Cowboy Cookies are large oatmeal cookies with a crisp edge and soft chewy center loaded with pecans, chocolate chips, caramel, coconut, and cornflakes.
What Are Cowboy Cookies?
You could say they have everything but the kitchen sink in them. These cookies were made popular by Laura Bush’s recipe published in Family Circle during the 2000 Presidential campaign. It beat out Tipper Gore’s Ginger Snap recipe amongst readers.
How To Make Cowboy Cookies
- In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and beat just until combined.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the oats, cornstarch, cinnamon, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl and mix lightly, do not fully incorporate yet.
- Add the coconut, cornflakes, and pecans.
- Mix them on low speed just until combined.
- Fold in the caramel bits and chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.
- Chill dough for at least 1 hour before baking.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 11 to 14 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the center is soft. Place on a wire rack to cool.
I love this Cowboy Cookies recipe because it’s super customizable and if there’s something you don’t like or something you really love, you can mix it up really easily!
Cowboy Cookie Recipe Variations
- Butterscotch: Replace the caramel bits with butterscotch chips.
- Nuts: Instead of using pecans, use a different nut of your choice.
- Candy: Swap the chocolate chips or caramel bits for m&m’s or toffee pieces
- Extra Oats: If you don’t love coconut (even though you barely taste it) it helps add texture. So if you want to omit it, I would recommend replacing it with additional oats.
- Fruit: If you want to, dried cranberries, cherries, or raisins would make a great addition to these cookies. Just replace an equal amount of the other add-ins with the fruit of your choosing.
Tips For Making Cowboy Cookies1. Use a 1/4 cup to measure the dough into evenly sized balls. I like using this measuring cup because it’s collapsable and makes it easy to remove the dough.
2. Rolls into balls before chilling as the dough will be easist to work right after being made.
3. Make your dough balls tall as opposed to round (see the photo below for an example) this will help keep the centers soft and chewy.
4. The cookies will look underdone in the center, this is okay as they will continue to cook as they cool and will yield a soft and chewy center this way.
5. Do not overmix your dough as this will cause the cookies to be crispy instead of chewy after baking.
Can You Freeze Cowboy Cookies?
You definitely can! Freezing cookies is such a great way to keep extras on hand in case cravings strike or you have last-minute guests! You can freeze the dough or fully baked cookies, just follow the instruction below:
How To Freeze Cookie Dough: Prepare the dough and roll into balls and place balls on a baking tray in the freezer until frozen, about 1 hour. Transfer the frozen cookies dough balls to an airtight container and store for up to 3 months in the freezer. To bake from frozen, just add a few additional minutes to the bake time.
How To Freeze Cookies: Allow the baked cookies to cool completely before arranging the cookies on a large cookie sheet to freeze for 20 to 30 minutes before transferring to an airtight container. Store for up to 3 months and thaw at room temperature.
So there you have it! A cookie that’s the perfect mix of crispy and chewy and loaded with tons of flavor! And if you think these might not be the cookie for you (even though I promise they are) here are a few more cookies recipes you might enjoy!
- Brownie Cookies – Made from a box mix and so so good!
- Butterbeer Cookies – These ones are for all the Harry Potter fans in your life!
- Birthday Cake Cookies – Everyone loves these funfetti cookies!
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks – These are the ultimate cookie for dunking!
- Molasses Cookies – An old fashioned cookie recipe everyone loves!
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- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 additional egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup old fashioned oats1
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch2
- 1 cup cornflakes3
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans4
- 1 cup caramel bits5
- 1 cup chocolate chips6
- In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, additional egg yolk, and vanilla and beat just until combined.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and cornstarch.
- Add to the mixing bowl and mix lightly, do not fully incorporate yet.
- Add the coconut, cornflakes, and pecans and mix just until combined.
- Fold in the caramel bits and chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.
- Measure the dough out into 1/4 cup sized portions and roll the dough into tall balls and place on a cookie sheet or in a container and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 48 hours.7
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Make sure there are at least 4 inches between each ball of dough and the edges of the pan, these cookies are big and will spread. Bake for 11 to 14 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the center is still puffy.8
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make sure you use old fashioned oats. Steel cut are too hard and 1-minute oats will be too soft.
- If you don’t have cornstarch on hand, you can make these cookies without it, but I think it helps make the cookies even more tender.
- Try using frosted flakes for an even sweeter cookie!
- For even more flavor, try toasting the pecans in a skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Allow the pecans to cool completely before adding to the dough.
- Instead of caramel bits, you could also use butterscotch chips or additional chocolate chips.
- I prefer to use either dark or milk chocolate chips in this recipe, not semi-sweet.
- I like to portion out my dough before chilling because it’s easier to work with and requires less overall chill time. If you do not portion beforehand, increase chill time to at least 2 hours.
- The cookies will look underdone in the center, this is okay as they will continue to cook as they cool and will yield a soft and chewy center this way.
Adapted from The Food Charlatan.