I had a handful of pretzels leftover from the chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels bites I made the other day. And I happened to still be craving anything sweet & salty… so I turned to these bad boys- Cowboy Cookies. Mmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmmmmm. SO delicious! Now the whole “cowboy” thing? I have no idea. And neither do the creators of this particular recipe. But they are certainly chocked full of goodness- chocolate chips, oats, espresso, and chopped pretzels. The only thing that I felt they were missing were nuts. But that’s because I love the crunch from nuts. So if you feel the same way I do, I definitely suggest swapping out one of the two cups of chocolate chips for one cup chopped pecans or walnuts. Really. But aside from that, these cookies were great.
They were pretty basic to make. They call for the standard creaming method for cookies. If you’ve ever made cookies before you’ll easily be able to make these. The one thing I have to say though is that these actually require chilling time in the refrigerator. Now this isn’t just me suggesting it like usual, it is actually written into the recipe. See? It’s the best way to get good results with your cookies every time. I actually went so far as to scoop them out and freeze them, then bake them straight from the freezer. But that is mostly because I like to bake my cookies up in small batches as needed so they are always fresh.
Oh, and when you crush the pretzels for this recipe, do NOT pulverize them so they are mostly dust. You want them to be pretty chunky so that you get texture from them. You aren’t going to get that if you put them through the food processor… I broke them up by hand. OCD much? Yes. And I have a confession. My Husband had previously mentioned how this particular bag of pretzels wasn’t as salty as usual… so I actually added more salt (a pinch of coarse sea salt) to the cookies. I just wanted to be sure to achieve a detectable presence of sweet & salty! I know, it’s kind of crazy. But it worked! YUM : D
I almost forgot to mention the espresso! Yes, these have espresso. No, they do not taste like coffee. You wouldn’t even know that they had espresso in them honestly. I think it is just to highlight the other flavors. So if you want the coffee flavor just double the espresso.
Oh and here is something strange about this recipe-
it calls for cool, not cold or room temperature butter.
The recipe dictates that you should cut the butter into 1″ chunks and let it sit out at room temperature just 15 minutes before starting your cookies.
Usually cookies call for room temperature butter that has been left out for close to 2 hours, so this was a bit different.
Either way just set it out and measure out all the other ingredients while you wait.
The timing is perfect.
When the butter is ready, throw it into a bowl with the sugars.
Cream it until smooth and light, then add the egg yolk and whole egg.
Mix some more.
Once fully incorporated, add the vanilla and the dissolved espresso.
And once more, mix.
Now that the batter is fluffy and light, toss in the dry mixture and mix until just barely fully incorporated.
It’s okay if you still see some small flecks of flour because you have to mix in the chocolate and pretzels still.
And for your mix-in’s: chocolate chips and 1/2 cup pretzel pieces.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, if you want to add nuts
use 1 cup chocolate chips, 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, and 1/2 cup pretzel pieces.
Once the mix-in’s are evenly distributed cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
When completely chilled, scoop out the dough and flatten slightly.
AND top with some more pretzel pieces! Yay!!
Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 11-13 minutes.
Let them rest on the pan for 10 minutes to finish cooking and to cool.
And there you have it-
a new cookie that is a little bit different than the norm to shake things up!
And boy, is it delicious ; )
- 1 ¾ Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Salt
- 2 Cups Rolled Oats
- 14 Tbsp (1 ¾ 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
- 2 Cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips (about 12 ounces)
- ¾ Cup Thin Salty Pretzels (about 1 ½ ounces), broken into tiny pieces but not crushed into dust
- 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 stand 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 of 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 chips and ½ cup of the pretzel pieces.
- Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Use a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to scoop out dough into heaping tablespoon-size balls (or use a tablespoon measure) and place the dough balls onto the prepared baking sheet 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 smash 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 start to darken.
- Set the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes to cool. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies on the rack to cool completely. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
adapted from ”Baked Explorations“ by Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito