Gorp’nMore Cookies

Do you guys like hiking? I always surprise people when I tell them how much I love hiking and camping. Like, for really real camping. In tents. Sleeping on the ground. Building campfires and cooking over them, hiking, reading, swimming, and nature watching for entertainment, not iPhone apps and handheld video games. You know…camping.

I used to wonder why it was so odd to people that I might enjoy camping so much, but I think I figured it out. Apparently girly girls (like me) aren’t supposed to like roughing it in the woods for a few days. Yes, I’m girly. I won’t lie to you about it, but I’m pretty sure that the pink striped banner, the fluffy, flowery, cartoon goodies, little pink birdies perched around here, and the ruffly cartoon version of myself pretty much gave that away. Not to mention the fact that I tell you and show you so. It’s not exactly a secret or a surprise. But that doesn’t mean I’m relegated to the role of a high maintenance, fussy haired, dolled up priss. I love camping more and more every year…and I still get to be girly, cause you know why? They make the CUTEST camping and hiking gear for women now! :)

Sure, up until now, the best you could hope for was that the gear/clothing was appropriately sized, and mostly the right shape for a lady, but now you can be a no-shower-for-three-days, slept-on-the-ground cutie because of the gear that so many companies finally decided they could make into something that women will like to use as much as they need to use it.

Yeah, that’s right. I’m that chick. I’m the one hiking through the wilderness with pretty purple flowered hiking sticks, soft pink hiking boots, and a (tastefully) blinged out pack (of course, my idea of blinged out is a Harry Potter key chain and a Star Trek insignia pin). Got a problem with it? I’m out there either way, enjoying myself, having fun, and spending time with my family, but now I look cute too. :) I’d do it without the benefit of prettiness to wear, but it’s nice that I don’t have to if I don’t wanna.

And when you see me prancing up the toughest trails with the big, bad boys trailing behind, you’ll see me nibbling some of these amazing cookies.

You all have heard of Gorp, right? G.O.R.P. – Good Ole Raisins and Peanuts. It’s a trail mix. It can be as simple as raisins and peanuts, or as complicated as the fanciest trail mix you’ve ever spent 15 bucks on. The Hubster always throws a big batch together before all of our hiking and camping excursions, because it’s packed with all kinds of goodness for your body. When you’re exhausted halfway through a particularly tough trail, this stuff helps perk you right up. We also constantly have some on hand at home, too, though. It’s just a great snack anytime.

When Hubs realized that I didn’t like peanuts much, he started experimenting with all sorts of combinations of ingredients. What he settled on usually has some combination of raisins, nuts (any kind you like), pretzels, M&Ms or Reese’s Pieces, oat clusters, and, sometimes, dried pineapple. He decided that this should be called Gorp’nMore. Gorp and more. Not just gorp, but gorp and lots of other goodness. Gorp’nMore.

The other day, I was struck by this lightning bolt that this stuff should, nay had, to be put into a cookie. They needed to happen. So they did.

If my peanut butter cookie married my oatmeal cookie, these cookies would be there baby…all dressed up in extra yumminess. The main part of the cookie (the baby of said union) is made up of unsalted butter (at room temperature), an egg, oats, sugar, baking soda, salt, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, and peanut butter (crunchy or smooth). After the batter was all mixed up, before I added the bling, the dough tasted like the filling in a Reese’s Pieces. It’s so yum. You could stop here and bake these as-is, and you’d have some pretty delish cookies, but I dressed the baby up in raisins, pretzel pieces, plain M&Ms, and chopped walnuts. You can exclude or replace any or all of these ingredients. In fact, I’m really not a fan of raisins in my baked goods, so I only added them to half the cookie dough (after the dough was ready, I baked half of it, then stirred in a half cup of raisins to the remaining batter).

Place one tablespoon portions of the cookie dough about an inch and a half apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or Silpat mats. The cookies don’t really spread, so you can do one of two things, just be aware that the bake times will change, depending on what you do. You can either press each cookie down with your fingers to flatten it a bit before baking, then bake them at 350 degrees (180 C) for 9 to 11 minutes. Or…

…you can leave them mounded and bake them for 12 to 15 minutes. They turn out great either way, but we all preferred the flatter cookie. They were somehow just a little bit easier and neater to eat.

