When people discuss their dieting downfalls, they usually fall into one of two categories: those who are done in by the salty and those who are done in by the sweet. I wish I could pigeonhole myself into one of the two categories, but I’m easily undone by either. Cheetohs, guacamole and prosciutto don’t stand a chance in my path. Unless I need to get through some ice cream, chocolate or rice pudding to get there. It’s when the salty and sweet are mixed together that I really have problems holding back. Perhaps that’s why I can’t seem to pigeonhole myself into a smaller pair of jeans.
It just might be worth it for these cookies. I first noticed a variation of them over at Homesick Texan. Her oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are a favorite of mine, so I deem her cookie recipes Worthy of Trying. I had them on my list of things to bake for a while. And then, for my birthday, this book appeared:
Oh my. My sister-in-law saw me leafing through it in a Nashville bookstore and keenly observed me salivating and fanning myself. I want to make every single decadent thing in it. It too contains a recipe for Cowboy Cookies.
Now each recipe has its own thing going for it, which makes it worthy on its own. Homesick Texan’s contains whole wheat flour, which allows me to feel like I’m eating a healthy cookie. Score one for HT. It also adds sea salt over regular salt, and cinnamon. Looking good, but missing something.
The Baked recipe is a bit fussier, calling for espresso powder, a separated egg and chocolate chunks. Nah, cowboys aren’t fussy, and they wouldn’t approve. But instead of nuts it calls for broken pretzel pieces. And this is where I heard choirs of angels sing, “Saaaaalty and sweet! Sweeeeet and salty! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”
For the first time in my life, after eating these cookies, I couldn’t resist the urge to chug milk directly from the jug. Must be my inner cowboy coming through.
Salty-Sweet Cowboy Cookies with Pretzels
Makes about 20 cookies
1/2 cup white flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 large egg
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup thin, salty pretzels, broken into small pieces.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Mix together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Add flour to the egg/sugar mixture. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated, then stir in oats, chips and pretzels.
4. Drop dough in 2 tablespoon-size balls onto baking sheets about one inch apart. Bake for 11-13 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking, until the edges turn just golden-brown. Cool on a wire rack.