I've hiked all over this great country of ours - Yellowstone, Joshua Tree, Mt. St. Helens, The Grand Canyon, Tamales Point, Grand Teton, the San Ysidro Mountains, Lombard Street in San Francisco and now Yosemite. No matter how dramatic, varied or stunning the backdrop might be, there is one running theme throughout my hiking thoughts - "What are we eating after this hike?".
Here in the jagged mountains that border Santa Barbara, I always crave tacos and a crispy cool beer after a hot and dry hike. After a rainy hike along Crater Lake in Oregon, I just wanted a hearty bowl of soup and crusty bread. In Yellowstone visions of Huckleberry Pie danced in my head - you can read all about that magical trip here. And recently in Yosemite, all I could think of were these Almond Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.
We just got back from a weekend getaway to one of our national treasures, Yosemite National Park. It was majestic, awe inspiring and like nowhere else I've ever been. We hiked 4 Mile Trail, a 4.6 mile trail that begins at the valley floor and climbs 3200 ft. in elevation to Glacier Point. Due to the steep, mountainous conditions it's quite strenuous but if you're up for a challenge, the 9+ mile roundtrip hike is an ideal way to experience some of the most sweeping and sought-after views throughout Yosemite. Along the switchbacks of the 4.6 mile hike back down, my mind switched back and forth from an overwhelming sense of awe to a hunger induced longing for these Almond Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Hiking is a full sensory experience, both physically and mentally. It's stretches your body and mind and takes you to new places you've never been before. There is something about being out in the wilderness and experiencing nature through all of your senses makes my food motivation move mountains. Don't get me wrong, I am not actually a complete Pavlovian dog when I hike, drooling everywhere and performing tasks in anticipation of my next treat. I think about all kinds of things and find hiking to be one of the most head clearing and refreshing human experiences there is. But, all of that strain and exertion makes me hungry and knowing that there are Almond Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies at the end of the the trail keeps me happily putting one foot in front of the other with a dopey smile plastered across my face. Hmm, maybe more similar to Golden Retriever than I'd like to admit.
While I'd never say these are healthy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, I would gladly eat them for breakfast mostly guilt free with a hot cup of coffee. These Almond Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies are a hearty mix of chewy thick rolled oats, toasty almond butter and deep, dark chocolate chips with a welcome sprinkle of crunchy sea salt flakes. You could make homemade almond butter if you wanted to get real fancy with it but for these chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, I found store-bought Roasted Almond Butter to be just right. These textural Almond Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies are comforting and familial but with some new unexpected flavors and textures in the mix. As we transition into colder weather and retract from the outdoors to spend more time cozied up in our homes, these Almond Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies serve as a hearty and fulfilling pick me up day or night, or lets be real - both.
So whether you earned a dozen cookies by hiking 9 miles with a 3200 ft. incline or if you just need some cookie comfort on a cold night, these Almond Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies are there for you. They'll keep you climbing whatever mountain you're conquering, literal or figurative.Print