Cowboy Cookies

Recipe by David Turner

Popularized in 2000 by former U.S. First Lady Laura Bush, cowboy cookies are souped-up oatmeal cookies, swapping out the usual raisins for chocolate chips, pecans, and shredded coconut. In our version, we toast the coconut and pecans to give them extra nutty flavor. A sprinkling of flaky sea salt just before baking adds crunch and rounds out the sweetness. Yeehaw! 

15 mins
13 to 14 mins
50 mins
18 cookies
Cowboy Cookies - select to zoom
Cowboy Cookies - select to zoom
Cowboy Cookies - select to zoom
Cowboy Cookies - select to zoom


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  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center position. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment, or lightly grease.  

  2. Set aside 2 tablespoons (about 11g) of the coconut and 2 tablespoons (about 14g) of the pecans; keep the pecans and coconut separate. Place the remainder on one of the prepared baking sheets, stir to combine, and spread into a single layer.  

  3. Bake the coconut and pecans for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring once halfway through, or until most of the coconut has become golden brown and fragrant. Transfer the ingredients to the other baking sheet to cool. 

  4. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda.  

  5. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup until fluffy, about 2 minutes on medium speed.  

  6. Add the vanilla, stir to combine, then add the egg followed by the egg yolk, mixing after each addition until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until only a few white streaks remain. Add the chocolate chips, coconut, and pecans all at once and stir to combine. Throughout the process, scrape the bowl to ensure all ingredients are well combined.  

  7. Use a tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop 2-tablespoon portions (about 50g), rolling or squeezing the dough in your hands to make neat balls. Place 9 cookies on each baking sheet with at least 2" of space between them.  

  8. Place the reserved pecan pieces (from step 2) onto individual dough balls, pressing them slightly to adhere, then sprinkle each dough ball with the reserved coconut and a pinch of flaky salt.  

  9. Bake the cowboy cookies, 1 baking sheet at a time, for 13 to 14 minutes or until the edges are set and golden brown but centers are still soft.  

  10. Remove the cowboy cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool.  

  11. Repeat with the second tray of cookies. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

  12. Storage information: Store leftover cowboy cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. 

Tips from our Bakers

  • Unsweetened shredded coconut can be substituted for sweetened coconut. It may take a bit longer to toast in step 3. 

  • To make ahead, freeze scooped and garnished dough balls (prepare the recipe through step 8) for up to 6 weeks. Bake directly from frozen (no thawing) as directed in the recipe. An additional minute or two of baking time may be required. Cowboy cookies baked from frozen will not spread as much during baking.