These thick and chewy cowboy cookies, packed with chocolate, coconut, and pecans, are perfect for your whole family’s cowboy-sized appetites!
I’m a big fan of BIG baked goods – especially cookies (not surprising if you’ve ever had my monster cookies or thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies!). At over four inches in diameter, and loaded with all sorts of delicious add-ins, these Cowboy Cookies are my dream!
You may have heard of the Laura Bush Cowboy Cookies, and that’s where I have drawn inspiration. Though it’s an old recipe, the former First Lady published her recipe in Family Circle’s 2000 Presidential Bakeoff, where it gained its place in many recipe books.
The lore around cowboy cookies is that they come from Texas ranchers and miners who need something filling, easy to carry, and delicious! Luckily, they are just as perfect for a cozy night in or a lunch box as they are for a long day on the range! I can’t wait for you to try them.
The Make-Up of Cowboy Cookies
These are amazingly decadent cookies, yet inherently simple! Here’s what they’re made of:
- Basic chocolate chip cookie dough – The usual cast of characters here with butter, brown and granulated sugars, leaveners, flour, and vanilla.
- Cinnamon – A pop of unexpected flavor!
- Chocolate chips – Semisweet is typical, but feel free to switch it up with other chocolate varieties.
- Oats – Adds heft and chewiness, making for a wonderfully hearty cookie!
- Pecans – Chopped up (and toasted if you’re up to it!), they add a great crunch.
- Coconut – Adds more chewiness and such a lovely flavor.
How To Make Them
It’s a super quick and easy drop cookie recipe!
- Preheat oven to 350 and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk dry ingredients and set aside
- Beat butter and sugar on high, then slowly add eggs, vanilla. On low speed, add in dry ingredient mixture, then fold in mix-ins.
- Roll ¼ cup of dough (I love using this scoop for portioning!) into a ball and place onto the baking sheets. Space them 3 inches apart.
- Bake 12-15 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. They’re ready to go when the edges are set but the middle is fluffy! Cool before eating :)
Mix-ins and substitutes
Obviously, the draw of these cowboy cookies is the “everything left in your pantry” kind of energy! This recipe specifically includes coconut, chocolate chips, pecans, and oats, but there are plenty of delicious mix-ins to consider.
If you need to make some swaps, it’s is easy because of how versatile this cowboy cookie recipe can be!
- Chocolate Chips: Replace some or all of the chocolate chips with things like M&Ms, butterscotch chips, dried cranberries, raisins, etc.
- Pecans: You can swap out any other nuts you’d like! Walnuts, peanuts, pistachios, macadamia would all be great choices. You can use seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, etc.) or even replace the nuts with some granola (I love my classic granola recipe as well as my chocolate chip granola for this).
- Coconut: You can omit the coconut entirely or add some extra mix-ins from the lists above.
I am always looking for new additions and substitutions to try with these cowboy cookies, so if you try out this recipe please come back and let me know what you used!
Cowboy Cookie FAQ’s
It was mentioned on Civil War Talk that cowboy cookies were essentially the first power bar! Cowboys enjoyed them on the trails, as they were a quick and easy way to get nutrients for their long travels.
My baking pans of choice are these rimmed half sheet pans; I have a ton and I use them for everything! And they are perfect for cookies.
I highly, highly recommend using parchment paper to line your baking pans when baking cookies. Greasing cookie sheets will allow excess fat to leach into your cookies, causing them to spread too much and potentially burn on the bottom.
I’ve experimented with silicone baking mats, but over time found that they developed a greasy film that I couldn’t get rid of no matter how many times I washed in soapy water or ran through the dishwasher. It was causing the same issues as greasing the pan would, so I stopped using them and went back to parchment paper.
To be clear: This recipe makes three dozen massive cowboy cookies. (Remember when I said four inches in diameter!?) So massive, in fact, that you may want to split the recipe, which is fine as this recipe scales down rather nicely except for one unfortunate ingredient – it calls for three eggs. That can be challenging to cut in half, but totally doable and I’m going to show you how:
1. Take the full amount of eggs called for in the recipe (in this case, 3) and break them into a measuring cup.
2. With a fork, lightly beat the eggs so they are combined, and then note what the volume level is.
3. Pour out some of the eggs until you’re at half the original amount. Add the eggs to the recipe as instructed.
*Don’t waste the eggs! You can keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Save them for scrambled eggs for breakfast :)
(Alternative method – use a kitchen scale to weigh the eggs in grams, then pour out half. Much more accurate!)
Yes! Feel free to omit the coconut entirely or substitute other mix-ins.
