Monday, December 16, 2013

Cowboy Cookies

Alright.  I give up.  I am going to do something that I said I would never do.  After years and years of people asking me for this recipe, I am going to give it out.  I don't know why I have been so secretive because it is really just a basic cookie recipe.  I suppose it is because it is a recipe from my sweet mother-in-law and it reminds me of her. 

This is the cookie recipe that we have made in our home almost on a weekly basis for years.  In fact the weeks that I haven't whipped up this bowl of deliciousness, someone has asked me why I haven't but I believe this is more because some people in my family like the dough as much as the actual cookie!  Yes, this is absolutely true. 

I think that the key to really great baking though is all the little details that you do while preparing a recipe.  Whether it is leveling out your powdered ingredients to using warm liquids so that the dry ingredients bind well, we all have little hints that make a recipe come out perfectly.  For this recipe I have tried to be as detailed as possible.  I must say, it is hard to prepare a recipe and take notes at the same time to make sure that I don't miss anything.  Normally when I make these, I dont even think about it!

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Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

The most important thing about any good cookie recipe is that you start out with room temperature butter and eggs.  Cold ingredients don't incorporate evenly to bond, resulting in dense cookies.  In fact this is important when baking bread and cheesecakes as well.  When you use cold ingredients, they just don't come together smoothly.  Who wants a rock-hard loaf of bread, clumpy cheesecake or cookies that are like bolders?  Not me! 

Bring your eggs and butter to room temperature by taking them out of the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour before you begin baking.  I just leave mine on the counter while I get out and prepare the other ingredients.

This is what they look like right before you add the eggs.

The first thing to do when you are ready to start mixing is to combine the room temperature eggs and the sugars.  Cream these in a large mixing bowl until they are light and fluffy.  I put mine in a mixer with a paddle attachment rather than a whisk because sometimes using a whisk puts too much air in the batter and then they fall flat as a board!  It isn't bad if they fall a little bit but you don't want them to be as flat as a piece of bread.  But if you don't have a mixer, a regular large bowl and good old fashioned elbow grease are just as good.

Once the butter and sugars are creamed, keep the mixer on the low speed and add the eggs in one at a time and then add the vanilla.  Mix until well combined.

In another large bowl combine the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.  Mix these ingredients with a spoon and then slowly add them to the wet ingredients adding them by thirds.

Once everything is well combined, slowly add in the quick cooking oats and then the chocolate chips.  Again, keep the mixer on low and don't overmix at this point.  I also like to keep my mixer on the low speed so that it doesn't break up my chocolate chips.  I'm not sure if it is just mine but my mixer could chew up rocks!

Your almost done!

Add in a bag of your favorite chocolate chips.  I prefer to use milk chocolate chips but white chocolate chips would be delicious with this recipe as well.

At the very end you can add in nuts if you want.  I don't usually do this but my mother-in-law does and they are delicious.

Another tip for the perfect cookie is to use the perfect scoop!  I have had this one for years and it not only makes the perfect size cookie but it also comes out perfectly round.  And cookies are supposed to be round so you get the most bang for your buck with this cookie scoop!  I got it from The Pampered Chef years ago and it is still going strong.  You can also get a great scoop that is the exact same size from OXO Good Grips.  These can be found at most kitchen or department stores.

Since there is so much butter in these cookies already you don't need to butter the cookie sheets.  Place the scoops of dough about an inch apart on the cookie sheet.  This dough is so good, you can just eat it raw but you probably shouldn't.  I just thought I should tell you again, it is delicious! 

Place the cookies in the pre-heated oven for about 12 to 13 minutes.  Now this will depend on your oven and elevation of your home.  I would put them in for about 13 minutes and then check them.  They should be lightly browned on the edges but not all over.  They will still look very light in the middle but that is what you want them to look like.

When you take them out of the oven, let them rest on the counter for about 10 minutes.  Take them off the cookies sheets and place them on wire racks to continue to cool.  When they are completely cooled, you can place them in a container to keep them fresh.  Or, you can just put them on a plate, pour a glass of milk, and eat them all!  That's what I would do.

These really are the most wonderful chocolate chip cookies I have ever had and I know that you will love them as well.  I think it is because they are from the best mother-in-law in the world.   I love you, Glea!

Cowboy Cookies

Cream the following:
1 C Brown Sugar, packed
1 C Granulated Sugar

Add the following:
2 t Vanilla
2 C Flour
1 t Salt
1 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Baking Powder
1 1/2 C Quick Cooking Oatmeal
1 12 oz. package Milk Chocolate Chips
1/2 to 1 C Nuts, optional

Cream together the butter and sugars. Then add the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix well. Add the oatmeal and chips and mix well again. Scoop with small scoop onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12 - 13 minutes at 325 degrees Take cookies out of the oven when they are just slightly turning brown on the edges. Makes three dozen cookies.

It is important to use room temperature butter and eggs as this gives you the best consistency for the cookie dough!

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