None of us were really sure what to expect with these. We all knew we liked Gorp. I mean, most people do, but in a cookie? Guess what? They’re fabulous. No, really. They’re, like, “gimme, gimme, gimme” fabulous. We couldn’t stop eating them! I finally had to drop the hammer so that I could get some photos of them.

All of the bits and pieces and flavors so perfectly work together! And they’re chock full of goodies (primarily on the healthy side). The cookies were great, but they were also filling. I’m sure we could have eaten more, and we probably would have eaten more, but in all honesty, they made us feel full and satisfied after just a couple.

The peanut buttery dough, filled with hearty oatmeal, was the perfect base to hold the salty pretzels, chocolate-y M&Ms, and sweet raisins (even though I don’t like them much, the raisin cookies were surprisingly good, too). As for the walnuts, they added a lovely extra crunch and a darker flavor that grounded the other, sweeter treats.

These are dry (in a good way) and crispy-crunchy, with a wonderful sandy texture that would hold up beautifully for a day of hiking through woods and mountains, or take the beating of hiking the streets of the city on a tourist or shopping excursion. Oh yeah, and they are let’s-get-married-perfect with hot coffee or tea, or ice cold milk. These were über fast (5-ish minutes of prep, 10-ish minutes of baking – DONE!), and make-with-the-little-ones easy (mix it, scoop it, bake it), so there’s no excuse for missing out on them. :) Plus, they keep for several days, and the batter, as well as the finished cook, freeze beautifully, so you can make them in advance, too.

I highly recommend whipping up a batch before the last of hiking and camping passes by, but these would also be wonderful for the kiddies to pack for lunches or take along on their field trip. Or you could always just make them and eat them for no reason other than the fact that you want them. ;) Enjoy!

Gorp’nMore Cookies [Printable Version]
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen

Ingredients

*As always, when making vegan/dairy free recipes, please be sure your ingredients, including the margarine and any candies, are vegan, not just vegetarian*

1 cup (127 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (170 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature (margarine for vegan/dairy free)
1/2 cup (128 grams) brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
1 egg (or 1/4 cup (63 ml) applesauce for vegan/dairy free)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
1 cup quick oats (regular rolled oats work too)
**All of the following ingredients are optional or can be replaced with anything you choose, in equal amounts**
1 cup pretzels, broken into bite sized pieces
1 cup (200 grams) plain M&M’s (or Reeses Pieces)
1 cup (165 grams) raisins
1 cup (122 grams) chopped walnuts (or another nut of your choice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter until light in color. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy. Stir in the egg until combined, scraping the bowl as needed. Stir in the vanilla.

Add the peanut butter and mix until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the dough and mix until thoroughly combined. Stir in the oats until evenly distributed. Add whatever mix-ins you like, and stir to evenly distribute them throughout the dough.

Place one tablespoon portions of dough on the prepared baking sheets, about 1 1/2-inches apart. Press gently to flatten each cookie and bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or leave the cookies mounded and bake for 12 to 15 minutes (until the bottom edges are deep golden brown an the surfaces are light golden brown).

Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before serving.

Recipe by Darla

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Comments

  1. says

    I LOVE hiking too!! I don’t do all the blinged out boots and pack, but it is nice to be able to wear pink and a skirt (I wear my running skirt), when hiking! These cookies are amazing. We are moving to Colorado soon, and will be able to go hiking LOTS more, so these will be made for one of our excursions!

  2. says

    I have a career in the outdoors, so camping, etc. is a given – – but, I’d never done much hiking before this summer. And now, I’m a convert! I grew up lovin’ the GORP, although I would pick around the nuts to get to the M&Ms:)

    I don’t go much for the lady gear and apparel, but I understand the appeal and think it’s a great idea to get more women (and families, by extension) outside and enjoying nature. I did just turn down a “female” sleeping bag – extra padding in the chest and feet regions (??) – for the cheaper, male version. I don’t appreciate how manufacturers up the cost of anything geared towards women!

