Blog Granola Cookies

Blog Granola Cookies

Although our all-too-brief summers can make it seem that there are only three seasons in Vermont, we are, in fact, "blessed" with five. The interlude where winter reluctantly gives way to spring is known as mud season. The snow-covered ground, frozen hard all winter, thaws from the top down, leaving the water nowhere to go and turning the earth to sticky, quicksand-like mud that threatens to swallow boots and car tires alike. To be sure, this phenomenon happens outside the state as well, but with Vermont's abundance of dirt roads, our mud season truly deserves its own page on the calendar.

Those among us without four-wheel-drive vehicles tend to plan our driving routes carefully, and street signs for dirt roads often sport helpful notices posted by residents weary of listening to spinning wheels. Negotiating a rutted, corrugated mud road lends everyday driving a sort of carnival-ride thrill, but when the roads, driveways, and woodsy paths thaw and dry after a couple of weeks, I suspect the only Vermonters sorry to see the mud puddles go are under five years of age.

Once the ground firms up, it's the perfect time of year for long walks in the woods—because the raspberry cane hasn't taken over yet, you can still move freely along old logging roads and paths while searching for the green signs of spring. Just be careful, for the bears are out this time of year, too, starting to forage after their dormant winter. Vermont is home to roughly 5,000 black bears, and while they are the smallest of the three kinds of bears found in North America, spotting one in the woods is still an awe-inspiring experience. This week's cookie recipe, for granola cookies, is inspired by both bears and hikers. The cookies are packed with rolled oats, almonds, dates, sunflower seeds, and honey—they're hearty and satisfying, just like the hikers' favorite snack. Take them on your next outing but please, don't share them with the bears.

Buttercream Frosting

Beat 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add 2 cups confectioners' sugar and beat until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. If necessary, add a few drops of milk or cream to get a light, spreadable consistency.

My favorite shapes for Granola Cookies include the Mountain Bear cutter, the Loon cutter, and the Acorn cutter.