With crispy, golden edges and chewy centers, these buttery, brown sugar oatmeal cookies are loaded with peanut butter, Reese’s pieces, peanut butter chips, AND a mountain of your favorite trail mix. These Trail Mix Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies are the perfect back-to-school — or anytime — snack!
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Update: Per my brother, I need to tell you front-and-center, before anything else, that this cookie dough requires chill time in the fridge! So that you don’t get excited to make them, and then: whomp-whoooomp… you have to wait for the dough to chill before having freshly-baked cookies. So there is your warning!
While back-to-school is beyond strange this year, one thing every kid still wants after school (or in-between virtual sessions, perhaps?) is a batch of homemade cookies to enjoy.
How many parents are overseeing kids at home for virtual schooling?? You’ll need cookies too.
I had this idea for Trail Mix Cookies. My original thought was simple: oatmeal cookies with a heap of classic trail mix — raisins, nuts, M&Ms, maybe pretzel sticks.
But not much gets done in my kitchen where it doesn’t quickly take a peanut butter turn, and simple Trail Mix Cookies became peanut butter-crammed oatmeal cookies with peanut butter chips, Peanut Butter M&Ms, and specifically Target’s Peanut Butter Monster trail mix.
So all the trail mix things became peanut butter versions of trail mix components.
Oh, and raisins. So there is one true, classic “trail mix” ingredient.
Either way, we’ve got a great cookie here. Trail Mix Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies have buttery, golden, crunchy edges, and toasty, but chewy oats, and are laced with quite a mountain of peanut butter.
And then crammed with alllllll sorts of PB things: actual peanuts, peanut butter chips, M&Ms, PLUS PB trail mix, which includes these peanut butter-coated pretzel crumbs. Those things are fabulous. So good for that salty and sweet combo.
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE NEEDED FOR TRAIL MIX PEANUT BUTTER OATMEAL COOKIES?
Most are pantry staples: butter (not margarine), brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla, all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, and quick oats.
You do need a few special ones too:
- Creamy peanut butter (which is hopefully a pantry staple for you, but just in case). Avoid natural creamy pb.
- Peanut butter chips — any brand peanut butter baking chips works, but I do like Reese’s best.
- Peanut butter M&M’s OR Reese’s pieces.
- Target brand Archer Farms Peanut Butter Monster Trail Mix, or ANY trail mix of choice.
BAKING AND PREPARATION TIPS FOR DROP COOKIES:
These are simple drop cookies. If you’ve made chocolate chip cookies, you can make these! These Trail Mix Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies are beginner-friendly.
My other tip for a thicker, fatter cookie is to use a cookie scoop. Not only will your dough balls be uniform, resulting in even baking, consistent cookie size, and very round cookies, but I find that it also stacks the dough a bit higher and taller, which makes for taller cookies overall.
A cookie scoop makes drop cookies an easier experience altogether — it’s one of my favorite kitchen tools.
SUBSTITUTIONS AND VARIATIONS FOR TRAIL MIX COOKIES:
- Old-fashioned oats may be substituted for quick oats in a pinch, but cookies will have a chunkier texture.
- You can substitute with ANY Trail Mix you like!
- Substitute regular M&Ms or peanut M&Ms for Peanut Butter ones, or leave them out altogether if your Trail Mix selection contains a lot of them already.
- Swap milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips for peanut butter chips. I know that some people are not wild about PB chips. White chocolate chips might also be nice.
- 1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or dried fruit like craisins, can be added.
Looking for other peanut butter cookie recipes?
- White Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies
- Snickers Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies
- Easy Peanut Butter Cookies recipe
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Cookies
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup & Reese’s Pieces Cookies
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie recipe
- Quadruple Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies
Trail Mix Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies recipe
- 1 cup butter melted, slightly cooled (must be butter -- cannot substitute margarine)
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cups quick oats
- 2 cups your favorite trail mix
- 1 cup peanut butter M&Ms or Reese's Pieces
- 10 oz. package peanut butter baking chips
- In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, sugar, and peanut butter, beating until smooth.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
- Beat in vanilla.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and oats.
- Gradually, in two or three additions, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the mixing bowl, and beat until combined.
- Fold in trail mix, M&Ms, and peanut butter baking chips.
- Cover and chill the dough for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are golden brown, and centers are set.
- Remove from oven, and cool on cookie sheets for 1-2 minutes before transfering to wire racks to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container, in a cool, dry place, for up to a week. Cookies will freeze wonderfully for up to 3 months if well-wrapped.
MAKE-AHEAD, FREEZING, AND STORAGE TIPS:
You can make the dough up to two days ahead of time. Because this dough requires chilling anyway, you can prepare the dough, and store in the fridge for up to two days before baking cookies.
You can also freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months in a well-sealed container. Thaw in the refrigerator. Bake cookies straight from chilled, refrigerated dough. Do not bring to room temperature.
Baked cookies freeze beautifully for 3-4 months. My favorite way to store cookies in the freezer is by carefully stacking them (once completely cooled and set) in vertical stacks of 3-4 cookies in a gallon-sized plastic bag. Then I wrap the bag in two layers of foil, and mark the name of the recipe and the date on top of the foil with a Sharpie.