    • says

      I agree with you there…just because we WANT to buy stuff, we shouldn’t have to pay more. I enjoy the girly gear, but I can live without it too. I’ll pay less for the same comfort and sacrifice “cute,” but if I can get something that I like the look of as much as I like the comfort/fit of, for the same cost…BONUS! :)

  3. KariAnnM says

    I’m a girly girl, and I love camping, hiking and GORP! My family makes it for everything…I’m talking two or three gallon size bag fulls at a time. I am going to have throw some pretzel pieces in it next time, never tried that before. I like mine with sunflower kernels. Those cookies look sooo good! Thanks!

  4. says

    These cookies look so good. I am not much of a camper or hiker and have never heard of GORP but I think I would love these cookies. Anything with M&Ms in it has to be good.

  5. says

    Wow, these look amazing. I’d never heard of GORP before either, trail mix isn’t something we’re very big on in Northern Ireland. There are plenty of people I know here who can’t abide the salty/sweet combos like chocolate pretzels/ salted caramel, etc. Personally I love those contrasts.

    I have one question though, I detest Peanut Butter, is there something I can sub it with in the recipe? I figure leaving it out altogether is going to make the consistency entirely different?

    • says

      Hi Leah, You could skip the peanut butter altogether and double the oats, making these oatmeal cookies. I’ve made them this way and they’re still very delicious like this. :)

      • says

        Hi Darla,
        Thanks so much for replying. I’ll try it with double the oats, I’m planning to make them this weekend to take to my parents. We’re hoping to take our dog mountain walking in our (mini) local Mourne mountain range & these will be the perfect snack to take along. Anyone outside of N.Ireland would probably think our mountains are small hills but they’re big enough for us!
        Cheers
        P.S. I agree with the girly comments: I love being a big jumble of contrasts. Independent, tattoed, adore baking, have huge collection of pretty shoes & yet think nothing of getting my hands dirty doing DIY, etc. I hate when people put others in boxes & give them labels.

  6. Ashley says

    I love camping too! I’ve started liking it so much more now that I go with my husband and my kids. We have so much fun. And to be honest, I’d rather be in a tent than an RV. I’m not your typical camper either, so I’m glad to hear there’s someone else out there like me!

  7. Rachel says

    These sound like a lovely, healthier monster cookie (which I love!!), if you’re into homemade ice cream the hubby and I have used monster cookie dough as a mix in to peanut butter ice cream.
    @Leah- if you like Nutella or other nut butters they’d be just as good.

    • says

      Oh thanks for the tip Rachel. I didn’t even think of other but butters, I’d have to try a specialist shop for things like cashew butter, etc but Nutella is a great substitution. I’ll just have to resist eating the whole tub with a spoon before it gets near the cookies!

  8. says

    This look great!
    I love hiking too and people get surprised by that since I’m a shoe loving girlie girl but I love being out there in nature, making fires, getting up early in a tent and enjoying the views. Most campsites make camping quite comfortable now but I can even be fine in those ‘primitive’ ones.
    I will have to try these cookies soon! Not much time left before the weather makes hiking and camping too cold!

  9. says

    Hi! I never heard of GORP either! My little guy would definitely enjoy all the surprises inside these cookies. Unfortunately, we’re not allowed to pack any sweets for school snack (sigh…) but it would be great after school. Thank you! : ) And I just LOVE your blog and all the amazing goodies and pictures!!

  10. Meghan says

    These sound awesome! A filling cookie? Sign me up!

    And can you please, please, please give us a Pottermore update? I’m still waiting on my email and I’m dying for a sneak peek.

  11. says

    So glad I saw this recipe before heading out the door to the grocery! I work in a university and love to share with the students…I’ll be very popular on Monday! Thanks, as always!

  12. Karyl says

    When does the flour mixture go in? Before or after the oats? I got to the end of your recipe and realized I still had a bowl of ingredients left.

  13. says

    My apologies, Karyl. Ordinarily, the flour mixture would go in right after the peanut butter. It shouldn’t hurt to just mix it in at the end. I’m very sorry for my mistake, and very grateful to you for pointing it out.

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