RECIPES

The Ramblers love their hiking, and they also love their cookies! In fact, it’s a Rambler tradition for the leader to bring cookies to share with hikers at lunchtime. Sometimes they’re homemade, which makes them extra-special.

We wanted to share a few of our favorite homemade cookies with the hiking community, so if you’ve got the time and urge to break out the mixing bowls, here are some recipes to try.
 
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Lebkuchen

 
Lebkuchen are of German origin … or maybe Belgian, depending on whom you believe. Wherever they came from, they’re spicy, sweet, and delicious and perfect for a cold, winter hike. This recipe comes from a childhood neighbor, Barbara Ullman, and I prefer it to others I’ve tried. – INGRID

Photo of New York Ramblers leader, Ingrid

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 allspice
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 mixed candied fruits and peels

DIRECTIONS

Dough

In a large bowl, beat together egg, brown sugar, honey, and molasses.

Sift together dry ingredients, and add to first mixture. Stir in nuts and fruits. Dough will be stiff. Chill dough several hours. On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut in diamond shapes, and bake on greased sheets at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes. While cookies are still warm, brush with lemon glaze.

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 egg white, slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar

Let cool on racks until glaze has set, then pack up and bring on a Ramblers hike!
 
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Snickerdoodles

 
Photo of cover of Betty Crocker Junior Cookbook
I’ve brought these on a few hikes and they always get a warm welcome. The recipe I use comes from a kid’s cookbook I’ve had since I was a kid myself. The cream of tartar is what gives them their characteristic “bite.”  – EVE

Photo of New York Ramblers leader, Eve

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 baking soda
  • 1/4 cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

“With adult help,” turn the oven to 375 degrees. Cream the sugar and butter, then beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar, and mix well. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon.

Form dough into 1-inch balls, and roll the balls in the cinnamon-sugar mix. Place two inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes. Don’t forget to “turn off oven” after! Makes about 36.
 
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 Chocolate Chip (gluten-free)

 
 Photo of a tray of chocolate chip cookies
I am celiac, so I am constantly looking for good gluten-free recipes.  A colleague of mine brought these delicious cookies one day that we were celebrating a birthday.  They were crumbly and so tasty, I had to learn how to make them!  The recipe came from the NY Times’ cooking section.  Since, I’ve often brought them to my Rambler’s hike (they are packed with good ingredients, great to fuel hungry walkers)  and they are appreciated by everyone, not only celiacs!  – JULIE

Photo of New York Ramblers leader, Julie

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3/4 cups/310 grams finely ground almond flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 tablespoons/140 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 1/4 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup/110 grams light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup/100 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces/340 grams bittersweet chocolate feves or chips, or coarsely chopped bar chocolate
  • Sea salt, for finishing (optional)

 PREPARATION

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the almond flour, salt and baking soda to combine.
  3. Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium speed until very light, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add the egg and mix on medium speed to combine. Scrape the bowl well, then add the vanilla and mix to combine.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined, about 10 seconds. Scrape the bowl well and mix on low speed to ensure the mixture is homogenous.
  6. Add the chocolate and gently mix to incorporate it. Scoop the dough into 10 3 1/2 ounce/100-gram mounds of dough the size of generous golf balls, and transfer them to the prepared baking sheets. Stagger the rows to allow the cookies room to spread.
  7. Gently press the cookies down slightly with your fingers until about 1 1/2 inches thick. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt, if using. Bake the cookies, switching racks and rotating the sheets halfway through, until they’re golden brown around the edges and just barely set in the center, 18 to 22 minutes. Transfer sheets to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then transfer cookies with a spatula onto another rack to cool a bit more.

 
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Amaretti

 
 Amaretti are delicious almond Italian cookies that are delicate, light and very easy to make. Once baked, they should be crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Amaretti are very popular all over Italy and especially in Sardinia, the island on the west coast where I come from.  –FRANCESCO

Photo of New York Rambler, Francesco

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5.32 cups of finely ground almonds
  • 1.4 cups of white sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • Lemon zest

DIRECTIONS:

Whisk the ground almonds, the sugar and lemon zest together very nicely.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a fork only for a minute or two and incorporate them to the dry ingredients.

Now work all the ingredients together until you obtain a nice and moist dough.

Create some nice little balls, roll them a bit more in some white sugar, place them on a baking sheet and into the preheat oven at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.
 
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We hope you’ve enjoyed these recipes. If you have one you’d like to share, please send it to Lee.

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Happiness is baking cookies. Happiness is giving them away.
~Maida Heatter

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