I love wilderness living. The forest around our house is a never-ending source of inspiration, peace and sanity for me.
And although I love to visit the city, especially NYC, for girls’ trips and to see a show and have a fancy dinner, I just know I could never live in the city.
I need quiet and time to think, and although I’ve walked the road from here to the blacktop 1,000 times, the view from the road still takes my breath away. When I look way out the hollow, I still want to take that picture, even though I’ve already taken it . . .
Wouldn’t this be an awesome location for a log lodge, with a huge deck, covered and screen porches, rocking chairs, an outdoor fireplace, coffee, lunch and a bakery, and a masseuse on staff? I can see a huge room used for sipping, snacking and knitting, scrapbooking and my fave: basket weaving. It would be awesome to have a relaxing peaceful place, especially for ladies! I can just imagine looking out the epic windows at the mountain scenery and putting up my feet. Maybe even step back in time.
Then all of you could come enjoy it with me!
But, until then, I’ll share it with you, every chance I get . . .
Today, it’s 33 degrees, pouring rain, and the road is nothing but a sheet of ice, but we’re safe and cozy inside, with a back-up generator in case the power goes out. But every year, come February, I do start missing spring and green.
So, while I was looking for the Zuppa Toscano recipe on an Alaskan blogger’s page, I found a recipe for Wilderness Lodge Cookies (linked) and I said to myself, “Self, I need to make these for my imaginary lodge on Four Mile Ridge.”
They are hearty, flavorful and very differently delicious!!!
To make the cookies spread less and maintain a softer texture, I switched the sugar ratios (and switched the light brown sugar to dark brown) and used less than the original recipe and used bread flour rather than all-purpose. I also ditched the sweetened coconut and used organic medium flake, unsweetened coconut, so you get the flavor of the coconut without the stringiness and overly sweet taste. I also used quick oats instead of old fashioned and doubled the chocolate chunks instead of chips (except for the garnishes). I changed the raisins to craisins, but any dried fruit would be absolutely amazing! The walnuts are a must and I like them lightly toasted, tossed in a dry cast iron skillet on low, for about 3 minutes, to make them fragrant and flavorful.
So grab a cookie and “set” a spell . . . relax, talk and think spring, green and wilderness walks.
Hearty, flavorful and differently delicious, these Four Mile Ridge Wilderness Lodge Cookies taste like long wilderness walks, summertime picnics and fresh air. My taste testers give them five stars. Put that cookie jar to work!
- 1 cup butter - softened
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs* - room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups quick oats
- 1 bag of chocolate chunks - 2 cups (you can use less)
- 1/2 cup organic medium flake coconut - unsweetened
- 3/4 cup craisins - substitute any dried fruit
- 1/2 cup lightly toasted chopped walnuts - or more to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line cookie sheets with silicon baking mats or parchment, set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt and baking soda and oats.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the sugars and butter until light and fluffy. Pause to scrape down the bottom and sides.
- Mix in the eggs, one a time - *to bring them to room temperature quickly, soak them in hot water for 5 minutes. Pause to scrape.
- Add the flour mixture and mix. Scrape.
- Toss in the extras: chocolate chunks, craisins, coconut and toasted walnuts. Mix until evenly distributed.
- Scoop and roll into balls and place 6 - 8 on each baking sheet to ensure even baking. Garnish with chocolate chips, walnut pieces.
- Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, until golden and done in the centers. Leave them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to a cooking rack.