Cowboy Cookies

Quick Summary

Cowboy Cookies- hearty, chewy oatmeal cookies made with brown butter, pecans, toasted coconut, and chocolate chips! This is the BEST Cowboy cookie recipe! Your friends and family will LOVE them!

cowboy cookies on baking sheet

Have you tried Cowboy Cookies? If you have, you know they are GOOD and if you haven’t, let me introduce you. They are hearty oatmeal cookies with coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips.

During the 2000 presidential election, Laura Bush made cowboy cookies famous. She entered her recipe into the Family circle cookie bake-off against Tipper Gore and won. Cowboy cookies have been a favorite ever since.

I have created my own cowboy cookie recipe and no offense to Mrs. Bush, but I think my cookies are the VERY best. Maybe we should keep that between us, ha! I don’t want to offend a former first lady:)

My version includes brown butter, which we know makes everything better, oats, toasted coconut, a hint of cinnamon, pecans, and puddles of semi-sweet chocolate. Oh, and of course I finish the cookies with flaky sea salt.

The cookies are chewy, chunky, and packed with so much goodness! I am sure any cowboy would give my cookies two thumbs up. They are winners!

cowboy cookie ingredients in mixing bowl
  • Butter– cut the butter into tablespoon pieces so it is easier to brown. I promise you don’t want to skip browning the butter. Browned butter makes the cookies extra special.
  • Flour– regular all-purpose flour! When you measure the flour, give it a good fluff, spoon it into the measuring cup, and level. Never pack flour in the cup!
  • Baking soda– to help the cookies rise in the oven!
  • Sea salt– I use sea salt in the cookie dough and I sprinkle a little on top of the cookies when they come out of the oven.
  • Cinnamon– just a little to give the cookies a warm, delicious flavor!
  • Sugar– brown sugar and granulated sugar.
  • Eggs– I use cold eggs when baking cookies. You don’t have to bring them to room temperature.
  • Vanilla extract– pure vanilla extract is the best!!
  • Oats– I use old fashioned oats because they produce the perfect chewy cookie. Don’t swap for quick oats, they measure differently and will make the cookies dry.
  • Coconut– I like to toast the coconut to bring out the best flavor. To toast the coconut, place flaked coconut on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Spread out the coconut in an even layer. Bake for 5-7 minutes in a 350 degree F oven, stirring once, or until coconut is very light brown and toasted. Let cool before using. Of course, you don’t HAVE to toast the coconut, fresh works well too!
  • Pecans– you can use regular pecans or chop up candied pecans. They are good both ways, but the candied pecans do take them to another level. The extra sweetness and crunch is SO nice!
  • Chocolate chips– I like to use semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks. If you prefer milk chocolate or dark chocolate, go for it! You can even do a mix!
cowboy cookie dough in bowl with wooden spoon

How to Make Cowboy Cookies

  • Preheat the oven and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat. FYI-the Goldtouch pans are my favorite.
  • Place the butter in a medium saucepan and melt over medium heat, stirring often, until it foams, smells nutty, and browns. This will take about 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape the browned butter into a medium bowl. Cover and place in the fridge for 45 minutes so it can cool.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the brown butter and sugars together until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Don’t over mix.
  • Stir in the oats, toasted coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips.
  • Roll the cookie dough into balls. Place the dough balls on the prepared baking sheet, about 2-inches apart.
  • Bake until cookies are golden brown around the edges but still a little soft in the center. I recommend checking early to be safe. Every oven is different and you don’t want to over bake the cookies. They will finish baking and set up as they cool.
  • Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. When they are set up, transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
cowboy cookie dough balls on baking sheet

Do You Need to Chill the Dough?

You don’t have to chill the dough because you are chilling the brown butter before making the dough. Don’t skip that step or your dough will be too warm and your cookies will spread.

You certainly can chill the dough though. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and chill for up to 72 hours. Remove the dough from the fridge when you preheat the oven so it can come to room temperature. This will make it easier to roll into balls.

You can also roll the cookie dough into balls and chill the balls. Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge.

How to Store & Freeze

After the cookies are completely cool, you can put them in an airtight container and keep them on the counter for three to four days.

You can freeze the baked cookies for up to 3 months. Make sure they are sealed tightly in a freezer bag or kept secure in a freezer container so they stay fresh.

If you want to freeze the cookie dough, you certainly can!! I love keeping cookie dough balls in the freezer so I can bake fresh cookies anytime and all the time.

To freeze cookie dough, scoop the cookies into balls and place on a baking sheet or tray. Put in the freezer until the balls are firm. Transfer the balls to a freezer container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, remove from the oven and add a few minutes to the baking time.

cowboy cookies

Find all of our cookie recipes HERE!! There are lots to choose from!

cowboy cookie with bite taken out of it

Cowboy Cookies

Hearty oatmeal cookies made with brown butter, pecans, toasted coconut, and chocolate chips! This is the BEST Cowboy cookie recipe! Your friends and family will LOVE them!
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup toasted coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or candied pecans
  • 1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Sea salt for sprinkling on cookies, optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat and set aside.
  • Place the butter in a medium saucepan and melt over medium heat, stirring often, until it foams, smells nutty, and browns. This will take about 5 to 7minutes. Scrape the browned butter into a medium bowl. Cover and place in the fridge for 45 minutes so it can cool.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, sea salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the brown butter and sugars together until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary.
  • Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Don’t over mix.
  • Stir in the oats, toasted coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips.
  • Roll the cookie dough into balls, about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie. Place the dough balls on the prepared baking sheet, about 2-inches apart.
  • Bake for 10 to 14 minutes or until cookies are golden brown around the edges but still a little soft in the center.
  • Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. When they are set up, transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Notes

If your dough is too warm, put it in the fridge for 30 minutes before you bake. You can chill the cookie dough for up to 72 hours.
To toast the coconut, place flaked coconut on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Spread out the coconut in an even layer. Bake for 5-7 minutes in a 350 degree F oven, stirring once, or until coconut is very light brown and toasted. Let cool before using.

Nutrition

Calories: 249kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 132mg, Potassium: 124mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin A: 226IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 23mg, Iron: 1mg

Have you tried this recipe?

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Maria

I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. the taste is great but my cookies went to crunchy in just 2 hours. The 3rd tray was the only one in for 14 minutes. What do you think happened? This is my first for cowboy cookies

    1. Try baking them for 10 minutes. Every oven is different that is why I say 10 to 14 minutes, but always check early, especially if it is your first time baking a recipe. It also depends on the size of cookies you are making. And remember that cookies always set up as they cool, so take them out when they are still soft in the middle. I am glad you still like the taste! I hope you will try again!