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Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies

Hold onto your hats! This cookie is going to blow you away! Soft, chewy and loaded with flavours, these cookies are irresistibly delicious! This famous recipe for Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies is sure to become a family favourite and first to disappear from a dessert table!


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Where do I begin with Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies. These cookies are by far, one of the most delicious cookies when they are warm from the oven.

about Laura bush’s cowboy cookies

Loaded with oatmeal, coconut, chocolate chips and pecans, these cookies have a lot of ingredients!

The famous cowboy cookie recipe was published in Family Circle Magazine and I found the reprinted recipe at Southern Living Magazine.

It’s no surprise that First Lady Laura Bush won the contest in Family Circle Magazine with this recipe!

I followed the recipe exactly and it does not need any adjustments! They are jumbo, chewy, delicious melty chocolate chip cookies.

Straight from the oven with a glass of milk is how you will want to experience your first one. I’m going to experiment with adding in peanut butter into a batch one day. I bet that would be tasty!! Thank you Mrs. Bush! This is a family favourite cookie.

If you’re a cookie lover, then you will want to check out my other oatmeal cookie recipes. Whether you’re looking for an easy oatmeal cookie recipe or something different with oatmeal, white chocolate and dried cranberries, you’re going to love them all!

Looking for a classic chocolate chip cookie or a similar oatmeal chocolate chunk recipe? Out of butter? I also have a no butter chocolate chip cookie recipe!

INGREDIENTS & SUBSTITUTIONS

Ingredients for cowboy cookies in glass bowls on white marble board.

You can find the full list of ingredients in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here are a few notes.

  • Butter – should be softened at room temperature. Take it out of the refrigerator 30-60 minutes before you start the recipe.
  • Eggs – should be at room temperature as well. Take them out of the refrigerator 40-60 minutes before you begin. Also, large, Grade A eggs is what I recommend.
  • Pecans – I stuck with the recipe and used pecan and they were delicious. You could also substitute walnuts.
  • Flake Coconut – really adds a nice texture and flavour in this recipe. If you’re not a fan, you could leave it out and still have a very tasty cookie!
  • Cinnamon – just a note about the cinnamon. Do not leave it out! it is not overpowering in the recipe and gives a subtle layer of flavour that is not distinguishable as cinnamon but SO good!
  • Chocolate Chips – this recipe called for semisweet chocolate chips. I used half of the darker chocolate chips mixed in.
  • Brown sugar – I used light-brown sugar in this recipe. I’ve also made them with dark brown sugar and they tasted great as well!

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS

I recommend mixing the wet ingredients using a stand mixer or hand mixer, then mixing the remaining add-ins by hand.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

You can use ungreased baking sheets in this recipe.

This is a heavy workout for your stand mixer and the ingredients would barely fit in the stand mixer bowl.

I used the largest mixing bowl I had and it worked out perfectly! An 8-quart bowl which is 32 cups is ideal. These are not ‘large cookies’ and they will not fit in a ‘large bowl’.

These cookies are jumbo, Texas-sized oatmeal cookies. A smaller bowl just won’t cut it!

Dry ingredients in mixing bowl with spatula.

In an extra-large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir well to combine, then set aside.

Butter and both sugars in mixing bowl of stand mixer.

In the bowl of stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed for one minutes until mixture is smooth and creamy.

Gradually add in granulated sugar and brown sugar.

Cookie dough in bowl from stand mixer.

Add in eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each.

Beat in vanilla.

Wet and dry ingredients combined in large silver mixing bowl with wooden spoon.

To the large mixing bowl that has the flour mixture, add in wet ingredients and stir well to combine. Use a wooden spoon or clean hands to mix in.

Pecans, chocolate chips and coconuts and rolled oats are added to cookie dough in mixing bowl.

Add chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans.

Unbaked cookies on cookie sheet ready to go into the oven.

Use a quarter cup scoop or measuring cup and drop one quarter cup of dough onto onto ungreased baking sheets. Leave three inches between the cookies to allow for spreading.

Baked Cowboy Cookies from Laura Bush's recipe on wire cooling rack.

Position oven racks in the centre of the oven.

Bake in 350°F degree F oven 13 to 18 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Rotate sheets halfway through baking.

For crisp edges, you can leave them in a few extra minutes.

I took my cookies out at the 17 minute timer when the middles were still soft. Let them cool for one to two minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

(For smaller cookies, reduce baking time)

STORAGE & FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS

These cookies stay fresh and chewy in an airtight container for up to five days.

Cookies can be frozen by layering them in a freezer-safe container for up to two months.

MY TOP TIPS

  • bake these cookies in the centre of the oven. I recommend baking them one cookie sheet at a time for even baking.
  • rotate sheets halfway through baking for even cooking.
  • mix the wet ingredients with a mixer or stand mixer, then mix the wet and dry ingredients together with clean hands or a wooden spoon.
  • this may seem like a big batch of cookies. You could cut the recipe in half, but then you wouldn’t be able to share them because they are THAT good!

FAQ’S

Why are they called Cowboy Cookies?

Several sources stated that Cowboy Cookies got their name from the days when cowboys would enjoy cookies out on the trail. These would be the ideal cookie for the trail, or backpacking or hiking. They travel well and are so filling!

Can you freeze Cowboy Cookies?

Yes! Store them in a freezer-safe container for up to two months. You can also freeze unbaked cookie doughand bake the cookies later. Measure cookies using a 1/4 cup scoop, place the balls on a flat baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes, then place them in Ziplock freezer bags. You will need to add a few extra minutes to the baking time.

