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Books for Cooks: 7-grain cookies have a place at any picnic

If you think a picnic needs a sunny day, a basket, a blanket and a nice spot by a lake, you need to broaden your horizons.

That’s what mother-and-son writers Hilary and Alex Hemingway do in “Picnics,” a photo-rich tribute to sitting down to a meal just about anyplace other than your dining room table.

They’ve put together a picnic at your desk (with Seaweed Salad, sushi and iced green tea). There’s a picnic on the plane (5-Mile-High Ham and Cheese Ciabatta Sandwich). There are kids’ picnics with Chocolate “Scat” Cookies and royal-themed picnics with Curried Egg Salad Sandwiches and Oatmeal Shortbread.

These hearty Wheat Montana 7-Grain Cookies are suggested as part of the trail-ride picnic, but they’d be perfect on hikes or bike trips or, heck, even a breakfast “picnic” in front of your computer.

Wheat Montana 7-Grain Cookies

From “Picnics” by Hilary and Alex Hemingway

1 cup dried cranberries or dried blueberries

3 eggs, well beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

2 1/2 cups white flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 cups 7-grain cereal

Combine cranberries with eggs and vanilla. Let stand 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together butter and both sugars. Add flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Mix well. Blend in egg/berry mixture and 7-grain cereal. Dough should be stiff.

Drop heaping teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Yield: 48 cookies

Approximate nutrition per cookie: 110 calories, 4 grams fat (2.5 grams saturated, 35 percent fat calories), 1.5 grams protein, 16 grams carbohydrate, less than 1 gram dietary fiber, 28 milligrams cholesterol, 118 milligrams sodium.

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