This is the first in a series of blog posts where our wonderful volunteers, who have baked delicious treats for our Charitable Bake Sales, share their recipes with us. We have to say, we’re pretty excited to try out some of these oh-so-yummy sounding recipes!
“I was happy to volunteer my time to bake cookies to support the Program for Adolescent Mothers (PAM). In the past, I had an opportunity to visit with the girls and their babies for a yoga program. Seeing the program in action really showed me what a valuable asset it is to the Island and these girls. It’s a tragedy girls are not allowed to complete school after getting pregnant and having a baby in Grenada. Some of the girls are as young as 13, and PAM provides not only skills training, but a peer network for others in the same situation. As SO’s know, it’s good to have friends that can relate to your situation and circumstances.”
We’re not sure why these are called Cowboy cookies-perhaps for their homespun, sturdy, trail-mix qualities-but they may just be the best of the chocolate chip cookie genre. Moosewood sisters Susan Harville and Nancy Lazarus have made them since childhood to rave reviews and have given out the recipe over the years like a pyramiding chain letter. You may have it already. If not, you’ll be glad you do now.
Cowboy cookies appeal to a wide range of people. We sent an enormous box of them to Moosewood cook Tony Del Plato while he was working with Navajo and Hopi people in Big Mountain, Arizona. By return post we received a brief and to-the-point message: “send more cowboys, please. We love to eat them up. Signed, the Indians.”
Yields about 84 cookies
Preparation time: 20 to 25 minutes
Baking time: about 12 minutes per batch
Equipment: electric mixer, baking sheets
1 cup butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached white pastry flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 cups rolled oats
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 1 ½ cups)
Option: Add 1 cup of raisins and/or ½ cup of coarsely chopped toasted walnuts.
Julie’s Notes: I like to double the vanilla and add a half a teaspoon of Cardamom. I usually substitute half of the white flour for whole wheat. I have tried many different fruits -dried cherries, golden raisins, apricots, cranberries. And I’ve used almonds and pecans in place of the walnuts since I have a walnut hater in my house. Apricot / Pecan has been a popular combination with the chocolate chips.
Preheat the oven to 350º.
In a large bowl, thoroughly cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture and blend well. Mix in the oats. Using a large spoon or your hands, fold in the chocolate chips, and the raisins and walnuts, if using. The dough will be fairly stiff.
On un-oiled baking sheets, drop generous rounded teaspoonfuls of dough about 4 inches apart.
Bake for about 12 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before storing in a sealed container
Reprinted from Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts, Copyright © 1997 by Moosewood, Inc. Published by Clarkson N. Potter, Inc., New York, New York, member of the Crown Publishing Group.
Moosewood Restaurant http://www.moosewoodrestaurant.com/recipes_archive.html