Cowboy Cookies

These thick and chewy Cowboy Cookies, packed with chocolate, coconut, and pecans, are perfect for your whole family’s cowboy-sized appetites! 

Overhead photo of cowboy cookies spread out on a counter.

I’m a big fan of BIG baked goods – especially cookies. At over four inches in diameter, and packed with oats, chocolate chips, pecans, and coconut, 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.

Cookie dough in a glass bowl with mix-ins in prepped bowls next to it.

Prepping the pans

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.

For a brief time, I 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.

Mixing together cowboy cookie dough.

Cutting a recipe in half with an odd number of eggs

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. 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!)
  4. That’s it! Add the eggs to the recipe as instructed.

Cowboy cookie dough in a glass mixing bowl.

How to make cowboy cookies

  • Preheat oven to 350 and line baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Whisk dry ingredients and set aside
  • Beat butter and sugar on high
  • Slowly add eggs, vanilla
  • On low speed, add in dry ingredient mixture
  • 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!

Balls of cowboy cookie dough on parchment paper.

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. You may need to make some swaps, which is easy because of how versatile this cowboy cookie recipe can be.

  • Butter and Eggs: You can use butter and/or egg replacements, but they may change the overall structure of the cookie, as they may be higher in fat.
  • 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!

Two hands breaking a cookie in half.

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!

Cowboy cookies surrounding one broken in half.

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! 😍

Cowboy Cookies

Servings 36 large cookies
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 12 minutes
Total 30 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Michelle

These cowboy cookies are so good, you have to try them!

Ingredients:

  • 3
    cups
    all-purpose flour
  • 1
    tablespoon
    baking powder
  • 1
    tablespoon
    baking soda
  • 1
    tablespoon
    ground cinnamon
  • 1
    teaspoon
    salt
  • cups
    unsalted butter
    (at room temperature)
  • cups
    granulated sugar
  • cups
    packed light brown sugar
  • 3
    eggs
  • 1
    tablespoon
    vanilla extract
  • 3
    cups
    semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3
    cups
    old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2
    cups
    sweetened flaked coconut
  • 2
    cups
    chopped pecans

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or line with a silicone baking mat.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Recipe Notes:

  • 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.

Nutrition:

Calories: 355kcal
Fat: 19g
Saturated fat: 9g
Cholesterol: 34mg
Sodium: 180mg
Potassium: 215mg
Carbohydrates: 41g
Fiber: 3g
Sugar: 24g
Protein: 4g
Vitamin A: 265%
Vitamin C: 0.1%
Calcium: 48%
Iron: 2.1%

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.