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Best Cowboy Cookies Recipe

These cowboy cookies are mildly crisp, ultra-soft, and oh-so-chewy at the same time!

Seriously, they have everything you crave in a cookie.

Rich and buttery? Yes. Crisp on the outside edges? Yes! So soft and chewy in the middle that they melt in your mouth? You know it!

Soft and Chewy Cowboy Cookies
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Why Are They Called Cowboy Cookies?

No one really knows how these tasty treats got their name. However, there are a few hypotheses.

Here’s the one I believe:

In the early 90s, Barbara Bush beat Tipper Gore in a Family Circle Magazine cookie cook-off.

Her cookies, called Texas Governor’s Mansion Cowboy Cookies, became quite popular, but the name was a mouthful. So, they shortened it to cowboy cookies.

Other theories are that the cookies, made famous in Texas, were firm enough for cowboys to travel with on the trail.

Or that all the ingredients made them extra hearty, making them a popular and filling snack for cowboys.

Luckily, they taste great no matter what you call them!

How Are These Cookies Different from Ranger Cookies?

Cowboy cookies and ranger cookies are similar but not the same.

Simply put, ranger cookies are a type of cowboy cookies.

  • Generally, cowboy cookies have oatmeal, coconut, nuts, and cinnamon.
  • Meanwhile, ranger cookies are a specific kind of cowboy cookies that contain Rice Krispies and chocolate chips.

Apart from the Rice Krispies and chocolate, all of the ingredients are in the recipe below!

Cowboy Cookies Ingredients: Flour, Eggs, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Brown Sugar and Oats

Cowboy Cookie Ingredients

Thanks to these ingredients, these cookies are fully loaded with flavor!

  • All-purpose flour. It forms the base of the cake.
  • Baking powder & Baking Soda. These are the leavening agents that’ll make your cookies rise. Be sure both are still potent, or your cookies will be flat.
  • Salt, Cinnamon, and Vanilla. A small amount of each enhances the flavor of the other ingredients!
  • Butter. For ultra-rich cookies! Use softened, not melted, butter. If it’s melted, the cookies will over-spread as they bake.
  • Granulated and Brown Sugar. The brown contains molasses, giving the cookies moisture and making them extra chewy. White sugar helps counterbalance the sweetness and makes the edges crisp.
  • Eggs. Be sure they’re large and at room temperature! The colder the eggs are, the harder they’ll be to combine with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Oats, Coconut, Pecans, and Chocolate Chips. For the best texture, use rolled oats, not instant or steel-cut, sweetened coconut, and semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Technically, the pecans and coconut are optional. The cookies will be just as tasty, but they won’t have the same chewy finish.

Stack of cowboy cookies.

How to Make Cowboy Cookies

Follow these simple steps to make the best possible cowboy cookies:

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1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare your baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or generously greasing them.

2. Mix the dry ingredients. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

3. Cream the butter and sugar. Combine these ingredients in a separate, large bowl. Use an electric mixer on medium-high speed for about 3 to 4 minutes.

4. Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat in the eggs one at a time, incorporating the first fully before adding the next. Add the vanilla last.

5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Do this with a spatula to avoid overmixing. Stop mixing when it’s about halfway blended.

6. Add the remaining ingredients. Mix in the oats, coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips when you no longer see streaks of flour.

7. Bake. Drop teaspoon-size scoops of batter onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

8. Cool. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. Then, serve and enjoy!

Homemade Cowboy Cookies with Oats and Chocolate Chips

Tips for the Best Cookies

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when baking cowboy cookies:

  • Use room-temperature eggs. Did you forget to take them out of the fridge? Here’s a hack: submerge them in a glass of warm water for 5 minutes, and they’re ready to go.
  • Don’t be afraid to underbake. If the cookies look golden around the edges, they’re done. They may look underbaked in the middle, but that’s how you get the chewy finish.
  • Chill the cookie dough. If the dough feels soft, pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes before baking.
  • Use a silicone baking mat. You can bake the cookies on greased or lined baking sheets. However, a silicone mat is your best bet. It’s the best tool for avoiding brown bottoms.
Bunch of Cowboy cookies sprinkled with rock salt.

Recipe Variations

Cowboy cookies are ridiculously customizable! So, try some of these variations if you want to shake things up:

  • Vary the chocolate chips. Experiment with white, milk, dark, or something else entirely! Butterscotch chips would provide a salty contrast.
  • Try seeds or granola. Nuts aren’t the only things that add crunch. Experiment with your favorite seeds or some tasty granola.
  • Incorporate dried fruit. Are you a fan of raisins or dried cranberries? How about candied orange peel or something more exotic? You can add all of that and more to your cowboy cookies.
A Piece of Cowboy Cookie

How to Store Cowboy Cookies

It’s almost crazy for me to imagine someone having leftover cowboy cookies. They’re just so delicious that I can never stop!

But if you DO find yourself with leftovers, here are your options for storage:

To Store Baked Cookies: Pop the leftover cookies in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. Keep them at room temperature for up to 4 days.

To Freeze Baked Cookies: Flash freeze cooled cookies on a tray until solid. Then, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months.

If you want to make these cookies ahead of time for a party or cookie exchange, here’s how:

To Freeze Cookie Dough: Scoop the cookies and line them up on a tray with parchment. Freeze until solid then pop them in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.

Alternatively, freeze in a block and thaw in the fridge overnight to portion.

To Bake Frozen Dough: Bake frozen cookie portions right from the freezer. Just increase the baking time to 12 to 14 minutes. Easy peasy.

More Tempting Cookie Recipes to Try

Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies
Kitchen Sink Cookies
Peanut Butter Cookies
Butterscotch Cookies

Cowboy Cookies

Course: Dessert, SnacksCuisine: American
Servings

60

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

10

minutes
Calories

96

kcal

These cowboy cookies are mildly crisp and so soft, and chewy all at the same time! Learn the easy recipe and get tips for making the best cookies every time!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 2 cups rolled oats

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • 11/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, optional

  • 1 cup chopped pecans, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the baking sheets with oil or butter, or line them with parchment
  • In a large bowl, sift the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugars with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape the sides with a rubber spatula from time to time.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and add the vanilla.
  • Gently pour the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar-egg mixture and stir with a spatula until about halfway mixed.
  • Stir in the rolled oats, coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips until the dough is smooth.
  • Drop teaspoonfuls of batter onto the baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes.
  • Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool fully. Cowboy cookies can be served warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Use softened butter and room-temperature eggs.
  • Use a rubber spatula to stir in the dry ingredients, oats, and chocolate chips.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 96kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 14g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Fat: 4g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 14mg
  • Sodium: 67mg
  • Potassium: 24mg
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Calcium: 9mg
  • Iron: 0mg
Cowboy Cookies

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

3 thoughts on “Best Cowboy Cookies Recipe”

  1. these are so so so amazing. we love them! we only had one issue. we doubled the recipe without checking how much the original batch made so now we have 120 cookies and 4 people 3 of them kids. other than that issue these were so easy and delicious!

    Reply
  2. Kim,
    I just read your recipe for Cowboy Cookies, and I want to make the cookies including adding the coconut and nuts, However, the recipe does not include the quantity of either item or when to add them to the recipe.
    Should the nuts be chopped and/or roasted?

    Please send me the missing information so I can make the cookies.

    Blessings,

    Reply
    • Hi Sandy! Thanks for catching that. You'll now find the amounts for the coconut and nuts in the recipe. I chop the pecans quite small so you get some in every bite. And I do toast them to boost the flavor. But that's optional. Add these with the oats and chocolate chips!

      Reply

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