Cowboy Cookie is such an evocative name. It makes me think of munching on these oatmeal cookies packed with chocolate and pretzel pieces in rugged terrain, possibly while traveling on horseback. Not that I know how to ride a horse. On the complete opposite side of the stereotype spectrum, my batch of Cowboy Cookies makes me think of cheerleaders because each cookie is topped with an impossibly cute pretzel alphabet. I can literally spell my own name in cookies. Give me a C-A-N-D-Y gooooooo CANDY!
To be honest, I have never heard of cowboy cookies until very recently. The traditional combination of mixing oats, chocolate chips, and nuts into a sturdy cookie is not exactly groundbreaking and certainly does not inspire me to turn on the oven on a hot day. BAKED’s version cleverly replaced the nuts with salty crunchy pretzel pieces to achieve an addictive sweet and salty taste which is right up my alley. Choosing a good pretzel is key. In my quest for cute, I went for a bag of multigrain pretzel alphabets. They are my everyday pretzels because I love their diminutive size and low sodium content. Oops, low sodium is exactly what you don’t want for this recipe! My cookies turned out plenty sweet but not salty enough for my taste.
As I discovered, there are people who are put off by the sweet and salty combination. One of my tasters looked at me most disapprovingly before he even took a bite and said “why did you put pretzels in my chocolate chip cookie?!”. I quickly told him “it’s not salty pretzels, they just add crunch” which is honestly the truth in my case. To be fair, this is the same taster who did not enjoy my bacon pralines so I shouldn’t expect anything less. I mingle with food lovers most of the time and the whole sweet/salty profile has been fashionable for so long that I don’t even think of it as remotely adventurous. It is interesting to get an occasional glimpse of the mainstream taste and realize how conservative it can be.
These cookies are best enjoyed the day they are made because the moisture in the cookie can cause the pretzel to soften. See for yourself if you like them too. You can get the recipe and see other bloggers’ experience with these cookies over at BAKED Sunday Mornings.