Storage and Freezing Tips
- Storage: You can keep these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
- Freezing Cookies: Once these get out of the oven and cool, they can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container (just let them defrost for a bit before you bite in!).
- Freezing Dough: The dough is also great in the freezer for up to 3 months. Scoop balls of the dough into an airtight container with parchment paper layered between the dough. For a quick treat, pull the dough out, and bake at 350 degrees F for 12-14 minutes.
- Gifting: Turn these cowboy cookies into a simple gift by layering dry ingredients and mix-ins in a mason jar. Include a bow and attach the recipe!
Now you have the ingredients, the mix-ins, the substitutions – and the appetite!
Want more cookie recipes? Here are some of my favorites!
- Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies
- Momofuku Milk Bar Compost Cookies
- Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Monster Cookies
- Peanut Butter Monster Cookies
I would absolutely love it if you made these cowboy cookies; if you do, please stop back and leave a rating and let me know how you liked it! ENJOY! 😍
- 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups (340 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1½ cups (298 g) granulated sugar
- 1½ cups (298 g) packed light brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups (510 g) semisweet chocolate chips
- 3 cups (297 g) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 cups (170 g) sweetened flaked coconut
- 2 cups (227 g) chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or line with a silicone baking mat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugars and continue to beat until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. With a wooden spoon or large rubber spatula stir in the chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans.
- For each cookie, drop ¼ cup dough (this scoop is perfect!) onto the baking sheets, spacing them about 3 inches apart. Bake until the edges are set but the middles still look light and puffy, about 12-15 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. Cool cookies on the baking sheets.
- Baking Pans – My baking pans of choice are these rimmed half sheet pans; line with parchment paper.
- Mix-Ins – You can customize these cookies with different baking chips, candy, dried fruit, granola, nuts, etc. See post above for specific suggestions.
- Storage – These cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
- Freezing Instructions – Freeze the baked cookies by wrapping them individually in plastic wrap, then place them in a ziptop bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Freezing the Dough -You can roll the dough balls and freeze them for up to 2 months. Bake for an extra minute or so.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Photography by Lauren Grant.
I have made these cookies probably 10 times and have become my children and grandchildren’s favorite cookie. I did not change a thing and live the taste of these amazing cookies. I will say that when it comes to any recipe I might want to try I come to this site first for suggested recipes, so thank you for your dedication and Happy New Year!
These are my favorite cookies. Thanks for the recipes.
It took me a little longer than expected to mix everything together, but when my husband bit into the first cookie, he said “Wow, this is the best cookie I’ve ever tasted.”
These cookies are a hit wherever I go and are “solid” and filling. This recipe makes so many that I am able to give lots of them out as Christmas party favors! Highly recommend!
I love this recipe easy lots of oats lots of options. I am making a list of all kinds of cookies I want to make and this one popped up. I use unsweetened coconut chips from nuts,com. Great size flavor and the cookies or candy or granola I make is sweet enough to carry the chips. Careful when you toast coconut I’ve come close to burning it twice.
Michelle – I hope this holiday season is wonderful for you and your beautiful family, be safe. Merry Christmas 🎄
I made a half batch (made about two dozen) using coconut, chopped walnuts, and dried cranberries. They were delicious and easy to make. I used the “half the eggs” suggested hack and it was spot on. In order to get the cookies crispy I found that letting them cool completely while on the baking pan (as suggested) was necessary. Next time I might make them smaller. They REALLY spread out as the recipe indicates so leave plenty of room between cookies on the sheet.
I’ve been making these for 2 years now and they are always such a hit with my family and everyone else. I’d rather have these than chocolate chip any day! They just melt in your mouth and have such great texture. I love to freeze mine and dip in cocoa. I also like to do 1 c semisweet, 1 c milk chocolate and 1 c caramel or butterscotch chips. Thanks for sharing this well-loved recipe!
These turned out great! I modified mine to what things I wanted in it and the taste is just delicious! Thanks for sharing.
I just made these and my scooped dough balls are not flattening. They are cooking as dough balls. Not sure what I did wrong. I followed the recipe exactly but made a third recipe to try them….and take care of the egg problem. Any ideas as to what would have caused the problem?
Ok, this is my new most favorite cookie! A nice crisp cookie packed with so my flavor and goodness! I made mine smaller to a standard cookie size.
Thank you Michelle you never fail me!
I’d like to know if the cowboy cookie recipe can be made without nuts and without the coconut? Thank you very much for responding. I have made some of your bread recipes and they are fantastic.
I made the cowboy cookies and gave them to several friends – all enjoyed and told me I could deliver any time!!!
Aww I’m so glad they were enjoyed!
