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Cowboy Cookies Recipe & Video

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Cowboy Cookies are also known as Ranger Cookies, Kitchen Sink Cookies, and Everything Cookies. But they're really just an Oatmeal Cookie with chocolate chips, raisins, chopped nuts, and dried coconut. Freshly baked, the edges of the cookies are nice and crispy, yet the centers are soft and chewy. 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.


When making these Cowboy Cookies I like to add a tablespoon of a mild flavored honey to the batter as it adds moisture which helps to keep the cookies soft. Ground cinnamon imparts a slightly spicy flavor plus it adds a nice color to the cookies. With Oatmeal Cookies my preference is old-fashioned, not quick-cooking, rolled oats as I like their flavor and they are thicker which gives the cookies a chewy texture. For the chocolate chips you could use 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 first (as this brings out their full flavor), put them on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree F (180 degree C) oven for about 8 minutes or until lightly brown and fragrant. Cool and then coarsely chop. For the dried coconut, you can use either sweetened or unsweetened, shredded or flaked. And if you don't like coconut, you can simply leave it out. For the raisins you can use dark (Thompson) or golden, or you can use currants, dried cranberries, or dried cherries. This recipe does make a large batch of 26 cookies, so if that's too much you can half the recipe, although you may want to make the full recipe as they freeze very well.

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Cowboy Cookies: Preheat your 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 stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter, sugars, vanilla extract, and honey (if using) until creamy and smooth (about 1 to 2 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl as needed.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon (if using). Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat just until incorporated. Then beat, or stir in, the rolled oats, nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, and raisins. 

Form dough into balls (I like to use an ice cream/cookie scoop), using about 1/4 cup (45 grams) for each cookie. Evenly space six balls of dough on each baking sheet. With lightly moistened hands, gently flatten each ball of dough. If desired, gently place a pecan or walnut half in the center of each cookie. Bake the cookies for about 10 to 12 minutes or until they are golden brown around the edges and just barely set in the center (but still soft). Remove from oven and let the cookies cool a few minutes on the baking sheet (as they are quite soft) before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling. They can be stored in an airtight container for several days or they can be frozen.

Makes about 26 cookies.

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Cowboy Cookies Recipe:

1 cup (225 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup (140 grams) light brown sugar

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon (20 grams) honey (optional)

2 large eggs (100 grams out of shell), at room temperature

2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) fine kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

2 cups (160 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup (50 grams) walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup (15 grams) sweetened or unsweetened dried coconut, flaked or shredded

1/2 cup (85 grams) semi sweet, bittersweet, milk, or white chocolate chips

1/2 cup (85 grams) dark or golden raisins

Garnish: (optional)

26 Pecan or Walnut Halves

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