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Cowboy Cookies

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Cowboy cookies are packed with all the tasty things! Chocolate chips, old-fashioned oats, coconut, toasted pecans and a dash of cinnamon, the medley of flavors and textures create the most perfect chewy, hearty, delicious cookie.

They’re great as an after-school snack or a sweet treat after dinner. And the wonderful thing about this cowboy chip cookie recipe is you can swap in your favorite add-ins and make it totally your own!

A stack of four cowboy cookies.

What are Cowboy Cookies?

Think of cowboy cookies as a classic chocolate chip cookie with all the extras!

The cookies have a hearty, crunchy texture and flavor, with add-ins like coconut flakes, toasted pecans and old-fashioned oats. All of that deliciousness is packed into a chewy chocolate chip cookie.

The recipe, which has most likely been popular for some time, gained a bit of fame when Family Circle magazine ran cookie recipes from presidential candidates’ wives during the Bush-Gore presidential election campaign (according to the New York Times). Former first lady Laura Bush submitted a recipe for Cowboy Outlaw Cookies which got all the love.

The rest is history! Even the popular cookie shop Crumbl Cookie has its own cowboy cookie version!

Why This Cowboy Cookie Recipe Works

Similar to kitchen sink cookies, a classic chocolate chip cookie gets an upgrade with yummy add-ins that change up the entire flavor and texture of these chewy cookies.

The combination of chocolate chips and oatmeal is most definitely a winner, but when you add toasted pecans and cinnamon, you’ll find these loaded cowboy chunky cookies become simply irresistible. 

We have several “go-to” cookie recipes, including our Egg Yolk CookiesGluten Free Banana Cookies and these Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. But it’s easy to see how these cowboy cookies could quickly become a favorite recipe! They are:

  • Tender, chewy and delicious with all the yummy add-ins!
  • Easy to make and simple to customize.
  • The perfect sweet treat to enjoy anytime of the day. 

Ingredients Needed for Cowboy Outlaw Cookies

Here’s a look at what you’ll need for this cowboy chocolate chip cookie recipe:

  • Unsalted butter. Softened to room temperature, this will allow you to cream the butter and sugars and give you a well-mixed cookie dough. 
  • Sugar. You will need both packed brown sugar and granulated sugar (white sugar) to create the perfect flavor and sweetness. 
  • Eggs. Use eggs at room temperature so they mix well with the other ingredients. 
  • Vanilla extract. For a sweet vanilla flavor in the cookie. 
  • Pantry staples. All-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt each contribute to the leavening and texture of these cookies. 
  • Cinnamon. This warm spice adds a delicious yet subtle flavor. 
  • Chocolate chips. Use semi-sweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate, whichever you prefer! 
  • Old-fashioned rolled oats. Oats give these cowboy cookies a chewy, heartiness in every bite!
  • Coconut flakes. Along with contributing to the texture, coconut adds a nutty flavor that pairs well with the cinnamon and pecans. 
  • Chopped toasted pecans. They add crunchiness and flavor!

How to Make Cowboy Cookies

Our cowboy cookies recipe is so easy! Here’s a look at the process but be sure to check out the full recipe at the bottom of the page in the printable recipe card.

​Tip: ​You don’t have to chill the dough before baking the cookies, but we highly recommend it! If you choose to skip it, preheat your oven to 350°F before you begin. 

Adding eggs to cookie dough batter.
  1. Add the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar to a large bowl. Use an electric mixer (hand mixer of stand mixer) to cream butter and sugars on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla.
Adding flour to a stand mixer.
  1. Sift the dry ingredients over the mixing bowl.

Mixing cookie dough in a Bosch stand mixer.
  1. Mix on low speed until the flour mixture is combined.

Adding oats, nuts, chocolate chips, and coconut to cookie batter.
  1. Add the chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans. Mix well. 
Scooping cookie batter and placing it on a tray.
  1. Use a cookie scoop to form balls of cookie dough. Place the cookie dough balls on a tray and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. 
  2. Arrange the chilled balls of dough on the prepared baking sheets, then bake for 9-12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and set. 
  3. Let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Serve them warm or cooled completely. And you can’t forget a cold glass of milk for dunking!

Freshly baked cookies cooling on a rack.


