Made famous by former First Lady, Lara Bush, cowboy cookies recipe are a cross between chocolate chip cookies, pecan cookies, and oatmeal cookies. They’re packed with oats, nuts, coconut, and of course, chocolate chips!
These cowboy cookies recipe are some of the thickest, chunkiest cookies out there. I can definitely imagine having the energy to work around the ranch after a couple of these babies! Your little cowboys and cowgirls will love them too!
Let’s giddy-up to the kitchen and get to baking!
You don’t have to be working up a sweat on the ranch to love this cowboy cookies recipe! Here are some of the best parts of these scrumptious cookies!
- Thick and chewy
- Layers of textures
- Tons of flavor
- Flexible recipe
Cowboy cookies are simple to make, but here are a few extra tips!
Rolling the dough- Unlike drop cookies, this dough needs to be rolled into balls before baking to hold their shape. If you want extra thick cookies, chill the dough balls for several hours before baking. Freezing them will make even thicker cookies!
Don’t over mix- Overmixing typically happens when adding the flour. If you try to get every spot of flour mixed in, you run the risk of elevating the gluten level in your cookies, which will make them tough. Instead, beat in the flour until it’s mostly all incorporated. It will finish up mixing in as you add the rest of the ingredients.
Butter- As always in baking, butter is the boss. Margarine is not the same and will give you disappointing results!
Cinnamon- These could easily be called cowboy cinnamon cookies because they have a generous dose of cinnamon. One way to add depth of flavor is to experiment with different types of cinnamon.
One of my favorites is Saigon cinnamon, or a blend of different types is another good option. There are typically several to choose from on Amazon and the grocery store!
Like most cookies, this cowboy cookies recipe holds best in a tightly sealed container. Left open to the air, they will go stale quickly. Also, be sure to cool them completely before storing them.
Can You Freeze This?
You can freeze cowboy cookies either baked or unbaked. The baked cookies should be cooled completely and for the longest shelf life, wrapped individually in cling wrap before freezing.
To freeze the unbaked dough, form into dough balls and pop them, uncovered, into the freezer for a couple of hours. Once the dough is frozen, transfer the balls into a freezer bag for long term storage.
Make Ahead Tips
This cowboy cookies recipe can be made several days ahead and stored as dough in the fridge. You can also make ahead and freeze as noted above.
How Long Can You Keep This?
The dough of this cowboy cookies recipe will keep in the fridge for 3-5 days. According to freezing guidelines, the dough and baked cookies should hold for at least 6 months in the freezer.
One of the best things about this recipe is that you can literally add just about anything to them, and they still taste great! Here are some ideas!
Can I Use Almonds Instead?
Almonds would make a great alternative to pecans. You could also use walnuts or any other chopped nut. If you’re an almond fan, you can also try my almond joy cookies and almond joy bars. They’re just like the iconic candy bar!
Can I Add Peanut Butter?
Cowboy cookies with peanut butter are super yummy too! You can decrease the butter by half a cup and substitute peanut butter. They’re going to taste a lot like peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. This variation also puts me in the mind of my monster cookies. They’ve got peanut butter, oatmeal, chocolate chips and oh so much more!
If you want a fun twist with a big peanut butter punch try my oatmeal peanut butter cookies. I can never decide if I like the cookies or the filling more!
Can I Add Some Fruits?
You can definitely add some fruit to this cowboy cookies recipe. I suggest using dried fruit and cutting down on some of the chocolate chips or nuts to keep the texture balanced. You could consider a banana, like in banana oatmeal cookies, but you’ll need to compensate for the extra moisture.
The same thing goes if you add pumpkin. Check out my pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for inspiration! You can also increase the amount of coconut and pecans to create coconut pecan cookies.
Can I Turn These Into Cookie Bars?
This cowboy cookie recipe could easily be turned into bars. Instead of rolling into balls, press the dough into a 9×13 pan. You’ll have to experiment to find the exact baking time, but I would start with a similar time as my 7 layer bars– 25-30 minutes.
If you’re looking for tray bakes that are full of nuts and flavor, consider pecan pie bars or payday bars. They’re both fun twists on their namesakes and taste every bit as good!
Would These Make For Good Christmas Treats?
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 3 cups quick cook oats
- 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
- 2 cups pecans, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld electric mixer set on medium speed, cream together butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time beating after each addition. Mix in vanilla.
- Gradually beat in flour mixture to butter mixture just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips, oats, coconut, and pecans until evenly dispersed through the dough.
- Using a large cookie scoop, or 1/4 cup measuring cup, shape dough into balls. Place on prepared baking sheets 3 inches apart and flatten into discs. Bake in preheated oven 15-17 minutes or until edges are lightly golden. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets 3-5 minutes then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Pecans bring delicious flavor and crunch to cookies. Check out these fantastic recipes.
- Pecan Pie Cookies – The yummy gooey pie in a cookie
- Bourbon Balls – My grandma’s no-bake recipe
- Danish Wedding Cookies – This cinnamon-pecan treat isn’t just for weddings!
- Butter Pecan Cookies – Simple, elegant, and melt in your mouth
- Pecan Shortbread Cookies – just like pecan Sandies- buttery, nutty, and delicious
Cowboy or not, you’ll love this cowboy cookies recipe. Thick and chewy cookies packed with all the best cookie ingredients- what’s not to love?
I can’t wait to hear what you think of them! Be sure to leave a comment below!