Your New Favorite Cookies for the Trail

I had grand plans for yesterday that involved waking up in the cool, early hours of the morning and heading north for the Catskills. I wanted to tackle a couple of high peaks in the relative quiet of a Monday after everyone else has returned to work.

The weather had other plans and alarm bells started going off on Sunday about the impending bad weather. I don’t shy away from the rain, but they were calling for hail and heavy winds, which I wanted to avoid.

And so I found myself on a quiet Monday afternoon at home, about to embark on making some trail bars. But then, I decided that I wanted to make something more decadent than trail bars. Like cookies. Because nothing motivates me more on the trail on than things that contain chocolate.

A New Recipe

I found this recipe on David Lebovitz’s website for chocolate chip cookies made with tahini. The recipe is an adaptation of a recipe from Danielle Oron that appeared in the New York Times. I love tahini and decided to give them a try. What better way to break into a $15 dollar jar of tahini than to use half of it in a cookie recipe?

You probably have most of the ingredients already on hand. I did not. Of course, I ran out for the one ingredient I didn’t have (chocolate), to come home and find out I didn’t have another (butter). Imagine my surprise when I then realized I didn’t have enough eggs.

After three tries, I finally had all my ingredients. Don’t follow my lead on that one – check for everything before you head out to the store.

It’s an easy recipe to follow, and very similar to most of the chocolate chip cookie recipes you’ve probably come across. The difference is that it calls for a half cup of creamy tahini to give the cookies an extra nuttiness. Instead of chocolat chips, the recipe calls for chunked chocolate, which makes for a gooier cookie.

I mixed up the wet ingredients in my stand mixer, and sifted together the flour and baking soda in a separate bowl. Combining wet and dry ingredients took a minute, and then I stirred in the mountain of chocolate chunks I had. I only stole a few chocolate bits.

Patience is a Virtue (I Don’t Have)

I skipped the part of the recipe that called for chilling the dough overnight. I have very little patience when it comes to cookies, especially after putting in the elbow grease. The result was that my cookies were flatter and a little more crisp than they would have been if I had waited.

Twelve minutes in the oven was just enough time for me to upload my photos and start this post before running back to the kitchen to take them out of the oven. They have a soft, nutty aroma and it was hard not to eat them right off the hot pan.

I packed some of them up and went on a short hike to test their trail-readiness. They passed the test, though next time I might add some chopped walnuts or cranberries.


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