An old classic treat with a few fun twists, these delicious cookies are loaded with chocolate chips, sweet toffee bits and crisp toasted pecans.
This one's going to be short and sweet because I've got a
hurricane "herd" headed my way!
A British herd, to be precise. Yup, probably about the time you read this post, that little herd will be galloping through the custom/immigration gates straight into the arms of a very happy Papa and Grammy. It's our daughter Cait, her husband Josh and their four little ones, Annie, Ellie, Lilly and Luke, who will be arriving from London for a summer visit. And though it does, at times, seem a bit like a hurricane that's blowing into our quiet, empty-nester lives, we love every second of the chaos, commotion and comedy.
It just wouldn't be right for this Grammy to not have a sweet treat waiting for the children under the cake dome. I was certain you would agree so I picked a recipe I knew you would love too. It's an old favorite cookie that's been around forever though I changed it up just a bit.
The story's told that Cowboy Cookies are so hearty and delicious that cowboys carried them when riding the trails. Someone even called these cookies "the original power bars" dating back to those old Wild West days. I'm not sure that this is the true history of these fun cookies but I do know that the little cowboys (girls) that'll be hanging around our campfire this weekend, are going to flip when they peek under the cake dome.
Okay, so I had to put my own little Café signature on these classic, old-fashioned cookies. You knew that, right? I added one of my favorite little cookie-flavor-poppers; toffee bits. I love the sweet buttery taste and the bit of crunch these give to cookies, brownies, bars, etc. You'll find them in the chocolate chip section of many grocery stores (I can always find them at Super Walmart).
I also used a combination of milk chocolate and mini semi sweet chocolate chips and while the oven was preheating, I popped my pecans in the oven with a tiny drizzle of honey and olive oil to toast them till golden and crisp.
And since I truly believe that we taste with our eyes before food ever hits our mouth, I employed a favorite little trick of mine. I reserve a small portion of the chocolate chips and pecans and, after the cookies are in the oven for 10 minutes, I scatter a few of the pretty chips and nuts on top of each cookie. Then it's back in the oven for another 3-5 minutes to complete the baking. It takes a bit more time and it's definitely not necessary but it you want the finished cookies to look they emerged from a fine bakery, give this simple little technique a try!
One last thing. This recipe makes a HUGE amount cookies. Don't worry though, they freeze beautifully and make wonderful small gifts for friends, teachers, neighbors, etc. That reminds me, I need to pull a few of mine out of the freezer right now as there's a herd (and a hurricane) headed my way!
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour ￼
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup or 2 sticks butter softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanila extract
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1 cup semi sweet mini chocolate chips
- 1 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup toffee bits
- 1 ½ cups crushed cornflakes I just overfill the cup, then push down on them with my hand to crush to 1 cup.
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a medium size bowl. Set aside.
Combine pecans, olive oil, honey and salt on in a small pan lined with parchment paper or foil. Place in oven for 3 minutes. Remove and stir to coat pecans with oil/honey mixture. Return to oven and bake for another 6-7 minutes or until pecans are golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Place butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed for 2-3 minute or until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl half way through.
Add eggs, once at a time while continuing to beat. Add vanilla and mix.
With mixer on low speed, add prepared flour mixture, beating until just combined. Add oats, chocolate chips (both kinds) coconut, toffee bits, cornflakes and prepared pecans. (If you want your cookies to look extra special, reserve about 2 tablespoons of each of the chips and 2 tablespoons of the toasted pecans for garnish - see directions for this is step 6). Mix until everything is incorporated.
Scoop up dough (I use an ice cream scoop that holds 3 tablespoons) and roll into balls with your hands. Place on prepared sheet pans, spacing the cookies 2-inches apart. Flatten each cookie slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake for 10 minutes. If you've reserved some of the chocolate chips and pecans for garnish, remove cookies from oven at this point and scatter a few chocolate chips and pecans over the top of each cookie. Return to oven for another 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. (If you are in a hurry and don't want to do this extra step, just bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes or until golden.) Let cookies cool on sheet pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
Store in an airtight container or freeze in a covered container.
* I have a 6-quart KitchenAid mixer which is plenty big for this recipe. If, after adding the flour, your mixing bowl is quite full, just transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients by hand with a sturdy wooden spoon.