This will be my first Father’s Day since Dad passed away.  I’m doing my best to not dwell on the sadness and instead focus on remembering all the great times we had together.  I started thinking about what I would have baked for him if he were here, and I recalled a cookie I made for him a few years ago.  That particular cookie had all sorts of things mixed in – not exactly the combination I used here, but lots of chunks and different flavors going on.  I remember that at the time I wasn’t too fond of those cookies but Dad raved about them for a long time after.

This memory got the creative juices flowing and then I recalled one of Dad’s favorite snack foods of all time, sunflower seeds.  The idea of a chunk-ified cookie involving sunflower seeds inevitably brought me to the idea of trail mix cookies, which seemed just the thing since Dad’s favorite pastime (other than playing with his grandkids) was hiking and camping.  So I played around in the kitchen until I came up with these cookies.  They have an oatmeal base, are a little bit sweet and salty, and have plenty of chunks.  While they still aren’t my personal favorite cookie, they are really good, and I know Dad would have loved them.  As an added plus, that other important dad in my life (you know, my wonderful husband) is crazy about them as well.  Cheers to all the dads for Father’s Day!

Note: This recipe was developed as part of my ongoing contribution to the Go Bold with Butter blog.  Head over to see my posts as well as those of the other awesome bloggers involved with the project!


¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ cup (8 tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
6 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1¼ cup old-fashioned oats
¼ cup golden raisins
¼ cup dried cherries, chopped
¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tbsp. sunflower seeds


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon; whisk to blend, and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugars and beat on medium-high speed until light and smooth, about 1-2 minutes.  Blend in the egg.  Mix in the vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, beat in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Stir in the oats until evenly combined.  Use a spatula to fold in the raisins, cherries, walnuts, chocolate and sunflower seeds, mixing just until evenly incorporated.

  • 02

    Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough at a time onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies at least a couple of inches apart.  Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until golden brown and just set, about 10-12 minutes total.  Let cool on the baking sheets about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

  • 2Charlot

    These look awesome, totally mouth-watering!
    I tried Joy the Baker’s trail mix cookies during the past month and mixed sunflower seeds in there, too. It tasted much better than I had expected. Sunflower seeds have totally entered my cookie world instead of regular nuts.

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    These cookies are so lovely sounding Annie! I love a good trail mix cookie and yours sound perfect!

  • My stepdad would *love* these – I’ll have to make them for him once it’s not too hot to mail cookies with chocolate in them. Thank you for sharing this recipe and your beautiful memories!

  • Mercedes

    Thanks for sharing. I’m really sorry about your dad – I lost my dad to a heart attack, and even though it’s been many years Father’s Day is always hard for me. I try and take comfort in the fact that I have so many great memories with him and the time we did have together was really special. Hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend and I’ll keep you in my thoughts.

  • A fantastic idea to put your emotions into your baking. Your cookies look delicious and I’m going to try making them soon. Best wishes to you at this difficult time.

  • April B.

    These look amazing – will add it to my growing list of recipes to try from your site! Many hugs your way during this time. I lost my father suddenly in March 2010. You never realize how many Father’s Day commercials, specials, etc. there are until the man you adore is gone. But it gets better – slowly but surely. And the tears will turn into smiles. It sounds like you had an amazing relationship with your father, and that’s the best us gals can hope for.

  • These cookies sound fantastic. I’m sorry about your dad, that must be really hard. Hope you enjoy your weekend.

  • annieseats

    Unfortunately I already know that feeling, having lost my mother almost 20 years ago. It sucks to have both Mothers Day and Fathers Day feel that way now :(

  • Trail mix is one of my favorite snacks!

  • It’s always hard to hit the holidays or the milestone dates (anniversaries, birthdays, etc.). I’ve been there. This is such a great way to work through the grief and remember him on Father’s Day at the same time. My heart goes out to you.

    I love how substantial these cookies look. Chock full of good stuff!

  • Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes

    I’m so sorry you lost your dad…it sounds like he would have loved these cookies!

  • How creative! Sorry about your dad, but I’m happy to hear that you’re able to think positive still. ♥ I think I will love these as well!

  • These sound delicious like it would be hard not to eat too many :) Good luck on your first father’s day without your dad I know mine wasn’t easy either.

  • Jennie

    Thinking about you and your family…

  • Ally

    I am crazy about trailmix cookies! Thanks for the recipe… I am going to bake these asap!

  • Anonymous

    Its my first father’s day without my dad too. And it feels very scary to think every subsequent father’s day will be without him. I guess we just have to hold on to the people we still have and the memories we made with our fathers’ when they were still alive.

  • Oh yum! These look great!
    I’m sure your dad would have loved these

  • Kate

    Annie – tomorrow will be my first father’s day without my dad as well. We lost him to cancer early last month. I will be thinking of you and your family.

    On a lighter note, I just got done baking these cookies, and oh my goodness. I can’t say enough good things. They are everything I never knew I wanted in a cookie. Thank you for this recipe!

  • Annawas

    What a wonderful tribute to your Dad! I am sure he is shining down on you today. These cookies are delicious! I made them on Friday to take on a road trip on Saturday…perfect for the car! I used slivered almonds instead of walnuts (alls I had in the house) and they were devine! I bake them for 18 minutes rotating at 9 minutes and they turned out soft int he middle and a little crispy ont he edge…just perfect! Thanks for sharing such a great tribute recipe!

  • Jenny @ BAKE

    Great recipe! wishing you strength and fond memories today

  • These look great, and what a wonderful way to remember your father<3

  • Sweetsugarbelle

    I’m sorry this day brings a little sadness. Lots of love and hugs from Texas. PS-the pics are amazing!

  • Kita

    I think its awesome that you used the day and memories to inspire these cookies. I’m not sure I could be as strong as you.

  • You are doing a wonderful job of honoring his memory, Annie! Lots of hugs <3

  • These were great! I made them (with a few swaps based on the fruit/nuts I had on hand) for my father-in-law’s birthday, since he loves trail mix too!

  • Erica H.

    These cookies are delish!!! I thought I would try them since I had the ingredients on hand. I wasn’t really sure if I would like them, and then I made them….and couldn’t stop eating them!!! I had to quickly share what was left to get them out of the house :) This recipe is a keeper! Will definitely make these again! Thanks!

  • Mary

    Delicious cookies! I swapped walnuts for almonds and peanuts for sunflower seeds. I just pulled them out of the oven and they are the perfect texture and mix of sweet/salty. Thank you! They will be coming to the beach with us!

  • Barbara

    I’m sort of surprised you haven’t responded to my question about the baking powder. I don’t see it on the blog either. Did I say something rude? Just curious.

  • annieseats

    It requires a bit more research and I’ve had a busy weekend. I will get around to it. Patience, please.

  • AmyT

    Hi Annie, this is a little late, but I made these for my dad as a Father’s Day gift. I just wanted to share with you how much he liked them, and thank you for the idea – my entire family is already requesting more! My dad is a big time out door person here in Colorado, so they were perfect. I was thinking of you as I made them!

  • annieseats

    Aww, this makes me really happy Amy. Thanks for sharing!