Cookie season. Final exam season. Coincidence? Nah. But how are you supposed to make gourmet cookies in your dorm’s kitchen that lacks basically all necessary baking equipment? On top of that, college students don’t exactly have tons of extra money for cookie decorations like edible silver balls and colored icings.
So what do you do when you get invited to a cookie exchange during finals week? You make these five trail mixes modeled after traditional Christmastime cookie-exchange delicacies.
Trail mix is hands-down one of the seven wonders of the snack food world. It’s inexpensive, it’s on-the-go, it’s portion-controlled (sometimes), it’s super versatile, and it can provide that energy boost you so desperately need when the studying slump hits hard. And the best part is, you don’t even need a kitchen to throw together these ingredients.
Plus, December is #SpoonHealth month, and we all know that with healthful eating comes moderation. These recipes are loaded with plant-based protein, whole grains, and fiber — with some chocolate to help balance it out, of course.
The peppermint in this mix will keep you focused during those late-night study sessions, and you’ll be motivated to keep chugging along so you can go home and make the real thing ASAP.
Mix together white chocolate chips, crushed candy canes or peppermints, dark chocolate or cocoa-covered almonds, and dried berries (such as cherries, blueberries, and/or strawberries).
If you need even more chocolate to satisfy your craving, throw in a handful of dark chocolate chips. The caffeine in the cocoa will keep you from falling asleep in the library.
All the cinnamon things. This mix might not be as warm and soft as the snickerdoodle cookies you usually make at home, but it’s got all the flavor with a lot less mess.
Combine a good handful of cinnamon almonds, Cinnamon Teddy Grahams, Cinnamon Life Cereal, and some yogurt-covered raisins for a fruity touch.
For a crafty presentation that will help you walk away with a prize at the exchange (yeah, you actually do need another tree ornament), package this mix in cellophane bags and tie with holiday-themed ribbon and a cinnamon stick.
Ginger, molasses, cinnamon, cloves, and brown sugar are the epitome of holiday flavors. This mix (and these cookies) show ‘em off real nice.
Break ginger snap cookies into bite-size pieces, then add spiced nuts and Cheerios to bulk up the mix. Raisins are also a popular decoration on molasses cookies, so sprinkle some throughout the mix to get the perfect cookie-inspired bite.
Cranberry Orange Bread
This mix is reminiscent of the classic holiday quick-bread usually served with breakfast or alongside the big meal. Go ahead, get your munch and crunch on.
Look for Cranberry Orange belVita Breakfast Biscuits in the granola bar aisle of the grocery store. These thin, crunchy cookies are full of whole grains to fuel your body. Break them into bite-size pieces, then add flavor boosters like dried cranberries, almonds, and frosted shredded wheat cereal.
Peanut Butter Cookies
For real though, what’s any cookie party without the classic PB cookie, criss-crossed with a fork and all? It’s time to amaze the world with this treat: Peanut butter cookie, meet trail mix, your new best friend.
This mix lightens up the decadent dessert with a twist from a favorite childhood after-school snack, apples and peanut butter. Combine peanut butter filled pretzels, honey-roasted peanuts, Nilla Wafers, and dried apples. The protein from the peanuts and fiber from the apples will keep you full long enough to get through at least one study guide.