Tips for the Best Cookies

  • You can bake the cookies right after mixing the dough, but they will spread less if you chill the dough first. The dough can be chilled for up to 24 hours. Don’t forget to preheat your oven before baking them! 
  • The cookie dough balls will keep well in the freezer for 3-4 months. You can bake them from frozen, just increase the baking time by about 2 minutes. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are they called cowboy cookies?

It’s unclear how these cowboy cookies initially got their name, but some believe that they’re called Cowboy Cookies because they originated from the state of Texas and are, unofficially, the state cookie of Texas. 

How long will Cowboy Cookies stay fresh? 

These cowboy cookies will keep well at room temperature if stored properly. Store any leftover cookie dough in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week, potentially longer. 

Four thick cookies loaded with oats and nuts stacked on top of each other.

As these cookies, brimming with chunks of chocolate and rich, hearty ingredients, cool on the wire rack, you’ll know you’ve got a special addition to your recipe box.

Don’t forget to save this recipe—its crowd-pleasing charm is sure to call for an encore at your kitchen table. Whether for a quick snack or a dessert that brings smiles, these cookies are a testament to the sweet side of rustic indulgence.

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Three cowboy cookies stacked on top of each other.

Cowboy Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

These Cowboy Cookies are a delightful medley of textures and flavors. Packed with chocolate chips, old-fashioned oats, toasted pecans, and a sprinkle of cinnamon, they are perfect if you crave a cookie that delivers more than just sweetness.

Make a batch for an after-school treat or a casual get-together, and enjoy the satisfaction in every bite. Whether you bake them right away or chill the dough, you're in for a delicious experience.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened (227 grams)
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar (150 grams)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-¾ cups all purpose flour (330 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1-½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans

Instructions

  1. If you don’t want too chill the dough before baking the cookies, preheat the oven to 350*F before you begin. 
  2. Add the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar to a mixing bowl. Beat on medium high speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until pale in color. 
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl between adding the eggs. Add the vanilla extract and blend until well combined. 
  4. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon over the mixing bowl.Start by mixing on a low speed and continue beating until all the ingredients are completely blended together.
  5. Add the chocolate chips, oats, coconut, and pecans. Mix until well incorporated. 
  6. Use a 2 tablespoon sized cookie scoop to form balls of cookie dough. Place the balls of dough on a tray and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. 
  7. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheet pans with parchment paper or a baking mat.
  8. Arrange the chilled balls of dough on baking sheets, ensuring they are spaced 2 inches apart. Bake for 9 to 12 minutes or until the edges are set, but the centers are still soft. If you make small cookies, reduce the baking time.
  9. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. 

Notes

  • You can totally bake the cookies right after mixing the dough, but they'll spread less if you chill the dough first. Don't forget to preheat the oven before baking them!
  • You can also freeze the dough balls for 3 to 4 months. When baking them from frozen, remember to increase the baking time by 2 minutes.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 197Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 196mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information is a guideline only. It is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Dahn Boquist

Dahn is a retired nurse, recipe creator, home cook, baker, and self-proclaimed foodie. She loves creating in the kitchen and cooking for family and friends. She lives in Washington State with her husband and dog. When she isn't cooking or baking, you can usually find her spending time with her grandson or exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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TKDonna

Saturday 3rd of February 2024

I followed the directions (even used a cookie scoop), chilled the dough, followed the bake time, etc but the cookies were crisp not chewy. Any idea as to why this happened?

Dahn Boquist

Saturday 3rd of February 2024

Even though you followed the bake time, it's possible that your oven runs a bit hotter than what the recipe assumes. To counter this, I recommend checking the cookies a few minutes before the stated bake time. Since you're aiming for thick, soft, and chewy cookies, taking them out when they are just barely set and still look a bit underdone in the middle can make all the difference. They will continue to cook slightly from the residual heat once out of the oven.

Another aspect to consider is the type of baking sheet and whether it's dark or light, as dark pans can cause cookies to brown more quickly. Additionally, the position of the oven rack can impact how heat circulates around the cookies. For chewier cookies, baking on the middle rack is best.

Also, the flour measurement can significantly impact the texture. If the flour is packed too tightly when measuring, it can lead to a drier, crisper cookie. For best results, either use a scale or fluff the flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and level it off with a knife.

Please keep me posted on how your next attempt goes.

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