Double chocolate almond butter trail cookies

Double chocolate almond butter trail cookies

The mountains have been calling for weeks. Months. Since we returned from our Europe trip. And thanks to a two week break that required zero commitments on our behalf, we’ve been able to spend a decent chunk of time away from the Mile High City. After visiting the Sangre de Cristo Mountains while my not-so-little brother was in town last week, we decided to spend this week in Telluride, where we’re currently nestled within the San Juan Mountains with a hike of one of its tallest checked off of our list. And as you read this, we’re summiting Handies Peak because we can’t leave the area with only one of its 14ers under our belts.

Cacao nibsRaw almondsUntitledDouble chocolate almond butter trail cookiesVanilla bean almond butter

Whether I’m traveling into the mountains, to campus, or around the globe, I like to bring snacks of the homemade variety because buying them is always so ridiculously expensive. And the other problem? Packaging tends to be bulky. Empty containers get in the way and take up unnecessary room once the snacks have been devoured. So my solution has always been the same: Cling wrap. Although there are a variety of ways to store your food to keep it fresh, cling wrap is undoubtedly my go-to when it comes to traveling because it a) allows delicate snacks to maintain their structural integrity, b) keeps them fresher longer than alternative food storage solutions, and c) takes up no more room in my bag than the food itself. I, admittedly, used to be the type who would buy the off-brand cling wrap because I tend to be unnecessarily frugal at times but, at some point, Thom talked me into spending a few extra bucks on the quality stuff and I haven’t reached for the $2 roll, since.

So these cookies. I had them freezing in a double layer of Glad‘s trusty cling wrap for upwards of three weeks, then we packed them up and brought them across the state where they provided energy during our insanely difficult summit of Mt. Sneffels. If you paid me ten thousand dollars to do it again, I probably wouldn’t because I have literally never been as terrified as I was while scrambling to the top of that mountain. When we made the summit I wanted to cry because, truthfully, I didn’t think we had it in us (especially not with Thom being as sick as he is). But instead I pulled two of these cookies from the front pocket of my pack and devoured them within minutes (after taking a few photos, of course). And then I caught my breath, calmed my nerves, and soaked up the immense beauty that resulted due to millions of years of activity in the Earth’s lithosphere.

High fives for plate tectonics, mountain adventures with the one you love, and double chocolate cookies.

Room with a viewWild flowersDouble chocolate almond butter trail cookiesView from Mt. SneffelsMt. Sneffels Southwest RidgeTrail cookie at high altitudeThom making the summit

Notes: I think the first thing I should get out of the way is the fact that these cookies are not exactly fitting for dessert. They’re just barely sweet and are a bit on the dense side, making them great to have for breakfast or as a post-workout snack. The best part about these cookies has to be their versatility – you can replace the chocolate chips with your favorite dried fruit, the maple syrup with your preferred liquid sweetener, the oat flour with buckwheat flour or a gluten free blend, and the rolled oats with rolled kamut or quinoa. If you want to load these up with protein, you can replace 1/2 cup of the oat flour with an equal amount of your favorite protein powder (I’ve used hemp with delicious success), but you’ll want to increase the almondmilk measurement by 2 tablespoons.


1/2 cup vanilla almond butter, recipe follows
2 tablespoons refined coconut oil, melted
6 tablespoons Grade B maple syrup, room temperature
1/4 cup almondmilk, room temperature
1 1/4 cups oat flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons cacao nibs
1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate
1/4 cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond butter, oil, and maple syrup. Once combined, whisk in the almond milk. Add 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the oat flour, sea salt, and baking soda, and stir with a wooden spoon until a thick dough forms. For cookies that are a bit on the dense side (how I like them) add the 2 remaining tablespoons of oat flour and mix until combined. Add the oats, cacao nibs, chopped chocolate, and almond pieces; mix until evenly distributed. Wrap bowl with cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper; set aside. Using a 1/4 cup cookie scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared sheet then flatten with your hands. Bake at 325˚F for 14-15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store cookies in an air tight container or on a plate covered with cling wrap, for up to five days. If you’d prefer to freeze the cookies, wrap each individual cookie in a piece of cling wrap large enough that you can triple wrap it. Allow cookies to thaw for 4 hours before eating. Will keep frozen, wrapped in plastic, for at least three weeks.

