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Cowboy cookies are the cookies you make when you want to wow a crowd! These soft, chewy cookies are loaded with oats, coconut and pecans. Plus, they’re ready in just 25 minutes from start to finish.

cowboy cookies arranged on metal cooling rack with blue striped towel underneath
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cowboy cookie on blue speckled plate with glass of milk in the background

Do you ever feel like you haven’t met a cookie you didn’t like?

No, right? Yeah, me too!

These cookies are like a supped up chocolate chip oatmeal cookie because in addition to chocolate chips and oats, there’s also shredded coconut and chopped pecans.

Who knew there was room for all that in a single cookie?! I’m here to tell you there is definitely room and that it’s one AWESOME flavor combination.

What are Cowboy Cookies?

Depending on what you read on the internet, cowboy cookies got their name from being the cookie cowboys ate while on the trail OR they became well known as a cookie from Laura Bush’s kitchen during a presidential cookie competition.

Our take on Laura Bush’s cowboy cookies are basically a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie with shredded coconut and pecans added in. And they are so good.

cowboy cookies lined up in white loaf pan

Cowboy Cookies Recipe Ingredients

Oats, chocolate chips, shredded coconut and chopped pecans (or walnuts) make up the quintessential Cowboy Cookie mix-ins. Beyond that the cookie calls for..

  • all purpose flour: flour is necessary to build structure in these cookie bars
  • baking powder: helps to leaven and lift the dough
  • baking soda: helps to leaven and lift the dough
  • salt: just a pinch to balance the sweetness
  • unsalted butter: adds flavor and tender texture
  • granulated sugar: adds sweetness, flavor and encourages browning
  • brown sugar: adds sweetness & flavor, keeps the cookies moist and adds chewiness
  • eggs: binds the cookies together by providing structure
  • vanilla extract: adds flavor

What Kind of Oats to Use in Cowboy Cookies?

I prefer to use quick cooking oats, but if you want that chewier oat texture, you can use old fashioned rolled oats.

What kind of nuts to use in Cowboy Cookies?

Our recipe calls for chopped pecans, but feel free to use chopped walnuts if you prefer.

I have made this cowboy cookie recipe multiple times with King Arthur’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour with great success. I use that brand of flour as a one for one substitute for regular all purpose flour.

how to make cowboy cookie dough collage

How to Make Cowboy Cookies

  1. Combine the oats, chocolate chips, shredded coconut and chopped pecans in a separate bowl. Remove 3/4 cup and reserve for later. Set aside.
  2. Combine the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Set aside.
  3. Cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar together with a mixer.
  4. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract, beat again until smooth.
  5. Gently add in the dry ingredients, mixing on low or by hand just until combined. It’s OKAY to see some flour remaining
  6. Stir in the oats, chocolate chips, coconut and pecans. The batter will be thick.
  7. Use a cookie scoop to drop dough balls on a silicone mat lined baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes.

For the cookies in the photos, the dough balls were about 3 tbsp, so that’s a large cookie! I baked those for 12 minutes – just when the outside of the cookie would begin to turn golden in color. The result is a soft & chewy cookie!

If you make smaller dough balls, you should reduce the baking time otherwise the cookies will be over done.

How Long Does it Take to Make this Recipe for Cowboy Cookies?

  • 10 minutes to prep the dough
  • 12-14 minutes to bake the cookies
  • 5-10 minutes to cool until you eat!
  • Properly measure the all purpose flour using the spoon and sweep method.
  • Use room temperature butter for easier creaming of the butter and sugar.
  • Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until they are combined. Over mixing could lead to dry, dense cookies.
  • Press extra chocolate chips, shredded coconut and pecans on the outside of the dough balls before baking for a wow loaded cowboy cookie presentation!
cowboy cookies on wire rack with knife with chocolate on it

How to Freeze Cowboy Cookies

  • To freeze cowboy cookie dough (not pre-baked cookies)
    Drop cookie dough balls onto a silicone mat lined baking sheet. You can place the dough balls close together since you won’t be baking them.
  • Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the cookies are frozen solid, about 1 hour.
  • Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and transfer the frozen cookie dough balls to a ziplock freezer bag. Label the bag with baking directions. Freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months.
  • To bake: remove the dough from the freezer. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Bake for 14-17 minutes. Frozen cookies may need to bake for 1-2 minutes longer than non frozen cookies.

To freeze already baked cookies:
Once the cookies have cooled completely, wrap them in bundles of 5-6 cookies in plastic wrap. Then store inside a freezer ziplock bag. To thaw, place a bundle on the counter for a few hours.

cowboy cookie on white background

If you love oat based cookies, make oat flour cookies. They are similar to chocolate chip cookies, but use oat flour as the base!

More Cookies Recipes

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Best Recipe for Cowboy Cookies

By: Beth
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
Cowboy cookies are the cookies you make when you want to wow a crowd! These soft, chewy cookies are loaded with oats, coconut and pecans. Plus, they’re ready in just 25 minutes from start to finish.


  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, 12 oz bag
  • ¾ cup shredded coconut flakes
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350º F. In a smaller mixing bowl, combine the quick cooking oats, chocolate chips, shredded coconut and chopped pecans. Remove 3/4 cup for later. Set everything aside.
  • In a separate smaller mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer for 1-2 minutes, until fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract.
  • Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, mixing with a spatula just until there are small flour streaks left – it’s okay if the batter has clumps!
  • Reserve 3/4 cup of the mix-ins for later, but mix the rest into the batter. The batter will be thick. Use a cookie scoop to form dough balls, rolling the balls in the reserved mix-ins and pressing the mix-ins in slightly.
  • Place the cookies onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes or until the edges just begin to turn a golden color. Allow the cookies to cool on the sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. *Note: my cookie dough balls were about 3 tbsp of dough, so fairly large. If your cookie dough balls are smaller, reduce the baking time.


Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 155mg | Potassium: 159mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 269IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 2mg
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About Beth

I believe that everyone should have a go-to dessert to bring to parties! With hundreds of recipes, I'll help you find yours!

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    1. Yes!! Thank you for catching that, I have updated it to read 1 cup quick cooking oats.

  1. My daughter made these yesterday. Since we didn’t have pecans we substituted with crunchy chow mein noodles! This was excellent! Baked these big cookies for 14 min. Making another batch to give to a friend. Yay!

  2. These are divine!! I modified a few ingredients because #operationcleanoutthepantry during quarantine but still, so so good!! Thank you so much for sharing your love of sweets!

    My modifications:
    2 packets of organic instant oats from my breakfast stash
    A 12oz bag of milk choc morsels
    Coconut shavings (chips)
    Half stick Crisco + stick butter

  3. Whoa!  I noticed the discrepancy in the amount of flour, oatmeal and butter just as I was stirring in the “mix-ins”. So I added in another 1/2 stick butter (2 C. Total) to the 1 1/2 C flour and 1 1/2 C oatmeal.  With a total of 3  C flour/oatmeal I figured it would bake OK. I don’t like surprises like that. Yes, they were still tasty.

    1. Hi Amy! I am confused by what you mean by discrepancy in the amount of flour, oatmeal and butter. To clarify about the mix ins – save 3/4 cup so you can roll the outside of the cookies in. But you could skip this step and simply add all the mix ins into the batter.