Mountain School @ Home: Lesson 6 – Trail Cookies

Students! Parents! Teachers! During this time of school closures and stay-at-home guidelines, North Cascades Institute is sharing lessons and activities from our talented Mountain School staff. We hope these will inspire students of all ages to continue to learn about the natural world and discover new connections to the outdoors from home. This recipe was created and shared by our talented Chef Justin Daniels. Find more lessons and activities on our blog or at our website.

Mountain School Trail Cookies

Chef Justin plates some fresh-from-the-oven Trail Cookies in the ELC kitchen. Photo by Jodi Broughton

One of every student’s favorite Mountain School treats is the delicious, homemade Trail Cookies included in their sack lunches. They are made from scratch by the amazing kitchen staff at the Environmental Learning Center. Packed with protein and all sorts of chewy, crunchy goodness, Trail Cookies help keep students energized for learning out in nature.

By popular request, we’ve got the recipe to share with you and an introduction video featuring Chef Justin. We hope you’ll enjoy them on your own adventures outside!



  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 c. flax seed meal
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/2 lb. butter
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. rolled oats
  • 3/4 c. chocolate chips
  • 2/3 c. dried cranberries
  • 1/2 c. shredded coconut
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin seeds,  pulsed in food processor

Chef Justin’s Tip:  This makes about 4 dozen large cookies. Pre-scooped dough can be frozen for baking smaller batches later.


  1. Preheat oven to 310 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, flax seed meal, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
  3. Beat together butter, brown sugar, and white sugar in a large bowl until smooth and creamy. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Stir flour mixture into creamed butter mixture until dough is just combined. Fold oats, chocolate chips, cranberries, coconut, and pumpkin seeds into dough just until evenly combined.
  4. Scoop dough onto the prepared baking sheet, placed about 2 inches apart. Press to flatten slightly.
  5. Bake until lightly golden at the edges, for about 11 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Download Recipe as PDF


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  1. Joan Voorheis

    Hi Justin,
    These cookies are one of the reasons we keep coming to and supporting NCI.
    Just teasing BUT they are wonderful and always a treat at the Center.
    Can’t wait to get up into the mountains.
    All Good Wishes, Joan and Howard Voorheis

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