The day after I made cowboy cookies, eating two of them at my desk in the middle of the afternoon, I told my coworkers that I wasn’t very impressed. The cookies were fine, good maybe, but they weren’t anything that special. A chocolate-chip cookie at heart, they include extras like coconut and nuts and oatmeal, becoming something too complicated and yet fairly simple at the same time. I managed to polish off both cookies, though, commenting aloud that they really were just fine, all while looking down at my plastic baggie, more sad than I’d admit that it was empty.

That was the first batch.


One habit I’ve developed after my experience with the New York Times chocolate-chip cookies is chilling the dough before baking (well, that and forming it all into rounded balls and placing the lot of them on the cookie sheet in the fridge ahead of time, meaning later I can just pull out as many as I want, ready to bake). So the first day I made cowboy cookies was the day I made the batter: I baked about 12 (two sheets).

The second time was a day later, another six cookies. I would have baked more, but I was tired and didn’t want to wait for them in the kitchen. This time, I liked the cookies a little more; maybe they had grown on me or maybe they had changed. It should also be noted, for the record, that the first batch was already gone by this second day.

cookies again

The final batch I made two (or three? now I’m forgetting) days later, needing to finish baking them all before the dough went bad. The huge benefit of pre-forming the dough is that the baking is SO easy. Literally, I turned on the oven and went to watch TV, then I came back and stuck my cookie sheet with its Silpat and six doughy balls in the oven. Out a batch, in a batch: the kitchen as clean as ever.

This third batch really was the best, less crunchy for some reason and very addicting. For the few days after that they lasted, I got into the habit, unfortunately, of grabbing one every time I would walk through the kitchen, which, truthfully, became more and more often.

These aren’t wow-someone cookies. They’re not especially beautiful or especially hard to make, and, at first bite, you’ll think ho-hum. But wait for the after effects. A few days into these, I swear you’ll wish you still had some left.

more cookies

Cowboy Cookies

Adapted from the queen of cookies, Martha Stewart

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
3 ounces (3/4 cup) pecan halves
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you’re not using a Silpat, coat baking sheets with cooking spray, line with parchment, and spray parchment. Sift flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl.

Beat butter and sugars with a mixer on medium-high until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

Reduce speed to low, and slowly add flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Beat in oats, chocolate, pecans and coconut until combined. (Dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

Using a tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheets, spacing 3 inches apart.

Bake until edges of cookies begin to brown, 11 to 13 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to wire rack, and let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks. Let cool. (Cookies can be stored up to 3 days.)

Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Shari

    It’s good to know these cookies grow on you! I like your idea of forming the balls and getting them all set to go ahead of time.

  2. Nick

    Interesting. I wonder if keeping them for a few days as a batter made them cook a bit differently?? For some reason I never thought to cook cookies in batches like that. Very smart and useful!

    Thanks and Go SILPAT!

  3. Lan

    oh shannalee — like you, or shall i say, because of you, i have taken to chilling my cookie dough before baking as well. i don’t do the balls tho, i roll out the dough and slice them, which i think makes it an entirely different cookie experience. i have half a roll left of my NY cookies in the freezer which means i will have to whip up another batch before i start my new job. cookies and milk should def. be a national dish. i actually have a cookie that i am dying to make but will hold off until the next official round of baking gals starts (i’m not hosting this round, i’m just too busy!)

  4. Shannalee

    Shari: It’s really great. Makes the process easier because it’s broken down into smaller steps!

    Nick: I can’t wait until you get your Silpat and I get to read about how much you love it. :) I think there’s definitely something to chilling the dough longer, BTW. According to that best chocolate-chip cookies recipe in the NY Times, all the best bakeries swear by 24-72 hours extra fridge time!

    Lan: I’m going to have to try the roll/slice idea! I’m *always* up for a new cookie experience. :)

  5. Chessa

    mmm…I might have to make these for Thanksgiving…I usually make a few desserts…

  6. Elizabeth

    This sounds delicious. I can’t say no to the chocolate/oats/coconut combo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>