Cookie Swap Plus Recipe for Grandma’s Cowboy Cookies

 

IMG_4979Despite the million other things we all have going on around the holidays, when I saw the call for a blogger cookie swap to raise money to fight kids cancer, I knew I wanted to participate. Julie at The Little Kitchen and Lindsay at Love and Olive Oil were the brave organizers of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. For a small registration fee of $4 (which all went to Cookies for Kid’s Cancer), each blogger receives 3 contacts Secret Santa style. You send a dozen cookies to each and in return, you receive a dozen cookies from 3 other bloggers. Neat, huh?

In addition, the good folks at OXO are matching the donations and sent each participant the super cute “be a good cookie spatula”. Half of the sales from the spatula are also being donated to CFKC

IMG_4992The cookies I received were so tasty!  Big thanks to DJ’s Sugar Shack for the Chocolate Cookies Stuffed with Salted Caramel , In Her Chucks for the Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies, and Pennies on a Platter for the Butterscotch Cornflake Cookies. All delicious!

I sent cookies to The Not So Exciting Adventures of a Dabbler, Chocolate and Carrots, and blogchickabowow. I included both my business cards, a Scooby Doo Christmas card, and still neglected to tell them what kind of cookies I was sending. Although I usually like a soft cookies, I had box of Crispy Rice cereal (yes, I spelled it right, it is the generic version) I wanted to use. I dug through my recipe box for my grandmother’s Cowboy Cookies and got to work.

IMG_4977Cowboy Cookies are a highly versatile version of a chocolate chip cookie, usually containing oats and chocolate chips but pretty much open to interpretation after that. The combination of oil and butter gives a crisp, shortbread texture and the crispy rice cereal adds an extra crunch that is hard to identify on first bite. So you must follow up with many more bites, just to be sure. I also added a cup of dried fruit that I had on hand that gave a nice chewy sweet kick to them as well. I am not a raisin fan but little bits of dried mango, pineapple, and cranberries go well in cookies as well as homemade granola. I used a smaller scoop for the cookies to make sure I had enough and boy, did I. This made almost 5 dozen 3 inch cookies. Quality control is very important. I had to taste a few before I boxed them up. Then decided I better send 1 1/2 dozen to each of my bloggers before I ate them all.

[kitchenbug-your-recipe-appears-here-5063]

  • 1 cup Butter, softened
  • 1 cup Canola Oil
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 3 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 cup Crispy Rice Cereal
  • 1 cup Quick Oats
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup Dried Fruit

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° and line sheet pans with parchment paper.

Combine butter and oil as well as you can and then blend in sugars until creamy and smooth.

Add egg, salt and vanilla to butter and sugar.

In separate bowl, combine flour, and baking powder. Then add oats and cereal to flour mixture.

Combine butter mixture with flour mixture to make a soft dough, then fold in chocolate chips and dried fruit.

Drop dough by heaping tablespoon onto parchment paper and bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.

 

 

Two more bonus links-  to the Round Up of all of the participating bloggers! Part one at Love and Oil and part 2 at The Little Kitchen. Just a few hundred more cookie recipes to drool over 🙂

Best So Far Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

One of the first things I learned to bake was chocolate chip cookies off the back of the yellow Tollhouse package.  Every time I made them, they seemed to turn out different.  Sometimes crispy, sometimes chewy.  Sometimes cakey, sometimes perfect.  I have since learned that recipes are more about technique than a list of ingredients.

For example, “Beat until creamy.”  Creamy with my KitchenAid is way different then creamy by hand or even with a hand mixer.  I now know that over-beating the butter and sugar can cause the too much air to be incorporated  into the batter and  the cookies will overspread and flatten.  Over-mixing when you add the flour causes gluten strands to form which makes cookies tough.

I have tried many different chocolate chip cookie recipes and my favorite so far is Alton Brown’s “The Chewy.”    It is important to follow this recipe EXACTLY to achieve the perfect combination of the crispy edge with the chewy center.

Ingredients

Hardware:

  • Ice cream scooper (#20 disher, to be exact)
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheets
  • Mixer

Directions

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.

Pour the melted butter in the mixer’s work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Chill the dough, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

 

Personally, I like to scoop before I chill onto a parchment lined baking sheet, placing them as close together as possible so I can fit almost a double batch on one sheet.  Once they are chilled, you can bake as many as you like and save the raw dough already scooped in the freezer.  Nothing says “love” like fresh, homemade cookies.

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