in there. It’s my thing. And I’m pretty sure they appreciate it. Or, they will some day.
The girls and I were recently tasked by Bob’s Red Mill with developing a cookie and, seriously, what a magical assignment for our kitchen-loving, mess-making, cookie-eating bunch.
I set out to create a fueling (for the energy), satisfying (for the craving) and substantial (for the being smashed a puffy coat pocket) cookie that I could haul around on the ski hill, at the creek and on our general adventures. The Montana Camp Cookie.
We used local honey, chopped peanuts, peanut butter, applesauce, oats and dried cherries. But it can all be switched up. At first we used almonds and almond butter but Margot was right on when she said, “These almonds are wrong. The cherries need peanuts instead of almonds.” They’d also be good with coconut. Any dried fruit would work. I’d like to try pine nuts and figs.
Applesauce is easy enough to purchase but it’s also so easy to make: I don’t even remove peels. I just chop, add a bit of water, cook for a few minutes and purée with an immersion blender.
Andy is the usually the cookie maker and imbiber in our home so it was a fun challenge to create an item good enough for his experienced taste buds. After a few flops with the hearty cookie (not sweet enough, too bready etc.)…we nailed it. And, the real surprise? Andy guessed wrong on the gluten vs. gluten free versions. YES HE DID.
Montana Camp Cookies
- 1/2 cup butter (one stick), softened
- 1/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, unsweetened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 cups flour (we obv used Bob’s Red Mill for this recipe but, honestly, it’s what we always use anyway for both white flour and gluten-free. I’ve long appreciated the company’s commitment to additive-free, wholesome, consistent products.)
- 1 1/2 cups oats
- 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups dried cherries, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cream butter, brown sugar and honey. Add applesauce, vanilla, peanut butter and egg.
3. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add chopped cherries last.
4. Add dry ingredients to wet, a little bit at a time, until it’s all combined.
5. Spoon by the tablespoonful onto baking pan and cook for 20 minutes.
As I mentioned, we also made this recipe with Bob’s gluten free flour and it was fabulous. We recently found out Ruby has a gluten sensitivity so we’ve been studying GF baking. We’ve made things that are too dense and things that just don’t hold together (that glorious gluten is a powerful proteiny agent of chew!) I learned that Bob’s GF flour works so well because the protein in the whole grain sorghum flour helps give the cookies a purt-near wheat-like consistency. Honestly, it’s so close (see above example of my confused, cookie aficionado husband.) Other ingredients in this flour: brown rice flour, sweet white rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, xanthum gum.
Our ski hill opens this weekend and I plan to give these cookies a whirl up there on the chilly lift. Looking forward to lots of Camp Cookie making in our future. Hopefully with just as much interpretive, chef knife dancing.
→ I made my kids’ aprons. See them at www.digandco.com.
→ Wooden kitchen tools by my pal at Earlywood.
→ Check out the other 49 cookie recipes from the rest of our country in the 50 bloggers, 50 states, 50 cookies mission: United States of Cookies.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.