These soft and chewy Cowboy Cookies take everyday chocolate chip cookies to a whole new level. Filled to the brim with rolled oats, pecans, chocolate chips and coconut they are packed with different textures and flavors and are so easy to make.
The Best Cowboy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Buckle up, Buttercup! If you haven’t tried Cowboy Cookies before, today is your lucky day. These chewy, hearty, fully-loaded cookies will keep you going back for more.
They’ve got one part chocolate chip cookie and one part oatmeal cookie, but they don’t stop there. They are also filled with all sorts of different flavors and textures from chewy rolled oats to crunchy pecans and flakes of sweetened coconut.
If you want to switch it up, try mixing and matching with M&Ms, walnuts, toffee bits and finishing salt! The only rule is to be sure and bake plenty.
What are Cowboy Cookies?
It’s hard to say exactly how these cookies got their name. Some speculate that they were a popular high-energy treat for cowboys out on the trail, although there isn’t a whole lot of evidence to back that or any other theories up.
We do know precisely when they became popular, though. During the 2000 presidential race, Family Circle Magazine posted competing cookie recipes between the two potential first ladies, Laura Bush and Tipper Gore. Laura Bush’s recipe for “Texas Governor’s Mansion Cowboy Cookies” beat Tipper Gore’s ginger snaps, and the rest is history.
Ingredients in Cowboy Cookies
- Butter - this should be at room temperature so that it will cream properly with the sugars.
- Brown Sugar - use light brown sugar for this recipe.
- Granulated Sugar - regular white granulated sugar.
- Vanilla Extract - pure vanilla extract tastes best.
- Eggs - any kind of large whole eggs will work.
- Baking Soda and Baking Powder - these help the cookies rise a bit in the oven and keep them nice and soft.
- Flour - we use all-purpose flours for these cookies.
- Salt - sea salt works great.
- Rolled Oats - old-fashioned rolled oats give a nice chew, or you can use instant oats for a slightly less chewy cookie.
- Pecans - these should be coarsely chopped.
- Chocolate Chips - either mini or regular.
- Coconut - you want to use sweetened shredded coconut for these cookies. You can use unsweetened, too, if you prefer.
How to Make the Best Ever Cowboy Cookies
- Mix the cookie dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and sugars. Using the paddle attachment, cream until light and fluffy, or about 3-5 minutes. Add the vanilla and eggs slowly and mix again on low to combine, scraping the bowl down as needed. In a separate large bowl, add the baking soda, baking powder and salt and whisk together before adding to the butter mixture. Mix on low just until combined, then add the rolled oats, pecans, chocolate chips and coconut to the butter and flour mixture. Carefully mix again on low just until combined.
- Scoop the dough. Scoop balls of the dough using an ice cream scoop or a spoon, then roll dough into 1 ¼" balls. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 2" apart.
- Bake. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 10-13 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges and set in the middle. As soon as you take the cookies out of the oven, sprinkle a bit more coconut and chocolate chips onto the hot cookies.
- Cool and serve. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best kind of oats to use for Cowboy Cookies?
We like to use old-fashioned rolled oats for these cookies because they give a nice chewy texture. You can absolutely substitute instant oats - the end result just won’t be quite so chewy. You wouldn’t want to use steel cut oats for Cowboy Cookies as they would remain much too hard, even after baking.
Should I toast the pecans before adding them to the cookie dough?
You don’t have to, but you can. It’s really all about your preference. Toasting them will give them a little bit crunchier texture and more intense flavor, while leaving them untoasted will keep them a little more mellow.
Do I need to chill the dough before baking?
It’s a good idea to chill the dough if you have the time, but it’s not absolutely necessary. Although spreading is not much of an issue with these cookies, chilling the dough will help prevent the cookies from spreading at all.
You can either cover and chill the entire bowl of dough for an hour or two, or else chill (or even freeze) the rolled dough balls and bake when you are ready.
Storing and Freezing
- Storing baked cookies: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature, or up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
- Freezing cookie dough: Cowboy Cookie dough freezes great. The easiest way is to make and scoop the dough as directed, then place onto a baking tray and freeze for at least 30 minutes. Then, transfer to freezer bags and store for up to 3 months. To bake, just pull the cookies out onto a parchment or baking mat lined baking sheet and preheat your oven for at least 30 minutes. Bake as directed, adding an extra minute or two to the total time.
- Freezing baked cookies: You can also freeze baked cookies for up to 3 months, if you happen to have a lot left over. You should freeze them in an airtight container separated by layers of parchment paper. You can thaw either in the fridge or at room temperature.
Cowboy Cookies Recipe
- 1 cup Butter room temperature
- 1 cup Light Brown Sugar packed
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 large Eggs
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- ½ tsp Baking Powder
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 ½ cups Rolled Oats
- ¾ cup Pecans coarsely chopped
- 2 cup Chocolate Chips plus more for finishing
- ¾ cup Sweetened Shredded Coconut plus more for finishing
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and sugars. Using the paddle attachment, cream until light and fluffy, or about 3-5 minutes. Add the vanilla and eggs slowly and mix again on low to combine, scraping the bowl down as needed.
- In a separate large bowl, add the baking soda, baking powder and salt and whisk together before adding to the butter mixture. Mix on low just until combined, then add the rolled oats, pecans, chocolate chips and coconut to the butter and flour mixture. Carefully mix again on low just until combined.
- Scoop balls of the dough using an ice cream scoop or a spoon, then roll dough into 1 ¼" balls. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 2" apart.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges and set in the middle. As soon as you take the cookies out of the oven, sprinkle a bit more coconut and chocolate chips onto the hot cookies.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
More Cookie Recipes
- Candy Cane Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Oatmeal Butterscotch Chip Cookies
- Glazed Lemon Cookies
- Crushed Oreo Cookies
- DoubleTree Chocolate Chip Cookies
- More Cookie Recipes
- Best Cookie Recipes
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These Cowboy Cookies are chewy and soft, super simple to make and packed full of different textures and flavors like chewy oats, crunchy pecan and sweet coconut. If you have never made them, be sure and give this recipe a try.