While everyone seems to agree these are delicious cookies it’s difficult to find out how they originated . The closest I have come in my research was something I found on a blog called Mangez Brioche and she sums up the history with this : Cowboy cookies are the original Powerbar. History states, cowboys used to make them for riding the trails. They were a quick, easy way to get a lot of nutrients and they kept well for travel.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups rolled oats
14 tbsp (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp instant Espresso powder
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup salted pretzel sticks, 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 standing 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 the bottom of the bowl, add the vanilla, and beat for 5 seconds. Dissolve the espresso powder in 1/4 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 in 2 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 1/4 cup salted 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.
Baked Note: This recipe calls for cool, but not cold butter. To be specific, I am suggesting you remove the butter from the refrigerator, cut it up into cubes, and plan to use it within 15 to 20 minutes. Using colder (i.e. not room temperature) butter will prevent your cookies from spreading. Conversely, if you prefer thinner, slightly crispier cookies, let your butter come to room temperature.
Excerpted from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2010 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.