If you’re looking for a quick, easy and absolutely delicious cookie recipe, look no further than recipe developer Stephanie Rapone’s cowboy cookie creation. Prep time takes just 15 minutes while baking time requires just 12 minutes. In no time at all, you’ll have two dozen cookies ready to nosh on in no time at all. These crazy good cookies first emerged on the scene when kids fell in love with cowboy movies decades ago, according to The Bread Monk. Cowboy cookies were beloved by cowboys who spent long days roaming the plains of the Old West, Civil War Talk disclosed.
The cookies aren’t just a favorite of cowboys long ago and kiddos today. Laura Bush shone a bright light on the concept of cowboy cookies with her Texas Governor’s House Cowboy Cookies entry in Family Circle magazine’s First Lady bake-off. She used chocolate, oats, pecans, and coconut, easily clinching the title in the competition. If those ingredients sound tasty to you, then check out Rapone’s version of cowboy cookies.
Gather up the cowboy cookie ingredients
If wholesome, hearty and filling cookies with the tiniest hint of healthy ingredients sounds up your alley, then grab the ingredients at the store and head to the kitchen. You’ll need unsalted butter, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, large eggs, vanilla extract or paste, all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips, quick oats, chopped walnuts and unsweetened coconut flakes. In case you aren’t sure what vanilla paste is, Rapone explains.
"Paste actually has the little vanilla seeds from the pod in it, so I find it has a more robust vanilla flavor," she said.
Prepping for the cowboy cookies
Rapone directs us to remove the unsalted butter from the refrigerator at least one hour before making the cookies, but said that setting it out overnight is better so it can reach room temperature. She also opts for a stand mixer, but if you don’t have one, a handheld mixer will work just fine. "It’s an arm workout," Rapone joked.
The first thing you will do is preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. If you’ve never used a baking mat, they’re made from food-grade non-stick silicone for easier baking. You won’t need a cooking spray, parchment paper, aluminum foil, or anything else.
When wet and dry ingredients collide
Affix the paddle attachment to a stand mixer and in the bowl, add one cup of unsalted and softened butter, 3/4 of a cup of light brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and mix on low for 30 seconds. Increase the mixer speed to medium and mix until the batter is smooth, approximately one minute. Add in two large eggs and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract or paste and beat until just combined, approximately 30 seconds. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides and return as much of the batter to the mixing bowl. A hand mixer would work but be ready for some possibly sore arm muscles.
Grab another bowl for more mixing
In a second bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 3/4 of a teaspoon salt. Once thoroughly combined, add the mixture to the mixing bowl and turn it on the lowest setting. Mix until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again. Then add in 1 cup of quick oats and mix on the lowest setting until just combined, approximately 10 seconds. If you need gluten-free cookies, substitute the all-purpose flour with a blend that is a one-to-one replacement of gluten-free flour.
"You couldn’t just straight-up substitute say almond flour or rice flour one-to-one, though. That definitely wouldn’t work," Rapone noted.
Yummy extras for the cowboy cookies
What makes this scrumptious dessert known as cowboy cookies a huge hit in most households is what’s added next. Rapone’s recipe calls for two cups of dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips, three-fourths of a cup chopped walnuts, and 3/4 of a cup unsweetened coconut flakes. Just add them to the mixing bowl and blend on the lowest setting for five to ten seconds or simply mix by hand.
"I always use some oats, but I blend them, and nuts in my chocolate chip cookies, but when I stumbled across this recipe, I thought the coconut flakes would be awesome and they are," she said.
If you aren’t a fan of walnuts or there’s a nut allergy in your life, you can easily remove the chopped walnuts and use sliced almonds if need be. If you’d like to infuse dried fruit or another similar ingredient, Rapone suggested swapping out ingredients, not adding to the recipe.
"All the extras already make this dough very busy. I’m not sure if they would hold together all that great," she said.
Finish up the cowboy cookies
Use a 1.5-ounce cookie scooper to help ensure even portions when doling out the dough. Roll the dough into balls and place on the sheet approximately three inches apart. Bake for ten to 12 minutes until the tops of the cowboy cookies are golden brown. Once the cookies are done baking, pull them fresh out of the oven and allow them to cool on the pan for 15 minutes. They can be served warm or transferred to a wire rack to cool completely. These cookies taste great while relaxing at home or packed into a lunch bag for a yummy sweet treat at school or work.
Saddle up and get ready to hit the trail, because this recipe for cowboy cookies will lasso your sweet tooth and hogtie your taste buds!
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter softened, room temperature
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
- 2 ½ cups. all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup quick oats
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts
- ¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- Remove butter from the fridge at least 1 hour before making the cookies, but longer is better, so it can come to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 400. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Attach the paddle attachment to a stand mixer. In the bowl, add butter, brown sugar, and sugar and mix on low for 30 seconds. Increase to medium and mix until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined, about 30 seconds. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the mixer and turn on the lowest setting. Mix until just combined. Scrape down the sides.
- Add in the quick oats and mix on the lowest setting until just combined, about 10 seconds.
- Pour in the chocolate chips, walnuts, and coconut flakes and mix on the lowest setting for 5-10 seconds, or mix in by hand.
- Use a 1.5 oz cookie scooper or similar spoon to get even portions. Roll into balls and place on the sheet about 3" apart.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until tops are golden brown.
- Allow cookies to cool on pan 15 minutes before serving warm, or transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.