Trail Mix Protein Bar Cookies

Well this is a first. I’ve made hundreds of different cookies between blogging and two cookbooks.

And I’ve made Trail Mix Cookies, but I’ve never baked protein bars into cookies.

Trail Mix Protein Bar Cookies - Packed with your favorite trail mix goodies, even protein bars!! Soft, chewy, and accidentally healthy!!!

The idea came to me in an effort to use some of the oodles of protein bars I bought. I go through spurts every couple years where I fall in love with protein bars, buy them by the case to save money, lose interest, forget about them, and move onto something else.

I put my stash to work by dicing two protein bars, made a brown sugar-based dough, and added the protein bars along with my favorite trail mix add-ins.

Trail Mix Protein Bar Cookies - Packed with your favorite trail mix goodies, even protein bars!! Soft, chewy, and accidentally healthy!!!

MY OTHER RECIPES

Oats, dried cranberries, raisins, and pumpkin-spiced pumpkin seeds. The seeds are a seasonal item at Trader Joe’s and they’re dangerously, fabulously amazing. If you prefer sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, or another nut or seed, go for it.

Like the last Trail Mix Peanut Butter Cookies I made, the recipe is highly adaptable based on your favorite items and what you have around. I used 3/4 cup dried cranberries and 1/4 cup raisins. Aim for 1 cup dried fruit, mixing and matching from your favorites.

Trail Mix Protein Bar Cookies - Packed with your favorite trail mix goodies, even protein bars!! Soft, chewy, and accidentally healthy!!!

I used one Peanut Butter Supreme Quest Bar and one Chocolate Brownie Quest Bar. I get my bars from iHerb.com. Code AVE630 at checkout saves you $10 off your order. I love iHerb for everything like coconut oilprobioticsbulk cinnamonpumpkin pie spiceliquid vanilla stevia dropsbulk white stevia powdermedicinal fancy-grade honeychia seedsface cleansernutritional yeast, and mini chocolate chips.

Because protein bars vary widely, results will vary and you may need to experiment with a few types or flavors to find the perfect bar for the cookies. The Quest Bars worked great and I loved both the chocolate and peanut butter bursts of flavor the bars add.

The cookies are soft, ultra chewy, and loaded with amazing texture in every bite. I love the way the crunchy seeds and chewy dried fruit complement each other and when baked, the protein bars turn extra chewy.

Trail Mix Protein Bar Cookies - Packed with your favorite trail mix goodies, even protein bars!! Soft, chewy, and accidentally healthy!!!

I ate one before a run and busted out 12 fast miles. That’s my cue to eat cookies before every run.

Oats, dried fruit, seeds or nuts, and protein bars. That means the cookies are automatically healthy.

Trail Mix Protein Bar Cookies - Packed with your favorite trail mix goodies, even protein bars!! Soft, chewy, and accidentally healthy!!!

Trail Mix Protein Bar Cookies

I put my stash of protein bars to work by dicing two bars, made a brown sugar-based dough, and added the protein bars along with my favorite trail mix add-ins including oats, dried cranberries, raisins, and pumpkin seeds. The recipe is highly adaptable based on your favorite items and what you have around. The cookies are soft, ultra chewy, and loaded with amazing texture in every bite. Crunchy seeds and chewy dried fruit complement each other, and when baked the protein bars turn extra chewy. Because protein bars vary widely, you may need to experiment with a few types or flavors to find your favorite.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned whole rolled oats (not quick-cook or instant)
1 teaspoon cornstach
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
about 4.25 ounces protein bars, diced small (about 1 scant cup)
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (or use sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, etc.)
1/4 cup raisins

Directions:

  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer) combine the butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and well combined, about 4 minutes.
  2. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, oats, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the protein bars, cranberries, seeds, raisins, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds.
  4. Using a large cookie scoop, 1/4-cup measure, or your hands, form approximately 12 equal-sized mounds of dough, roll into balls, and flatten slightly. Tip – Strategically place dried fruit or protein bars on top of each mound by taking dried fruit or protein bars from the underside and adding them on top. Do not allow protein bar pieces to bake directly on baking sheets; shield them with dough or move them to the top/sides of cookies.
  5. Place mounds on a large plate or tray, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 5 days. Do not bake with unchilled dough because cookies will bake thinner, flatter, and be more prone to spreading.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray. Place dough mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet) and bake for about 11 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center; don’t overbake. Cookies will be pale and look un-done, but firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before serving. I let them cool on the baking sheet and don’t use a rack.
  7. Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.
Only Eats

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66 comments on “Trail Mix Protein Bar Cookies”

  1. I love these types of cookies!! Looks so good!!

  2. These look so good! My 4 year old never eats breakfast, hes not a breakfast guy. He loves protein shakes so maybe I can temp him with these. If I don’t eat them all first!

  3. Such a great idea to combine trail mix and protein bar ingredients to make a cookie. These look SO good, Averie!

  4. I’m in LOVE! Cookies + protein all in one place. Breakfast, right?? ;)

  5. I was wondering how you got the protein in these cookies! Quest bars are delicious (almost like candy bars) so I know they’ll be great in these cookies! Yum! Pinned!

  6. This is one of the greatest cookie concepts ever! I love that there is a protein bar mixed into them. So I can eat these for breakfast, right?! Gorgeous pics as always Averie! Pinned :)

  7. Love these “genius” cookies…

  8. Averie what a fantastic idea for a cookie!! Love this. And I bet my hubby would be super excited about these. Love your pictures too :) pinning!

  9. I love your creativity, especially with cookies, will try these! Great idea to add protein bars, raisins and pumpkin seeds! Pinned and I hope to try them soon!

  10. These cookies are total awesomesauce! You have the best ideas, girl. Cookies packed with a protein punch, I love it!

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