Cowboy Cookies are like a "suped-up" Oatmeal Cookie. By that I mean,
while they still have the great oat flavor and chewy texture of a regular Oatmeal
Cookie, they are also loaded with extras. Extras like chocolate chips,
raisins, chopped nuts, and dried coconut. First Lady Laura Bush may
have helped with this cookie's popularity when her Cowboy Cookie recipe
won over Tipper Gore's Ginger Snap recipe in the Family Circle's Magazine
Cookie Bake-off during the 2000 presidential campaign.
Cowboy cookies are also called Ranger Cookies, Kitchen Sink
Everything Cookies. Because they are called "Cowboy" cookies, I like to
"Texas-size", with each cookie using a whooping 1/4 cup (60 ml) of cookie dough. Since we are making large cookies, place just six
balls of dough per baking sheet and bake the cookies only until the edges
start to brown but the centers are still soft. This will produce a soft
and chewy cookie, with crisp edges.
Because these Cowboy Cookies contain everything, but the
kitchen sink, feel free to experiment with the "extras". Chocolate chips
can mean semi sweet, bittersweet, milk, or even white chocolate chips. For
the nuts you can use pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, or almonds. If you want
to toast the nuts put them on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree F
(180 degree C) oven for about 8 minutes or until brown and fragrant. Cool
and then chop. You can use either sweetened or unsweetened, shredded or
flaked dried coconut. And if you don't like coconut, you can simply leave
it out. Raisins can be dark or golden, or you can use currants, dried
cranberries or cherries. I like to use old-fashioned,
quick-cooking, rolled oats as I like their flavor and they have a thicker
texture. This recipe does make a large batch of cookies, so you can half
the recipe if you like. Cowboy Cookies are
enjoyed by both children and adults, and I am not against eating one for
Cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and line
two baking sheets with parchment paper, or lightly butter or spray the pans with
a non stick cooking spray.
In the bowl of
your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugars until
creamy and smooth (about 2 - 3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating
well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and
bottom of bowl as needed. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda,
and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat
just until incorporated. Then beat, or stir, in the rolled oats, nuts,
chips, and raisins.
Form dough into
balls (I like to use an ice cream scoop), using 1/4 cup (60 ml) for each cookie. Place six balls of dough on
each baking sheet. With lightly moistened hands, gently flatten each ball of dough. Bake the cookies for about 14 - 16 minutes
or until they are golden brown around the edges and just barely set in the center.
They should still be soft. Remove from oven and let the cookies cool a few
minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.
They can be stored in an airtight container for several days or they can be
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