If you adore a soft oatmeal cookie, and love chocolatey trail mix, then my trail mix cookie bars are the treat for you, full of sweet-savory flavor and crunch. Mixed up with rolled oats, bittersweet chocolate, dried cherries, roasted almonds, a touch of cinnamon and brown sugar, this trail mix cookie bar recipe is the perfect grab-and-go goody with a healthy slant!
When Oatmeal Cookies and Trail Mix Get Together
Friends, I have a real weakness for soft, slightly chewy oatmeal cookies, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.
What I love is that flavor of butter, brown sugar, a touch of vanilla and cinnamon, and if there are some chocolate chunks sprinkled in, I certainly won't complain.
I'm also a huge fan of trail mix, often snacking on it when I'm craving an afternoon pick-me-up. I even like to grab a bag of it to munch on if we're taking a longer walk on one of our local trails, or to enjoy nibbling on during a road trip when I'm bound to get hungry!
So when the craving for an oatmeal cookie came upon me (as it often does), I thought it would be absolutely scrumptious to put the two together and create a trail mix cookie bar, filled with the best flavors and crunchy texture that these two tasty treats offer.
These trail mix cookie bars have both a sweet and savory slant (which I love about trail mix), plus that soft, cookie-like texture from the oatmeal cookie base.
And with the addition of chopped, bittersweet chocolate, dried cherries and roasted almonds, these bars are absolutely irresistible.
So if you love a grab-and-go treat with some crunch and sweet-savory flavor (not to mention a little chocolate sprinkled in!), then my trail mix cookie bars recipe is for you!
My Recipe for Trail Mix Cookie Bars
When it comes to preparing these trail mix cookie bars, it's really just about mixing up an oatmeal cookie-like dough, and adding in a few more bells and whistles to create more flavor and lots of yummy texture...
I use a combination of flour and old fashioned rolled oats here, as well as unsalted butter, brown sugar for that richer sweetness, plus vanilla and a sprinkle of cinnamon for warmth.
Then, the trail mix elements get added in, and those are the chopped, bittersweet chocolate, a good handful of plump, dried cherries to add fruity flavor, plus some roasted almonds for that savory and nutty crunch.
Once these delicious cookie bars are baked, I like to melt even more chocolate to drizzle over top along with some extra roasted almonds for even more crunch!
Here's a sneak peek at my trail mix cookie bars recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get stared, I whisk together my dry ingredients, and set those aside.
- Then, I cream together my butter and sugar, and add in my other wet ingredients to create my cookie dough base.
- Next, I add in all my tasty morsels, and spread the dough into a baking dish, then chill it for a short time while my oven preheats.
- I bake my cookie bars for about 25 minutes, allow them to cool slightly, then cut into bars.
- To finish, I drizzle some melted chocolate over top along with a sprinkling of more roasted almonds, then allow the cookie bars to set before enjoying.
Trail Mix Cookie Bars
by Ingrid Beer
These sweet-savory and crunchy trail mix cookie bars are loaded with dried cherries, roasted, salted almonds, and bittersweet chocolate!
Yield: 24 cookie bars
Nutrition Info: 283 calories per bar
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs, room temp
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups rolled oats
- 8 ounces bittersweet (dark) chocolate, chopped into chunks, divided use
- 1 ¼ cups roasted and salted almonds, roughly chopped, divided use
- ½ cup dried cherries
- 1 ½ tablespoons coconut oil
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with enough parchment paper to create an overhang for easy removal, and lightly mist with cooking spray.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a bowl, and set these dry ingredients aside for a moment.
- Add the butter and the brown sugar into the bowl of a standing mixer fitter with a paddle attachment, and mix together on medium for about 2 to 3 minutes until fluffy.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla, and continue to mix.
- With the mixer on low, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined.
- Add in the oats, 4 ounces of the chopped chocolate (about half), the cherries, and 1 cup of the chopped almonds, and mix just until incorporated.
- Turn the dough out into the prepared baking dish, and using your fingers (easiest) or a rubber spatula, press the dough into an even thickness into the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 350°, and while it heats, place the baking dish with the cookie dough into the fridge to chill.
- Once the oven is hot, bake the cookie bars for about 22 to 25 minutes, or until baked through. Allow them to cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then lift out of the baking dish and allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.
- To finish, combine the remaining 4 ounces of chopped chocolate with the coconut oil in a ramekin or small dish, and melt together in the microwave.
- Stir and then drizzle over the bars, and sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of chopped almonds over top, allowing chocolate to set up before enjoying. (If it's warm in your kitchen, pop them into your fridge for a while to set up the drizzled chocolate.)
Tips & Tidbits for my Trail Mix Cookie Bars recipe:
- Old-fashioned rolled oats: Just as you would with oatmeal cookies, opt for old-fashion rolled oats for this recipe. Quick cook oats won't have the same texture, and steel cut oats are a bit too long-cooking and firm.
- Bittersweet chocolate chunks, or chop up a chocolate bar: You can use either bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips here, or even sub a chopped up dark chocolate bar if you'd like to make these a little more anti-oxidant rich and less sweet. You can use whatever kind of chocolate you prefer, but the bittersweet has just enough sweetness along with some intensity to make things interesting.
- Dried cherries and roasted almonds, or your favorite add-ins: I happen to love the combination of dried cherries and roasted almonds, but feel free to use your favorite add-ins! Cashews, walnuts and pecans are also mighty tasty, as are dried cranberries, currants, apricots, or raisins—feel free to get creative!
- Freeze leftover trail mix cookies bars for later: While these don't typically last too long in our household, if you happen to have some leftover cookie bars, you can wrap them individually in plastic wrap, and store them in a freezer ziplock bag in your freezer. You can thaw at room temp, or even in the fridge overnight, if desired.
Craving more deliciously cozy sweet treats? Check out these Almond Flour Cookies, these Chocolate Chip Cookies with Roasted Hazelnuts, this Chocolate Bark, these Chocolate Truffles, these Pumpkin Oatmeal Cream Pies, these Oatmeal Scotchies with Chocolate Chips, or these Apricot Sugar Cookie Pies!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2016, and has been updated with even more love!