A local recipe used to make and sell a cookie similar to these. They had rice krispies in them and were delicious! I am going to try your recipe with those added.
Oh that sounds wonderful! Let me know how they turn out with the Rice Krispies!
I have baked Laura Bush Cowboy cookies since I saw the article in 2000. The recipe was too big for my mixer so rather than half the recipe , I make 2/3 of the recipe. It solves the problem of dividing 3 eggs.
That’s an excellent idea!!
When I lived in TX there was this little sandwich shop that made cookies like this but with peanut butter chips too (I think. maybe they were butterscotch) and they called them millionaire cookies. I have SEARCHED for a comporable recipe and I think this may be it! I’m so excited. **adds ingredients to her Instacart**
Oooooh yay! I hope it’s a good replica!
I can’t believe I have never seen this recipe before. So excited to make these! I do have a question…I always get confused when I see rolled oats in a recipe. Does this mean regular and not quick oats? I usually only have quick oats but I don’t want to make these with the quick type if I’m going to ruin them. Thanks so much!
Hi Lori, You want to use regular traditional (old-fashioned) rolled oats, not quick oats – they will absorb too much of the moisture. Enjoy the cookies!
When I was quite young and raising three kids on my own, my ex’s great aunt made a batch of cookies and brought them to us ‘just because’. They were THESE COOKIES! I was thrilled to see this recipe as I’d been looking for a similar one forever. They are so easy to put together and sooooooo yummy! I only have one question, though….what in the world kind of measuring cup do you show measuring the eggs? I’ve never seen one with the numbers on the bottom like that. Genius!
Hi Liz, What a lovely lady!! I love that story. The measuring cup is an OXO one! – https://www.amazon.com/OXO-Grips-3-Piece-Angled-Measuring/dp/B0000CCY1Y/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=ZWN1MW5VOL5B&dchild=1&keywords=oxo+measuring+cups&qid=1603241059&sprefix=oxo+measurin%2Caps%2C163&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFJNEQ2UUlOTTBNT1omZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTAyMjYzNDZEM0xEOUZBM0VUVUcmZW5jcnlwdGVkQWRJZD1BMDE0ODgzOTIyV1JGRVpHNTBQWlMmd2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGYmYWN0aW9uPWNsaWNrUmVkaXJlY3QmZG9Ob3RMb2dDbGljaz10cnVl
I had several people over. They took cookies home with them because they loved them. It make a lot of cookies!
Hi Michelle! I received another request to make your super delicious cookies, but I’m a bit short on time. Could you please tell me if you have ever made these as bars? If so, could you please tell me the correct size pan, oven temp and baking time? Thank you!
Can I freeze this dough?
I make these all the time. Love these COWBOY COOKIES. I’ve made them for tailgates, friends, family. They are LOVED by all. My husband doesn’t like chocolate so I reserve some of the dough and put raisins in his. Absolutely the best COWBOY COOKIES ever!
Hello I am writing you to let you know that this recipe is NOT Cowboy Cookies. I have been making cowboy cookies since I was in my twenty’s I am now 70. I got this recipe from my mother-in-law and she also made them way before me. Cowboy Cookies are a cross between an Oatmeal Cookie and a chocolate Chip cookie. No raisins , no coconut. These are my husband and kids favorite cookies. Just thought I’d let you know. Thanks, Kathy
These cookies have been my go-to for years. I love them, and so do my colleagues, friends, and family!
I use chocolate chunks instead of chips. Sometimes, I use walnuts instead of pecans – both work well! I usually end up mixing the oats/chocolate/nuts/coconut in with my hands using food-safe gloves – these are so dense that it’s a freakin’ workout with a wooden spoon! I generally refrigerate the dough for an hour before baking. Also, I finish them with some flaky Maldon salt right after they come out of the oven. Yum.
Hello Michelle! I love these cookies and have made them many times. They are always a favorite of everyone who eats them. I have a question for you, please. Can I put the dough together, then cover it and pop it in the fridge and bake the following day? Thanks!
Hi Valerie, So glad you love the cookies! Chilling the dough overnight would be just fine.
I have made this many times, always changing a few things if I’m out of oatmeal, or out of chips, it is a wonderfully forgiving recipe? The family loves it
I put the dough together yesterday, and I scooped dough balls and froze them immediately. I baked some from frozen for breakfast. These cookies are fantastic. Now I have a freezer full of potential warm treats waiting for me. Thank you for another keeper.
