1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup (140 grams) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 grams) white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (480 ml) old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup (120 ml) walnuts or pecans, chopped
1/4 cup (60 ml) sweetened or unsweetened, flaked or shredded dried coconut
1/2 cup (120 ml) semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup (120 ml) dark or golden raisins
Cowboy 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, coconut, chocolate 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 frozen.
Makes about 20 large cookies.
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 Cookies, and Everything Cookies. Because they are called "Cowboy" cookies, I like to make them "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, not 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 breakfast.