Cowboy Cookies

Here in Houston, March means rodeo time! That might not seem like a big deal, but the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, which lasts from the beginning of March to about the 23rd, is a VERY BIG deal to Houstonians. Its home to the world’s largest livestock show, a huge downtown parade, a ton of insane concerts (I saw Bruno Mars one year), the World Championship Barbeque Cook Off, and Mutton Bustin’ competitions just to name a few. The Houston mayor even declares “Go Texan Day” at the beginning of the rodeo, which means everyone gets a free license to wear cowboy boots and school children all over Houston dress up as tiny cowboys. Its basically a giant celebration of all the weird yet awesome things Texas has to offer. On “Go Texan Day,” we at Cookies and Salt HQ celebrated the only way we knew how: Cowboy Cookies.

This is not a real Cowboy, this is a romance novel cowboy a.k.a the best kind of cowboy.

I’m not entirely sure how Cowboy Cookies got their name or if they actually have anything to do with actual cowboys. I do know that they are delicious and make this Texas girl a very happy lady (much like actual cowboys <<wink-wink>>).  Though its basically a brown sugar base featuring chocolate chips and oatmeal, there are about 1001 variations to the Cowboy Cookie recipe including additions such as pecans, coconut, and even frosted flakes. I skip the overly sweet stuff and go straight for something on the salty side: Pretzels. With a hint of ground coffee and a wallop of salty pretzels, these Cowboy Cookies will please even the most rugged of cowboy palates.  Y’all Enjoy!

*if you’ve never heard of Mutton Bustin’, google it now. You won’t be disappointed.

Cowboy Cookies, makes 2 dozen

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature (I leave mine out on the counter overnight)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed into your measuring cup
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 3 Cups AP Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup of pretzels, plus extra for the topping
  • 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (or whatever your preferred chocolate may be)

Equipment:

  • Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, or an Electric mixer with a large mixing bowl, (or a wooden spoon and your arm). I use a Kitchen Aid.
  • (2) 9X13 Baking sheets, lined with parchment or silicone baking sheet  (In a pinch you can grease your baking sheets with butter, Shortening, or a non-stick cooking spray).
  • Separate mixing Bowl for dry ingredients
  • Whisk or spoon to mix dry ingredients
  • Rubber spatula to scrape sides of bowl

The Process:

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Typically, I just throw my pretzels in a bag and freezer bag and break them up  up by hand. This day I decided to be fancy with my mortar and pestle.

2) Cream the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar on medium speed (Kitchen aid speed of 4-6) for 5-7 minutes, which helps incorporate air and volume into your cookie. The mixture will have lightened in color (pale, pale yellow) and will be lighter and fluffier.

3) While you are creaming your butter, combine the flour, baking soda, coffee, and salt in a separate bowl using a whisk or a spatula. Set aside.

4) When your butter and sugar have finished creaming, scrape down the sides of the bowl.  On low to medium speed, begin adding your eggs one at a time until thoroughly combined. Add the vanilla at this time too.

5) When the wet ingredients are combined, stop the mixer and scrape the side of the bowl. Turn the mixer back on for a 20 seconds or so to ensure everything is combined. Turn off the mixer.

6) Add the half of the dry ingredients. Start mixing the dough on lowest speed to begin combining the ingredients (this reduces splatter). Then gradually turn the speed up back to medium speed. Mix until dry ingredients are barely combined (about 20-30 seconds). Scrape the sides of the bowl down with a spatula and repeat this step with the rest of the dry ingredients. Be careful not to over mix or the cookies will become tough. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.

I roll the top of my cookies in extra crushed pretzels. You can also simply top them with kosher salt.

7) Add your pretzels and oatmeal to your mixing bowl. until the pretzels and oatmeal are evenly combined with your dough. Even though you run the risk of over working your dough, I like to blitz the oatmeal and pretzels twice to insure they mix evenly through your dough (this is a very dense dough). Turn the mixer to low-medium speed (kitchen aid speed of 3 or 4) and mix your oatmeal and pretzels into your dough for about 20 seconds until they look roughly distributed through the dough. Turn off the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl bringing any oatmeal/pretzel crumbs to the top of the heap (a lot of the pretzel and oatmeal tends to just fall down to the bottom of the bowl. So giving the bowl a good scrape at this point is super important). Turn your mixer back on and mix the dough for another 10-20 seconds to ensure the oatmeal and pretzels are evenly distributed throughout the dough. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl again.

8) On low speed, add your chocolate chips and mix for roughly 10 seconds until they are roughly distributed throughout the dough. AGAIN, scrape the sides of the bowl and, using your spatula, gently mix anything that fell to the bottom into the dough.

9) With spoons or an ice cream scoop, spoon out 1 tablespoon sized balls onto your prepped baking sheet. Cookies should be about 1 inch (or 2 fingers width) apart.  You will be able to fit about 12 cookies onto each pan.

Optional: I like to roll the top of my cookies in extra crushed up pretzels. You can also top them with a small pinch of Kosher salt.

10) Bake for 9-11 minutes rotating the pans half way through cooking. When the cookies are golden and cooked through take them out of the oven. Let them rest on the pan for two minutes (leaving them on the hot baking sheet longer will result in a crispier cookie) and then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy!

Enjoy your Cowboy Cookies with a cup of campfire coffee and some Willie Nelson tunes. Cowboy boots optional.

Storage: The best way, in my opinion, to store a butter-based cookie, is to put your cookies in an airtight container (Tupperware, Ziploc bag, etc.) with a few pieces of bread torn up and placed over them. This will keep your cookies from drying out so quickly. Just change out the bread every day or so.

Disclaimer: I received nothing for post. Just got to eat a bunch of cookies and an excuse to wear cowboy boots in the city.

 

 

 

 

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