I have been eating and making these cookies for 65 years. They are my go to cookies. You can do anything with them by adjusting ingredients. My kids don’t like oatmeal so I leave that out. They love chocolate chocolate chip do add cocoa powder to the mix along with chocolate chips. One thing that increases the chocolate flavor is a little coffee – but not the grounds.You can leave all the extras out and just use eggs flour butter/oil, and all the rest if the ingredients from the top down to vanilla for sugar cookies. You can sub raisins for either chips or oatmeal. You can add other stuff and make some of the stuff (like oatmeal) less.
I always doubled the recipe. I hope everyone enjoys it as much and my family and I do.
Thanks so much for the recipe! I accidentally made them with dark brown packed sugar and they still taste amazing! Made 2 dozen cookies with half of the recipe! I can’t wait to surprise my mom with them, they are her favorite!
I’m trying to make a cowboy cookie recipe with chocolate chips and cranberries. I was just wondering whether the coconut flakes add anything to the texture of this cookie, or if they’re just for taste? If it’s only for taste, I think with the two sugars it’ll be sweet enough for me. Please let me know.
Hi Cynthia, They do add a bit of texture, but you might be able to get away with omitting them, might just take some trial and error.
This is the recipe I found a few years ago and tweeked for my family’s tastes. I lost the revised recipe, so I modified this recipe today and it turned out great. I cut out the cinnamon altogether, reduced sugar to 1 cup each white and brown, used 1-1/2 cups mini chocolate chips, and increased pecans to 3 cups, slightly chopped. They baked quickly today, and were as brown as I wanted them in 12 minutes. Great cookies–5 stars!
Hi! Just wanted to say I love your blog and absolutely everything I’ve baked from it had been amazing!! Especially your peanut butter frosting – wow! I was just wondering what I would do if I wanted to bake these cookies regular sized? Like as far as bake time and ingredient measurements? (:
Hi Joanna, If you want smaller cookies, you would just need to reduce the baking time a bit.
Just searched your site for something to make today… Stumbled apon these and wanted to thank you for sharing… And sharing your mothers reaction to a “republican” cookie!!! Lol .. Too cute! They are in the oven now and judging by the taste of the dough I’m sold!! Thanks!!
cookies there delicous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Just made these and I can’t stop eating them! I substituted white chocolate chips and also added cranberries. Yummy!
I just wanted to report back that I finally made these cookies (for a western-themed party, of course) and they were WONDERFUL. Just the right amount of crispy/chewy combination. I halved the recipe using your wonderful instructions and just a note for anyone that wants to make a smaller cookie, I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop the cookies and then broke that amount into two smaller balls. It made a nice-sized but not too-big cookie for the party. Thank you for the great recipe!
I made these cookies for my family this weekend and I have to say these are probably my new favorite cookie. YUM! I was surprised at the amount of baking power and baking soda but I followed the recipe and they turned out beautiful! So far I’ve made at least 10 of your recipes and I haven’t had one fail yet! Thanks BEB :)
Wow, these look awesome! But do you really mean a TABLESPOON EACH of baking soda and baking powder? I can’t imagine adding that quantity even to a large recipe such as this. Please advise. Thanks!
Yes, definitely 1 tablespoon of each.
The batter is very heavy – I don’t have the first bunch out of the oven, yet, but am waiting to see how Cowboy Cookies turn out. Yee haw! Also, I’m making them smaller so she’ll have plenty to go around. They smell delish.
I have had this recipe in my Inbox since you posted it – just waiting for the right day to try it. That day is today! I love that the ingredients are mostly things I have on hand (only need pecans – ran out after the last recipe I tried). From what everyone has said, my hubbie and I will be enjoying some delicious cookies later tonight! Thanks!!!
Amanda, I hope these cookies were everything you hoped they’d be (and that I found them to be)!
Though chocolate chip always takes the plate when I’m craving milk and cookies, nothing pairs better with a vanilla steamer than the cowboy cookie. Thanks for the recipe and pictures!
Yum! Made these tonight with my 3 year old. I used cranberries instead of the pecans, so good!!!
Okay, I am definitely going to make these. They look so chewy – my favorite kind of cookie.
These were the BEST COOKIES EVER!!!!
I substituted white chocolate for the nuts and halved the recipe (using 2 eggs instead of 1.5)
They are big, chewy, yummy and just amazing!
While these look good, there are so many things in this that different people in my household would not eat. *sigh*
Didn’t realize cookies could taste sooo good… thanks for these cookie recipes, just looking at the picture makes me hungry and want more
Love your website!
I have been making these cookies for a couple of years. They are my husband’s favorite and really are yummy. Thanks for the info on halving the eggs for this recipe.
Your grandma and my grandma could have been best friends.
Hi, these cookies look like the business. I made almond macaroons to meet the nutty challenge this week! Looking forward to some biccie baking…
I’m with you on the cookies – if you are going to have a cookie it needs to be big, chunky and chewy and full of all sorts of tasty things. These look fantastic!!
