A week ago, I had the opportunity to take a work “off-site” in Sonoma, which was essentially a weekday devoted to playing outside with a group of girls that I absolutely adore.
In my experience, hiking requires cookies, and cookies always taste their best on a hike. We had to have some for our day. Thus, I sought to make a treat that would appeal to a bunch of gourmet nutritionists on a hot day, while wandering the trails of Northern California.
These cookies are a nod to trail mix, with their chocolate chips, walnuts, the nutty flavor of whole wheat flour, and a sprinkle of salt on top. I used about 1/2 the sugar that other cookie recipes call for, and it was not missed a bit. Espresso powder classed up the recipe, added a unique flavor element, and helped to keep our energy levels high!
*Best consumed with an adventure.
- 2 cups walnuts
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 teaspoons espresso powder
- 2 cups dark chocolate chips
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Pulse walnuts in a food processor until they are the consistency of a coarse meal. Toast lightly in a saute pan until golden and fragrant. Set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, and continue to mix. Separately, combine the flour, baking soda, fine salt, and espresso powder. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet, then stir in the walnuts and chocolate.
Shape the dough into balls, roughly 2 tablespoons each. Place on the prepared baking sheet, and bake for about 15 minutes. For a delicious addition, at about 10 minutes into baking, sprinkle the cookies with the coarse salt, then finish cooking.
And some cute girls on a hike in Sonoma …