Sometimes after a chocolate chip cookie, I want something salty. That’s the beauty of the cowboy cookie; sweet and salty so you don’t have to choose. Chocolate chips, oats, and salty pretzels with the added hint of coffee giving it depth. It’s all crunchy edges, chewy center, sweet and salty deliciousness. These are truly one of my favorites – if I have pretzels on hand I make these over standard chocolate chips every time.
These cookies are from a cookbook my mom bought me – though I’ve made a bunch of the recipes these cookies (as well as this chocolate bread) are my fave take-away. The recipe is on my site and so often I want to make them but then I say to myself, “no, can’t make those, too dangerous”. I love me some moderation but that theory just doesn’t work with these cookies. I “break off a piece” to the equivalent of three or four cookies throughout the afternoon and then feel no remorse, just want more. Now I only make them when I have opportunity to give away all four dozen cookies. This time it was a bestie recovering from a minor surgery and an neighborhood playdate. I left some at our house, about ten, for me and the kids and then decided to hide them from the kids so I wouldn’t have to share. True story.
My only tip is to make them within 24 hours of serving and don’t freeze them; once the pretzels lose their crunch the fun’s over. Also – dough needs to chill for a few hours. Keep this in mind before beginning.
Cowboy Cookies, Adapted from Baked Explorations
Makes about 48 cookies
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. old fashioned oats
14 tbsp. butter, set out of fridge 10 minutes and cut into small chunks
3/4 c. sugar
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. instant coffee or espresso
2 c. bittersweet chocolate chips (preferably Ghirardelli)
1 1/2 c. thin salty pretzels, broken into tiny pieces
1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. Add oats and stir to combine.
3. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars (brown and white).
4. Add the egg and yolks, beating mixture until light and fluffy.
5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add vanilla; beat five seconds.
6. Dissolve instant coffee (or espresso if that’s what you have) in 1/4 c. hot water. Add mixture to bowl and mix until combined.
7. Add half the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the second half and mix until just combined.
8. Scrape down sides and bottom of the bowl. Add chocolate and 1/2 c. of pretzel pieces (this isn’t total amount of pretzels) and stir to combine.
9. Cover bowl tightly and refrigerate dough overnight or at least four hours. If in a rush, divide batter between two or three bowls and smash it up the sides of the bowl. Cover tightly. Chill 2 hours.
10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
11. Scoop out dough in ping-pong ball amounts and place 2 inches apart on parchment.
12. Press a few pieces of the remaining pretzel bits into the top of each cookie.
13. Bake for 10-12 minutes, remembering to stagger and switch the cookie sheets so all bake evenly. Cookies are done when the edges have started to brown. Careful not to over-bake.
14. Let cool ten minutes on the pan. Remove to cooling rack and let cool completely. Will keep at room temperature for several days, though best served within 24 hours.