They look so similar to the ones I made in the wee hours, with the exception of the large amount of baking soda in the recipe and pecans. Is it really 1 Tablespoon of Baking Soda?
At any rate your cookies look great.
I named mine so many different names that I forgot what I ended up calling them!
I call them GREAT AND WHEN I LOOK IN THE HUGE JAR THEY WERE IN THEY ARE ALSO ALMOST GONE!
Paulette Le Pore Motkzo
BIG cookies are the best. This recipe looks amazing. I like a cookie that can fill me up.
These look so good. I love cookies that have a lot of things added in, I think it makes them heartier!
My son has a nut allergy. Just up the other additions andn they should be delicious.
Ok, I”m totally making these, but with a nut allergy, I wonder if I should just leave the nuts out or increase the coconut and chocolate chips to compensate… Any thoughts?
Your grandma sounds like a laugh. How cute! These cookies do look good. Coconut and chocolate with oats…. oooh! YUMMY!
My mom used to make these all the time when the recipe first came out, but I haven’t thought of them in YEARS!!! They were always a hit at get-togethers! I remember just snacking on the cookie dough. Mmmm, so good!
Your grandmother is HILARIOUS! Though these cookies DO look good, like a meal in itself.
I’ve never halved eggs for a recipe before. Good to know how!
Thank you for sharing the recipe and story, so cute! You have made me crave cookies! Luckily I have all the ingredients so I can make a batch this week :)
Yeeehaww! Bring on the big cookies! They sounds awesome!
My motto, when it comes to cookies and also to life in general, is go big or go home. Thus, I believe that means I should make and eat these cookies in mass amounts. It only seems logical.
What a great post! I love the tip on how to cut an odd egg measure in half! It’s so helpful! These cookies look delicious. I love all of the flavors!
I don’t discriminate based on cookie size. I’ll eat almost anything in cookie form, and these look awesome! Another recipe with a great name, I’ve added this to my list of things to make! Thanks
I saw these on pioneer woman and was determined to make them but forgot… so now that I have been reminded I will get on the ball and get these puppies into the oven asap!
These look amazing. I’ve eaten them before but never made them. I might have to give them a try on this weekends company. I think I might add crazins to them. I love them!
Cowboy Cookies are already on my list for my Cookie Baskets this year. And they are good!
I also love big, chunky cookies. These look like they would hit the spot!
Yes, the coconut! Excellent addition. Coconut makes everything better!
Hi-five or big chewy cookies! I like extremes – either very soft and chewy or supremely crumbly and buttery.
I posted a recipe for Cowboy Cookies in June that we’ve been making since my daughter was in preschool – we’ll have to make them monster size and add some coconut! These look yummy!
Big cookies are the best!!!! The smaller ones are just a tease. So not satisfying! I still eat them though but would way rather a huge one!!!
love the tip on measuring partial eggs!
Great cookie recipe and photos!
Love these. You have me craving cookies for breakfast!
These look amazing. I am also a lover of monster cookies but I also love medium size cookies. I made Dorie Greenspan’s World Peace Cookies the other day. I have to blame you, and some other bloggers, for all the baking lately. My hips! I don’t even want to talk about it.
I see myself baking these this week for my sons lunchbox. If they make them to next week!
These look so awesome!
I love freezing cookies after they’ve been baked. I usually can’t even wait until they’ve dethawed to eat them. These will make a great addition to my arsenal. Mmmmm….
Your cookies look delicious and I love the little story about your Gramma! Sweet.
These look delicious! And I agree, the bigger, thicker and chunkier, the better :)
These look fantastic and have so many good ingredients…I’m sure they’ll taste great when I make them. Thanks!
YUM!!! A nice twist on the usual oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies-I especially love the addition of coconut! Ive got some chocolate chips I need to finish up, so I may just give these a go :)
Yum, these have all my favorite things and I would’nt change a thing about them. I may just divide the recipe by 3 though. 1 dozen cookies are more than enough for hubby and me…
A local restaurant makes them with Rice Krispies, white chocolate, and cranberries. Yum!!! I think I may be making these sometime this week!!!
do u know if there is a recipe for that version it sounds delicious with the cranberries white chocolate and rice krispies or is it like substitute krispies for oatmeal chips for chips and cranberries for raisins?
My mother used to make Ranger Cookies that are a lot like this, but use oatmeal, rice krispies and coconut. Perhaps the restaurant was making a variation on them.
hi ! this is my first time leaving a comment on ure blog but i have been visiting it everyday since i can’t even remember! i absolutely adore all your pics and stories! keep it up :)