Yield: 9 large cookies


1 cup raw almonds
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, optional

In a food processor fitted with the S blade, blend the almonds into a fine meal, then scrap in the vanilla bean. Continue processing mixture until the almonds turn into a thick paste (this maybe take 7-10 minutes). Add the maple syrup and continue mixing until the almond butter is at your desired consistency – the longer you blend, the more oil released by the nuts and therefore the runnier the almond butter. I prefer mine to be rather thick, so I blend it for only a few minutes longer after adding the maple syrup.

Yield: 1/2 cup almond butter

208px-Glad_logo.svg This post is sponsored by Glad in effort to save good food from going bad. Freshness, wrapped up. All opinions are my own.


  • Reply Barb@ThatWasVegan? 13 August 2014 at 7:49 AM

    You go, girl! I got my butt kicked by Gray’s over the weekend, I’m SO not ready to move on to 14ers like Sneffels or Handies. I’m gonna spend some more time in the “easier” category ;) Maybe next time I need some of these cookies!

  • Reply Medha @ Whisk & Shout 13 August 2014 at 9:58 AM

    These look big and perfect! I looove almond butter :) I’m totally down for cookies for breakfast!

  • Reply Michelle 13 August 2014 at 11:22 AM

    Great post, lady. I def learned the merits of plastic wrap in my time in a pro kitchen. And good job on the mountaineering!! You deserve a whole BATCH of cookies!!

  • Reply Melissa 13 August 2014 at 11:54 AM

    Glad plastic wrap is the only wrap we use around here! It is definitely THE best. Stunning shots and cookies! Now I want to go on a mountain adventure. :-)

  • Reply The Vegan Cookie Fairy 13 August 2014 at 11:54 AM

    You climbed that mountain??! You go, girl. That’s freaking inspirational.

    That vanilla bean almond butter is singing to my soul right now. :)

  • Reply Christine 13 August 2014 at 12:04 PM

    I’ve hiked several fourteeners (for the sake of the “twenty-five fourteeners before age twenty-five” goal that I accomplished), and Handies Peak definitely was one of the most gorgeous ones — though they’re all gorgeous. Have fun!

  • Reply Alison's Wonderland Recipes 13 August 2014 at 12:30 PM

    These look great! I love customizable desserts…especially semi-healthy ones that I can justify eating any time of day or night. :)

  • Reply Patricia Scarpin 13 August 2014 at 12:34 PM

    They look delicious and super healthy – win/win situation!

  • Reply June 13 August 2014 at 1:58 PM

    I have a question. I’m a relatively new vegan and raw foody and was told to soak raw nuts to aid digestibility and assimilation. I notice you don’t mention that. Do you not do that? Thanks! Love your emails and recipes and your trip to Telluride makes me all the more determined to get there soon!

    • Reply Ashlae 14 August 2014 at 8:35 AM

      Hi June –

      I’ve heard there are benefits to soaking/sprouting almonds, but I don’t do it because I don’t have issues digesting them.

      And you should get to Telluride soon.. it is breathtakingly beautiful here PLUS the hiking is incredible.

  • Reply Leah 13 August 2014 at 3:31 PM

    These sound awesome!! A perfect hiking snack. I am the queen of traveling with snacks – I would much rather be overprepared carrying lots of excess food then be caught somewhere without anything healthyish to eat!!

  • Reply Millie l Add A Little 13 August 2014 at 3:56 PM

    I love this! I’m not a fan of overly sweet stuff but this seems perfect and love the cacao nibs!

  • Reply Teffy Perk 13 August 2014 at 4:15 PM

    That is awesome! Congratulations on making it to the top, that is so cool.
    Those cookies look delicious – perfect for celebrating the climb!


  • Reply Chrissy 13 August 2014 at 8:09 PM

    These look delicious and perfect!

