So I have a new favorite cookie… and it was made for a cowboy. At least that’s the story behind the name – they were made big and given to cowboys for easy sustenance while they were out herding their cattle (or whatever they do). Honestly it’s a believable narrative when you consider about how jam-packed these cookies are: coconut, oats, pecans, chocolate – I mean it’s basically a full meal. And for the record, there is no judgement from me if you eat one (or four) of these for a meal. Get your life.
I’ve baked these a bunch of times now and have landed on a recipe that is close to America’s Test Kitchen. Because of all the extra ingredients that get folded in, the dough uses melted butter to ensure the cookies keep a pliable consistency. The key to making a good melted butter dough is to make sure the butter has a chance to cool to room temperature. I made the mistake of using butter right out of the microwave. The finished dough was too loose, almost runny, which caused the cookies to spread way too far in the oven. Don’t make my mistake – let your melted butter cool! The same goes for the toasted oats, pecans, and coconut – make sure they’re room temperature. And please don’t skip the toasting, especially the pecans. It makes a huge difference.
Like always, I’ve put my own personal twist on this recipe: butterscotch chips. These are not traditional to the cowboy cookie and can be skipped, but I really love the pop of flavor they provide. Just be sure to use them sparingly as they can take over very easily–and not in a good way.
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
1 ½ cups packed dark brown sugar
12 tbs (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup pecans
1 cup packed sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
¼ cup butterscotch chips
Before you begin:
Toast the oats, pecans, and coconut by spreading them all on a parchment-lined half sheet pan and baking in a 350º preheated oven for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before making the cookies. I usually toast the pecans whole and then chop after they've cooled. Do not skip this step - makes a big difference! Also be sure to melt your butter before you do anything else so that it has a chance to cool before you make the cookies. Temperature is key in this recipe - if the batter is too warm, the cookies will spread too much and we don't want that.
To make the cookies:
1. Preheat oven to 350º and adjust rack to middle of oven
2. In a large bowl (or stand mixer), whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla. Add flour mixture and stir until no dry streaks remain. Add oats, pecans, coconut, chocolate, and butterscotch and mix until thoroughly combined. The mixture should be sticky, but not loose. If it feels too loose, refrigerate for 30 minutes before proceeding.
4. Using a #24 (1.5 oz) size disher, scoop heaping portions of cookie dough onto parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving at least two inches between each cookie. I usually do 5 per sheet: one in the middle and one in each corner.
5. Bake cookies for 14 minutes, or until edges are browned and set and centers are puffed. Do not overbake
6. Let cookies cool on sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store in airtight container for up to a week.
NEVER FORGET my golden rule of cookie baking: cookies that are perfect when they come out of the oven will be overbaked when they are cool. Always pull cookies when they are still a bit too soft so that they will cool to the perfect doneness!