Bob’s Red Mill’s United States of Cookies: Montana Camp Cookies

Montana’s cookies are like trail mix in a cookie, with hearty oats, peanut butter and peanuts, tart dried cherries, and my own addition of dark chocolate chips.

Recipe source:

These hearty, texture and flavor-filled chunky drop cookies are more likely to end up in your hiking pack or the pocket of your ski jacket than a cookie plate.

A crowded family photo. Look how nicely my new under-cabinet lighting shows everything.

As usual, we have my adorable assistant, wearing his penguin apron and urging me to add the chocolate chips before I even creamed the butter and sugar together.

“Mama, turn the mixer on! Mix! I want to bake!”
After creaming butter, brown sugar, and honey.
I chopped the peanuts and dried cherries by hand. Fear not, the bandage is for a “dry air cracked skin” wound, not careless knifework. Can you believe I painted my nails the day after? I never get to show them off on here.
After the applesauce, egg, peanut butter and vanilla. You do not taste the applesauce at all in the final product.

My son was asking for chocolate chips, and the recipe does not have them, but I wanted them too so I added them (a half a cup, and decreased the dried cherries to one cup. It turns out that was all that was in the bag of cherries I bought anyway). So instead of being like a granola bar or trail mix, it’s the GOOD kind of granola bar or trail mix, one with chocolate chips in it. :p The dark chocolate played very nicely with the tart fruitiness of the dried cherries. I have no regrets.

One weird thing is they tell you to combine the dry ingredients “adding the cherries last.” Um, what does it matter? I think maybe they were telling you to reserve the cherries (what about the peanuts?) for addition after the dry ingredients are incorporated, but then that should have been another step later on. So yeah, I added them and the chocolate chips to the flour, oats, and leavening. It seemed to turn out fine.

After scooping
After baking

These dudes did not spread. This shouldn’t have surprised me, since they didn’t look spread in the photo accompanying the recipe. I suppose you could flatten them ahead of time if you like. They might turn out crispier that way? They do have oats, peanut butter, and applesauce to contend with for moisture, though.

The cookies came out a little dark on the bottom, not burnt but definitely dark brown. Next time I might decrease the baking time somewhat. Start with eighteen minutes instead of twenty and see how that goes.

Overall Impressions

The cookies are a bit crunchy, softer in the middle. They are like a nice mouthful of trail mix: tart dried fruit (a fun variation would be to try other dried fruits: raisins, snipped apricots, dates, what have you), crunchy and savory peanuts, hearty oats making you think you’re eating something nutritious, sweet yet subtly bitter dark chocolate. There’s crunch, there’s chewiness, there’s creaminess. And I do believe they would make a good summit packed lunch addition.

Tips and Suggestions

  • Add chocolate chips
  • Flatten cookies slightly before baking

Next Time

Nebraska butter brickle cookies, and the recipe looks a lot like a standard chocolate chip drop cookie base with toffee bits instead. My Nana would approve.

All photos by Amber Sutton

Originally published at

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