  • Reply teti 14 August 2014 at 12:52 AM

    What a great idea for a snack after hiking. Could you dedicate a post to some of your favorite kitchen utensils? As a matter of fact, I like your cookie scoop and I would like to know where you bought it.

    • Reply Ashlae 14 August 2014 at 8:32 AM

      Hi Teti –

      I’ve been thinking about doing a kitchen gadget post but haven’t gotten around to it, sadly. I bought the scoop from Crate and Barrel, I believe. I’ll shoot you an email when I return home to let you know the brand, in the event you don’t have a C&B nearby.

      • Reply Teti 21 August 2014 at 6:50 AM

        Yes, it’s Crate&Barrel and I think I can buy it through mail order. (Thanks a lot!) I still look forward to the kitchen gadget post. Best wishes.

  • Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar 14 August 2014 at 5:35 AM

    These cookies sound perfect. Love the vanilla almond butter!

  • Reply Renee (will frolic for food) 14 August 2014 at 6:55 AM

    ah these are perfect! I often want cookies around the house that are low-sugar and nourishing like these. i’m definitely trying these out — this recipe is completely perfect. i can’t believe you got shots of it from on top of a mountain!!! those peaks look intense. glad you’re still alive after that trek! i might even make these to take with me to montana next week. sounds like a good idea, eh?

  • Reply Erica 14 August 2014 at 8:27 AM

    I just made these with chocolate almond butter and they are so dang delicious! While I love and appreciate your decadent vegan desserts, these cookies are right up my alley. Thank you for this recipe!

  • Reply Elizabeth Jarrard 14 August 2014 at 9:27 AM

    YUM!!! what a gorgeous spot to eat a cookie from

  • Reply Ashley 14 August 2014 at 9:41 AM

    These are my kind of cookie!!! The views from that mountain are unbelievable! Way to go for tackling it and now heading to another! Waffle breakfast…SOON. We’re going on vacay next week but when I get back it has to happen!

  • Reply Meg 14 August 2014 at 10:09 AM

    This makes me miss the Rockies so much!
    And YUMMMM.

  • Reply molly yeh 14 August 2014 at 10:10 AM


  • Reply Luci {Luci's Morsels} 14 August 2014 at 5:56 PM

    Where to start. These cookies look perfect. i could eat the whole batch myself, I think. I also prefer to take my own snacks and goodies for all those same reasons. And lastly, those photos are amazing. We do an annual trip to the eastern Sierras in California. It happened in July and we’re already counting the days to head back!!

    Luci’s Morsels – fashion. food. frivolity.

  • Reply Jessica 14 August 2014 at 9:54 PM

    I was just there! Isnt it such a beautiful place! Imogene pass is the scariest drive I’ve ever been on! But maybe that’s because we did it in an old pickup truck!

  • Reply What I Have Been Reading + Drooling Over - Healthy Regards, Hayley 15 August 2014 at 5:05 AM

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  • Reply Patrick Schulz 15 August 2014 at 11:04 AM

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOW those cookies look so super amazing!

    Got a quick question before trying them:
    What do you think about substituting the almonds with walnuts and upping the oats from 1 cup to 2 cups?
    I really do love my oats … hehe :D

    Thanks and keep up the awesome work!

  • Reply Laura 16 August 2014 at 5:46 AM

    My good these look gorgeous and put the cookies I’ve just made to shame.

  • Reply Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate 16 August 2014 at 11:06 AM

    These mountains remind me so much of where I live in Canada. There’s a hike called Ha Ling and you literally scramble up to the edge of a cliff face over which you could fall several hundred feet to your death. These cookies would make for the perfect snack on the way up!

  • Reply Deryn @ Running on Real Food 16 August 2014 at 3:16 PM

    Ok, I’m in love with your photos and your words. Off to continue creepin’ your entire blog ;)

  • Reply Lisa | Mummy Made.It 17 August 2014 at 5:54 AM

    If I bake my own batch can I join the sisterhood of the travelling cookies?!?!
    I take all my own goodies too, and yep throw away storage is much easier than containers and boxes.

