Cowboy Cookies

updated Dec 5, 2023
christmas
Cowboy Cookies

These cookies — studded with pecans, coconut, and chocolate chunks — taste like an upgraded oatmeal cookie.

Makesabout 30 cookies

Prep15 minutes

Cook30 minutes to 1 hour

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Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

This recipe is part of our Quarantine Cookies package, featuring 16 of our favorite bakers and their best cookie for 2020. Check out all the amazing cookies here, and sign up here to receive one cookie recipe per day, for 20 days, straight to your inbox.

Most days all I want to do is wrap myself in the comfort that is butter, sugar, and all things sweet, and I can’t think of a better way to do this than with the coveted cowboy cookie. These round balls of pure joy have been on repeat at my house. They’re the ultimate comfort cookie, so it’s impossible to stop at just one.

Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

What Are Cowboy Cookies Made Of?

These cookies tastes like glorified oatmeal cookies (in the best way possible). One bite, and the chewy, rich oatmeal gives way to melty chocolate pools that continue to melt in your mouth. The warmth of the cinnamon takes hold, and the crunchy toasted pecans impart a nutty flavor. The icing on the cake is how the shredded coconut melds together with the oatmeal, resulting in a chewy explosion.

This recipe is a nod to the traditional Cowboy Cookie, with just a few small tweaks. Instead of chocolate chips, I like to use chopped semi-sweet chocolate. I always place a small chunk on top of each dough ball right before I pop them in the oven — no one can resist a melty pool of chocolate!

If You’re Making Cowboy Cookies, a Few Tips

  • Try it with unsweetened coconut. While I always opt for sweetened coconut because it adds so much flavor, you can use unsweetened coconut if you have it handy. 
  • Experiment with other mix-ins. Sometimes I also mix in toffee, walnuts, or sea salt. You can’t go wrong.
  • Don’t skip the chilling step. I know no one wants to wait an hour before popping these in the oven, but trust me when I tell you it’s a necessity. Not only does it help the cookies not spread, but it also really helps the flavors meld. And let’s be honest: How a cookie tastes is the deciding factor on whether or not you’re reaching for another one … or three.  
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Tester’s Note

These are the ultimate big, chewy, satisfying cookie to freeze ahead and send in big packs to friends far away. The recipe is easy to follow. Having said that: Don’t underestimate the importance of a rest for the dough in the fridge (or freezer; use a cookie scoop to portion balls of dough, freeze on a tray, then transfer to a plastic bag for longer storage). And make sure to snatch these out of the oven when just brown around the edges; they really do taste best when a little underbaked. — Faith Durand, SVP, Content

Cowboy Cookies

These cookies — studded with pecans, coconut, and chocolate chunks — taste like an upgraded oatmeal cookie.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes to 1 hour

Makes about 30 cookies

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks

    (1 cup) unsalted butter

  • 2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1 cup

    packed light brown sugar

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract

  • 2 cups

    old-fashioned rolled oats

  • 2 cups

    semi-sweet chocolate chips or chocolate chopped into large chunks (12 ounces), plus 1/2 cup for topping if desired

  • 3/4 cup

    pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

  • 3/4 cup

    sweetened, shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. Place 2 sticks unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if mixing by hand or with an electric hand mixer) and let sit at room temperature until softened.

  2. Place 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

  3. Add 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup packed light brown sugar to the butter. Beat on medium speed with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.

  4. Reduce speed to low, add 2 large eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and beat until well combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until mostly combined. Some flour streaks in the dough are ok.

  5. Add 2 cups rolled oats, 2 cups of the chocolate, 3/4 cup pecans, and 3/4 cup shredded coconut. Mix on low speed until just combined, being careful not to overmix dough. Overmixing the dough will result in dense cookies. The dough will be thick. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

  6. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  7. Scoop out the dough in 2 1/2-tablespoon portions (1.7 ounces each). Place 6 balls of dough onto the baking sheet, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Press 1/2 cup chocolate chips into the dough balls if desired.

  8. Bake one sheet at a time until the edges are golden brown, 9 to 12 minutes. The cookies are better when they are slightly underbaked. They should look slightly gooey in the center and will harden as they cool.

  9. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: Form dough into balls and place on a baking sheet. Freeze until solid, then transfer into a freezer friendly container. Bake from frozen, adding 2 to 3 minutes baking time.

Storage: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Substitutions / variations:

  • Milk chocolate/semi-sweet chocolate chips can be used in place of chopped chocolate
  • Unsweetened coconut can be used in place of sweetened coconut or omitted completely.
  • Toasted walnuts or peanuts can be used instead of pecans or nuts can be omitted altogether.
  • Add a sprinkle of sea salt for a sweet and salty combo!!