Cowboy Cookies, aka Ranger Cookies, are a hearty yet soft and chewy oatmeal cookies with some nutty crunch, ooey-gooey chocolate chips, flakes of coconut, and fully loaded with flavor!
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Oatmeal Cowboy Cookie Recipe
I’m a firm believer that some of the best cookies are the simplest cookies and these cowboy cookies are one of my favorites! Like these, Apple Oatmeal Cookies, they have the perfect balance of texture and taste and are so easy to make, yet fully loaded and wholesome.
These delicious cookies are a no-fuss basic recipe that comes together in one bowl resulting in a batch of thick, soft, and chunky cookies that taste like they’re made fresh in a bakery.
It’s the kind of cookie recipe that you turn to when you’re craving something sweet and irresistible but when you want something more unique than just a classic chocolate chip cookie!
There’s not much better then warm cookies right out of the oven with a cold glass of milk!
You might want to double the batch because these won’t last long!
- Butter, softened: Bring to room temperature beforehand so it creams easily. It also helps to keep these cookies chewy as opposed to crispy. use salted or unsalted butter.
- Light Brown sugar: Adds sweetness as well as moisture. Using brown sugar in baked goods helps keep the texture nice and soft. You can also use dark brown sugar or white sugar, if you’d like.
- Large egg: Needed for binding.
- Vanilla extract: Adds amazing flavor as vanilla always does. For maximum flavor, aim to use a high-quality pure vanilla extract, as others tend to have a strong alcohol taste.
- Old fashioned rolled oats: Gives the oatmeal cookies their hearty texture.
- All-purpose flour: Provides the structure to the cookie. All purpose
- Baking soda: Will make your cookies nice and thick!
- Add-ins: Chocolate chips, chopped pecans, shredded coconut
How to Make the Best Cowboy Cookies
Here are the simple steps to making these amazing kitchen sink cookies. Just be sure to grab a couple before they’re gone!
Step 1: In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar using medium speed of an electric mixer. After about 2 minutes it should be creamy and beige. For this, you can also use a stand mixer.
Step 2: Beat in the egg and vanilla extract, scraping down the sides as you go. Then, add the oats, flour, and baking soda and mix until the dry ingredients are just combined. Do not overmix!
Step 3: Here’s when you’ll add the chocolate chips, shredded coconut, and chopped pecans. Gently fold them in. Again, be careful not to overmix.
Step 4: Scoop out the dough using a large cookie scoop and place them far enough apart on the cookie sheet so that they have room to spread a bit. Bake them for 12-14 minutes until the edges of the cookies start to get golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for one minute on the pan then transfer them to a cooling rack.
1: Make them without coconut flakes.
2: Add a teaspoon of cinnamon
3: Add ¼ cup of crushed pretzels, rice Krispies or even corn flakes.
4: Swap the pecans for another nut of your choice, like walnuts or almonds.
5: Use semi-sweet, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or white chocolate chips. chocolate chunks, peanut butter chips, or butterscotch chips for a twist.
6: Swap all-purpose flour for a Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1:1 flour, if preferred.
7: To bulk these cookies up, even more, toss in some mini M&Ms, or Reese’s pieces into the dough!
Add dried fruit like raisins or dried cranberries.
- For a crispier cookie, use melted butter. Keep in mind they will also be thinner!
- Chilling the cookie dough isn’t necessary, but you can if you’d like. It’s a great way to ensure a chewy texture with a soft interior.
- For an extra layer of flavor, try toasting the pecans!
- If you like a sweet and salty balance, add a sprinkle of coarse sea salt on top of each cookie.
- Use a cookie scoop to make sure every cookie is the same size. It helps for even baking (and less fighting about who gets the bigger cookie!).
Once they have cooled completely on the pan, transfer them to an airtight container to maintain moisture. Keep them stored for up to 5 days at room temperature.
No one knows! Some folks say it’s because they were a snack or treat given to cowboys in the Old West for energy, sort of like trail mix in cookie form. Other people think they originated in Texas, which is considered the cowboy capital. I’m not sure which version of the story I prefer!
You can! Quick cooking oats (even more so, instant oats) are meant to absorb moisture quickly which can cause your cookies to be drier than you’d like. It will also change the texture a bit, as old-fashioned rolled oats are heartier and coarser.
- ½ cup butter softened, 1 stick
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups old fashioned oats
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350° F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the softened butter and brown sugar and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes . You can also use the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until blended in. (scrape down the side if necessary)
- Then add in the oats, flour, and baking soda and mix until just barely combined , being careful not to over-mix.
- Next, add the chocolate chips, shredded coconut, and chopped pecans and gently stir them into the dough.
- Using a cookie scoop or spoon, scoop out 1 ½ tablespoons of dough and place it on the baking sheets 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the edges start to brown.
- Allow the cookies to cool completely on the pan before storing them in an airtight container.