Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cowboy Cookies

We are going to our friend’s cabin and will be snow shoeing and sledding all weekend so I was on the search for a new cookie to try because like any other weekend getaway, being at the cabin warrants having lots of treats on hand! I found these cowboy cookies on Dana Treat and she mentioned they had too much chocolate and really not enough pretzels. So instead of the 2 cups of chocolate chunks, I used 1 cup chocolate chips, ½ cup white chocolate chips and a few handfuls of craisins. And instead of just 3/4 cup pretzel chunks, I threw in a few handfuls. I think these cookies are excellent, the perfect balance of salty and sweet, but honestly next time I might skip the pretzels and just put a few sprinkles of fleur de sel on top.

And as usual I didn’t read through the entire recipe before I began and didn’t realize until I was a few ingredients in that you’re supposed to chill the dough for four hours before you bake the cookies. Considering I started at about 8 p.m. this wasn’t going to work for me. So I ended up refrigerating the dough overnight and baking the cookies the next evening.

Cowboy Cookies
Dana Treat / Baked Explorations Cookbook
Makes about 24 large cookies

1¾ cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 cups rolled oats
14 tbsp. (1¾ sticks) unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut into 1-inch cubes
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. instant espresso powder (I used Chai powder)
2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks (about 12 ounces) (I used 1 cup choc chips, ½ cup white choc chips and a few handfuls of craisins)
¾ cup thin salty pretzels (about 1½ ounces) broken into tiny pieces but not crushed into dust (or a few handfuls)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the oats and stir to combine.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and egg yolk, beating until the mixture looks light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the vanilla, and beat for 5 seconds. Dissolve the espresso powder in ¼ cup hot water and add it to the bowl, mixing until combined.

Add half the dry ingredients and mix for 15 seconds. Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and fold in the chocolate chunks and ½ cup of the pretzel pieces. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Use a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to scoop dough in 2 tablespoon-size balls (or use a tablespoon measure) and place the dough balls onto the prepared sheets about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup pretzel pieces over the dough balls. Use the palm of your hand to press the dough down lightly; don’t small the cookie – you just want to slightly flatten the ball and push the pretzel pieces into the dough.

Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown or just starting to darken.

Set the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes to cool. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

And this is Murray willing me as hard as he could (with no success) to drop a cookie. He really has the RCA dog, head tilt mastered!


  1. Those look really yummy! But really, is there such a thing as too much chocolate? Definitely not such a thing as too much M-dog, he's the sweetest.

  2. Murray! Good to see you on here, buddy!
    LOVE the salty/sweet combo! These look delish. I also love how I am not the only one who never reads the recipe all the way through. There have been many a cookie/recipe/meal that had to be scratched because of that! :) Have fun snow-shoeing!

  3. Will have to try these out. I actually bake now... aren't you impressed? I decided that good moms make cookies for their kids. I like the sweet/salty combo but agree that maybe just the fleur de sel might be perfect!

  4. There is an amazing pastry shop in Arcata that has the best chocolate chip cookies...I don't know what they put inside but they sprinkle salt on top and they are sooo good!
    These look amazing too...I think I would've gone with the original recipe though...more chocolate is better :)