I’m a big fan of BIG cookies. Those dainty ones that you find on doily-lined dessert trays? They aren’t for me. The bigger, the chunkier the better. I have found quite a few that fit the bill, such as the Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (my all-time favorite), Chewy Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies and Monster Cookies, and these Cowboy Cookies meet all the requirements of the big-cookie club. First, let’s talk size. These bad boys have some serious heft and they are over 4 inches in diameter. Then, the thick, chunky factor is in full effect here. When you include oats, chocolate chips, pecans and coconut, you are certainly not lacking in flavor or texture with each and every bite. In fact, their size and heft make them perfect for satisfying cowboy-sized cravings!
This recipe was submitted to a Family Circle cookie bakeoff by Laura Bush during the 2000 Presidential campaign. They went up against Tipper Gore’s ginger snaps, and these babies won hands-down. My 90-year-old Grandma is a staunch Democrat and for 8 years she never held her tongue when it came to sharing her thoughts on George Bush. I shared one of these cookies with her and when she went on and on about how delicious they were, I said, “Grandma, do you want to know where I got this recipe?” “Where?” she said. “It’s from Laura Bush – George’s wife.” She paused, thought, then said, “Hmm, well, I have to say then – she must be a very good baker.” She gave me quite the chuckle :)
Now, these cookies make 3 dozen massive cookies. I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to cut the recipe in half (although you could always freeze the balls of dough or the baked cookies). This recipe scales down rather nicely except for one unfortunate ingredient – it calls for 3 eggs. Not the easiest thing to cut in half, but totally doable and I’m going to show you how!
How to Cut a Recipe in Half with an Odd Number of Eggs:
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 (in this case, a little less than 2/3 cup).
3. Pour out some of the eggs until you’re at half the original amount (in this case we’re aiming for a tad less than 1/3 cup). 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 :)
4. That’s it! Add the eggs to the recipe as instructed.
These cookies lend themselves exceptionally well to adaptions with your favorite add-ins. How would you customize them?
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 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.