Overhead image of stack of cowboy cookies with a glass of milk in the background.

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Close up image of stack of cowboy cookies with glass of milk.

Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies


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4.9 from 19 reviews

Description

Jumbo, soft, chewy cookies with absolutely delicious flavours in this super easy cookie recipe from former First Lady Laura Bush.  


Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tbsp. baking soda

1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

1 and 1/2 cups butter, softened at room temperature

1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 and 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed lightly

3 eggs

1 tbsp. vanilla

3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

3 cups rolled oats (quick oats)

2 cups sweetened flake coconut

2 cups chopped pecans


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In an extra-large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir well to combine, then set aside.
  3. Beat butter on medium speed for one minutes until mixture is smooth and creamy.
  4. Gradually add in granulated sugar and brown sugar.
  5. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each.
  6. Beat in vanilla.
  7. In the large mixing bowl that has the dry ingredients, add in wet ingredients and stir well to combine. Use a wooden spoon or clean hands to mix in.
  8. Add chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans. (again, this is easier with clean hands).
  9. Use a quarter cup scoop or measuring cup and drop onto ungreased baking sheet. Leave three inches between the cookies to allow for spreading.
  10. Bake in 350°F degree F oven 13 to 18 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Rotate sheets halfway through baking.  I took my cookies out at the 17 minute timer when the middles were still soft. Let them cool for one to two minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Notes

  1. Storage: These cookies remained fresh and chewy in a covered container for up to five days.
  2. Freezing: These cookies can be frozen by layering them in a freezer-safe container for up to two months.
  3. Freezing the cookie dough to bake later: Store them in a freezer-safe container for up to two months. You can also freeze the dough and bake them later. Measure cookies using a 1/4 cup scoop, place the balls on a flat baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes, then place them in Ziplock freezer bags. You will need to add a few extra minutes to the baking time.
  4. Use a stand mixer or electric mixer for the first part of the recipe when you mix the butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla.  Then, transfer it to an extra-large mixing bowl and complete the mixing by hand. The amount and density of the ingredients can be too much for your stand mixer to handle. 
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 17 minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Oven Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 extra-large cookie
  • Calories: 431
  • Sugar: 35 g
  • Sodium: 231.5 mg
  • Fat: 23 g
  • Saturated Fat: 12 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 53.6 g
  • Fiber: 4.1 g
  • Protein: 5.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 43 mg

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Stack of Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies with text overlay.

43 Comments

    1. We love them too!! I’m thrilled to hear that you enjoyed them!! Thanks so much for leaving feedback. It is truly appreciated!

  1. Made these for the first time. Takes awhile just because of the large batch but they are worth it. Very good. Also very sweet. I can only eat one but that’s because of the size of each cookie. I will definitely make these again and share them with my extended family. Thank you for the great recipe.






  2. I made these cowboy cookies today and they are great. I want so sure husband would like them because of the coconut. To my surprise he liked them also. They are a keeper for sure. Thank you so much.
    Debby






  3. Hello!
    I love these cookies–I do a couple things differently that make them a 5-star for our family. I brown 2/3s of the butter, I use a full cup less of sugar, and I use 3/4 cup cut up of tart/sour cherries as well as a substitute for 1 of the cups of coconut.






  4. I have a question. I have all of the ingredients to make these cowboy cookies but I could only find gluten free rolled oats. Do you think that would work or should I wait until I find the regular rolled Oates?
    Thank you!






    1. yes, all oats are gluten free by nature. The ones marked ‘gluten free’ ensure for those who have diet restrictions that they’re made in a facility with no other gluten products. So, you’re all set to go!!

      1. I didn’t get “quick” oats. I got “Bob’s Red Mill extra thick Rolled Oats”. I was going to make the cookies to send in a care package to my daughter – will these work?

        1. You ‘can’ and they will results in a more chewy cookie. If you have a food processor, I would suggest putting the rolled oats in the processor and pulsing them a few times to break them down a little. Hope that works out for you! 🙂 Sandra

  5. Love these cookies, they work well with gluten free flour. I also scoop up the batter and freeze. Then bake up a few at a time.

      1. Make these all the time everyone loves them! Great big cookies!
        I use crushed walnuts vs pecans. And a mix of any chocolate chips I have in the pantry (peanut butter, milk, dark, white)






  6. These were so delicious, everyone loved them! I used about 2 tablespoon size scoops and baked for 12 minutes. I put the coconut, pecans and oats in the food processor for a bit. I love the way they turned out! Amazing!






  7. I made these tonight and they were delicious! I had to omit the coconut because of allergies, and I roasted the oats/ pecans… because the mixer bowl wasn’t clean so I had time. 😂 10/10 will make again!

  8. Just made these but used 100% almond flour to make them GF. SO delicious!! I followed a couple of suggestions and reduced the sugars to 1 cup each and I browned half of the butter too. I could only find unsweetened coconut flakes but this has not been a problem. These cookies are amazing!!






  9. These are some of the best cookies I’ve ever made, large, yummy cookies. Makes alot as well, will be making again soon.






  10. After hearing about these cookies tried your recipe and they really are amazing cookies!! Laura Bush really made a winning recipe. Great with a glass of milk. Thanks for sharing!






  11. My favorite cookie recipes have a combination of chocolate chips and oats in them. I have never heard of these cookies, but now I can’t wait to try them!






  12. I have been making these hearty cowboy cookies for three years because they are a family favourite!
    Great recipe!

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