  • Reply SUNDAY - De quelle planète es-tu? 17 August 2014 at 7:35 AM

    […] Ashlae is making me really miss the Rockies and want to get in the kitchen to make these cookies. […]

  • Reply Sue 17 August 2014 at 10:53 AM

    I made these this weekend, they look more craggy than yours but tasted very delicious. I had some homemade spiced almond butter (with a little cinnamon) so I added a splash of vanilla extract. They turned out great. I really like your website.

  • Reply kristie @ 17 August 2014 at 9:29 PM

    Nothing like a treat after making it to the summit on a hard scramble. I often try to quell my fears with a treat before I have to psych myself into heading down. I love the look of these cookies, and may just have to make them for my next hike!

  • Reply Simone 18 August 2014 at 10:37 AM

    Yet another reason why I completely adore you. Your writing is amazing, as always. Your hiking is inspiring (& like mine!), your cookies, sweet or otherwise, look delicious, and I just love that you and Thom do this together. Keep it up, Ashlae! xo

    Also, when you do it like this, I don’t give a crap that it’s sponsored. You know how you have advertisers come on while maintaining your integrity and I appreciate it.

  • Reply Julia 18 August 2014 at 4:38 PM

    Those photos look gorgeous! Mt. Sneffels is a deceptively cute name for such a terrifying mountain, don’t you think?

  • Reply Tamara 20 August 2014 at 12:43 PM

    this looks so good. I love trail mix and making a cookie out of it seems amazing! I can;t wait to try this when i get the chance.

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  • Reply Kate @ ¡Hola! Jalapeño 22 August 2014 at 6:37 AM

    Your photos are amazing! I’m making a batch of these to stick in the kid’s lunch box. Back to school has never been sweeter!

  • Reply Hope 23 August 2014 at 5:22 AM

    Yum, these cookies sound delicious and super healthy!

  • Reply Tessa 25 August 2014 at 5:37 AM

    These look sooo good (and healthy too)!

  • Reply jen @ 25 August 2014 at 11:27 PM

    Your photos of the mountains are absolutely stunning! and these cookies look perfect, I just love a cookie I can eat for breakfast and all day long for that matter with absolutely no guilt.

  • Reply erin {yummy supper} 27 August 2014 at 10:41 AM

    Holy gorgeousness – the mountain scenery and those cookies of yours! It’s been foggy and cold here in Berkeley and I’ve been craving sunny open skies and weekend getaways. Here you are with the perfect post for me today. Thanks for the tasty escape!

  • Reply Taylor 28 August 2014 at 9:31 PM

    I was so excited to see that this was Sneffles! I climbed this one two summers ago and it was fantastic. Exhausting, yes, but so exhilarating to reach the top. I didn’t have awesome cookies on my climb, though. I’m sure that would have made it much better. :)

  • Reply Kyra 29 August 2014 at 1:39 AM

    Your mountain photos are stunning! The cookies sound delish also – I love cookies like that which aren’t overly sweet and are healthy enough to eat as a breakfast snack (or anytime really!).

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  • Reply Jordan Coeyman 15 September 2014 at 11:07 AM

    These cookies look perfect for hiking and traveling. I can’t wait to try this delicious looking treat! You take some seriously awesome photos.

  • Reply Hunter 3 December 2014 at 9:27 AM

    These cookies look so delicious! And like the perfect snack, though I’m not planning on hiking any of those 14ers anytime soon. Way to go! Telluride is such a special place, I spend my winters there and it’s my favorite. So glad you enjoyed it! Go visit in the winter for some of the best skiing of your life.

  • Reply Sam 7 March 2015 at 11:32 PM

    So I “had” to make a double batch of these cookies as my blender didn’t want to make a small batch almond butter, but I am so glad I did as they are delicious! I can’t stop eating them straight from the freezer!

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  • Reply Laura Olinger 29 November 2015 at 9:54 AM

    I made these today and a bunch of them are already gone. My husband and I love this recipe! I’ll definitely be making these again.

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