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butterscotch chips

Cowboy Cookies

I’ve only got a few more days of baking until my baby arrives!   And since I cleaned my baking corner this weekend, I realized I have a TON of half used bags of chips, pretzels and M&M’s to use up before they go bad! So today, I decided to make some cookies… Cowboy Cookies!

I’ve often wondered though… what exactly goes into a Cowboy Cookie?   I did a little digging online and couldn’t really find a solid history of the cookie.  I’ve seen them made with everything from nuts and coconut to oats and raisins and of course… chocolate! I kinda always thought of these cookies as a “whatever you’ve got left in your kitchen” type of cookie.  So, that’s what I’m going with today.

These cookies have butterscotch, white chocolate, and semi-sweet chocolate chips, M&M’s and pretzel chunks.  Oh… and a special little ingredient for some added kick: espresso powder! (Everything but the kitchen sink!) I’ve made a cookie before with pretzels in them and everyone who ate them were surprised at how tasty they were… but pretzels in cookies?  Ya just gotta try it! YUM!

I made a double batch of these so I could take them into my husband’s office… made a few jumbo cookies and a few regular size too.  I’m pretty sure the soldiers will love them!

Cowboy Cookies

Yield: 2 dozen jumbo cookies & 2 dozen regular size cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 29 minutes

These cookies are perfect for all the leftover stuff you've got in your baking pantry! Just throw "whatever" into the batter and you've got some pretty tasty Cowboy Cookies!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used a combo of mini and regular size chips just because that's what I had on hand)
  • 1/2 cup of M&M's + a few more to put on top
  • 1 cup pretzel chunks + a few more to put on top (I used pretzel rods, but any kind of coarse chopped pretzels will work. You want chunks, not too fine.)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and espresso powder.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar - about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the vanilla and eggs, scrape the sides of the bowl and beat on high for 4-5 minutes. You want this mixture to be light in color and fluffy.
  5. Add the flour mixture and mix on medium until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure it's all incorporated.
  6. Add the chips and M&M's and mix until combined.
  7. Fold in by hand the pretzels - you don't want them to break into pieces.
  8. For larger cookies, scoop 8 golf ball size balls of dough onto cookie sheet. Place a couple extra pretzel chunks and M&M's on top of each ball. Bake 9-11 minutes or until edges and top start to brown.
  9. For regular size cookies, scoop tablespoon size balls of dough onto cookie sheet. Place 1-2 extra pretzel chunks and M&M's on top of each ball. Bake 8-9 minutes or until edges and top start to brown.
  10. Let cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe inspired by: For the Love of Cooking

Ooey Gooey Double Chip Surprise Cookie Bars

Another group of soldiers is in need of some TLC as they ship off to Afghanistan and it’s my job to make sure they have sufficient amounts of sugar as they board the plane on the biggest adventure of their life!

This time… it’s a cookie bar with a huge surprise in the middle.  Baked in these cookie bars are two kinds of chips and a Reese’s peanut butter cup! Seriously, I wish I had extra for myself, cause they are SO YUM!

Run to your kitchen and whip up a batch of these for your kids…. they’ll thank you for it.

(PS… I didn’t feel like breaking out the big camera to take pictures…. so, you get camera phone pics!)

Double Chip Surprise Cookie Bars
Makes 12 bars

8×8 glass pan
parchment paper
non-stick cooking spray

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp milk
10oz bag + 1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
12 mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.  Lightly spray bottom of an 8x8x2 glass pan with cooking spray.  Line bottom of pan with a square piece of parchment paper.  Generously spray top of paper and sides of pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.  Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat on high for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  In two parts, with the mixer on low, add the flour and mix until barely combined.
  5. Add the milk and mix until just incorporated.
  6. By hand, fold in the chocolate and butterscotch chips.
  7. Press half the dough into the pan.  Arrange 12 peanut butter cups evenly onto of this layer, pressing them gently into the dough.
  8. Spread evenly the remaining dough on top of the pb cups, making sure to spread into the corners.  Again, press dough gently into bottom layer.
  9. Bake in the center of your oven for 40-50 minutes or until baked through.  Do not over bake!
  10. Allow to cool completely before cutting into 12 squares.  Be patient, you want them to set up before you cut them… they will keep their shape better if cooled when cutting.
Recipe adapted from Picky Palate.
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