Bake or Break
New to BAKE or BREAK? Start Here!

Cowboy Cookies

These hearty cowboy cookies are loaded with oats, coconut, chocolate chips, and nuts for a cookie that’s as satisfying as it is delicious!

Overhead view of cowboy cookies on plate

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Some people like cookies that are sweet and delicate. These, my friends, are not those cookies. No, these are big, hearty cookies brimming with all kinds of good stuff. Suitable for a cowboy, I suppose.

Cowboy cookies are an American classic—a deliciously chewy cookie made with oats for a little extra staying power. Legend has it that these treats have been enjoyed by cowboys (and cowgirls) across the country for generations, and they make the perfect snack or dessert for big appetites. 

Cowboy cookies stacked on plate

The traditional cowboy cookie recipe includes oats, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, nuts, and dark brown sugar for just a hint of molasses. The particular version is from Tate’s Bake Shop’s cookbook, Baking for Friends. The book has lots of good looking cobblers and tarts and such, but I kept coming back to these cookies.

While there are many chocolate chip cookie recipes out there, I, for one, believe there are never enough variations. This is a great version for those of us who like our chocolate chip cookies anything but plain.

Overhead view of ingredients for cowboy cookies

What You’ll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.

Is Flaked Coconut the Same as Shredded?

Flaked coconut is not the same as shredded. Flaked coconut, which has larger pieces and a more tender texture, is best for this recipe. You can use shredded coconut instead, but the results won’t be the same; if you choose to use shredded coconut, substitute by weight, not by volume.

Stack of cowboy cookies on rack

How to Make Cowboy Cookies

Cowboy cookies are an easy drop cookie recipe, which means they come together quickly. Here’s what you’ll need to do.

Prepare. Preheat your oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper.

Overhead view of oats, brown sugar, butter, and eggs on countertop

Mix the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl, then stir in the oats.

Mix the wet ingredients. Use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the brown sugar and butter in another mixing bowl until they’re light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the water and vanilla.

Finish the dough. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly mix in the dry ingredients. Fold in the coconut, chocolate chips, and nuts.

Cowboy cookie dough balls on baking sheet

Form the cookies. Drop the dough in two-tablespoon portions, two-inches apart onto the prepared pans. 

Cowboy cookies on parchment-lined baking sheet

Bake. Place the pans in the oven one at a time and bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned and the centers are slightly soft. Chill the remaining dough between batches.

Overhead view of cowboy cookies cooling on wire rack

Cool. Set the pans on wire racks and allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes. Then, transfer the cookies from the pan directly onto the racks to finish cooling. (Learn more: Why Every Baker Needs Wire Cooling Racks)

Overhead view of cowboy cookies on plate with bottles of milk

Tips for Success

Start with my baking tips for beginners, then follow these additional pointers for perfect cowboy cookies:

  • Prevent spreading. This is a thick, firm dough thanks to the addition of oats, but if your kitchen is hot or your butter is a bit too soft, you can chill the chill the dough for 30 minutes before baking to keep the cookies from spreading.
  • Reusing pans. If you have to reuse the same pan for making these cookies, let it cool completely before adding more dough. This is another way to prevent spreading.
  • Make them your own. As long as you keep the original ratio of dough-to-mix-ins, you can feel free to customize this recipe with different types of chocolate chips, dried fruit, seeds, etc.
Stack of cowboy cookies on plate

How to Store

Store cowboy cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.

Can This Recipe Be Frozen?

Yes, cowboy cookies can be frozen for up to 2 months in a freezer bag or airtight container. To thaw, simply place the frozen cookies on the counter overnight and they’ll be ready to enjoy the next day. You can also warm the frozen cookies in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time until they’re warmed through.

Spatula holding cowboy cookie

More Classic Cookie Recipes

Cowboy Cookies

Yield about 48 cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

These cowboy cookies are loaded with oats, coconut, chocolate chips, and pecans for a satisfying sweet treat!

Stack of cowboy cookies on plate with bottles of milk in background

Ingredients

  • 1 & 2/3 cups (200g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups (198g) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 & 1/2 cups (300g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (85g) sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup (170g) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped nuts, toasted (pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc.)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Stir in the oats. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the water and vanilla.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture. Mix just until combined. Stir in the coconut, chocolate chips, and nuts.
  5. Drop the dough by 2-tablespoonful portions onto the prepared pans. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake, one pan at a time, 13-15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned and the centers are slightly soft. Refrigerate the remaining dough between baking batches.
  7. Place the pans on wire racks, and allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes. Then, transfer the cookies from the pan directly onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Tate's Bake Shop: Baking for Friends.

Recommended Products

Bake or Break is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Share this:

    9 Comments on “Cowboy Cookies”

  1. These are my favorite kind of cookies too!

  2. Well, I’m not a cowboy (or cowgirl, for that matter), but these cookies are right up my alley. Oats, chocolate, pecans, and coconut? I’ll have to rustle up a batch of those in a hurry!

  3. these sound like my kind of cookies!

  4. Just made these. My cookies came out dark, due to the dark brown sugar. They are yummy, but think I like light color and will use the light brown sugar.

  5. How could I incorperate peanut butter in these. Could I subtitute that for the coconut? If so how much?

  6. My cookies came out a little hard, but not too hard. How do I make them a little more soft? Did I use too much flour or not enough liquid? Thanks

    • Susan, it could be either one, as you’d get the same ratio problem either way. If you aren’t measuring your flour by weight, then make sure you’re fluffing it, spooning into a measuring cup, and then leveling the top with a straight edge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.