Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen

Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies

November 5, 2012Teresa

This is a marvelous cookie! Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies are loaded with pecans, coconut, chocolate chips, oatmeal, and flavored with cinnamon. We have made this tasty cookie several times for our Christmas baking extravaganza when we bake 2,500 to 5,000 cookies (usually over a 3-day period) for friends, family, co-workers, church members, seminary staff, neighbors, and doctors and others we want to bless with a batch of Christmas cookies. And, yes, we are usually exhausted when it is all over!

This recipe was given to me by a co-worker, Bettie Raye, when we worked together in the Financial Aid office at Dallas Baptist University. Mrs. Bush submitted these cookies to Family Circle magazine back in 2000 during the presidential campaign for a presidential bake-off with Tipper Gore.

The Fort Worth Star-Tribune carried this recipe in 2001. The Washington Post carried this recipe in 2005. We love these cookies. I think they are supposed to be baked in really large sizes so I used a large cookie scoop for mine.

Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies is a great recipe to include for your holiday baking, but it is also one that can be made all year round since the ingredients are always available. You may want to try this delicious cookie recipe soon! I am grateful for the former first lady sharing this marvelous cookie recipe.

Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies is a featured recipe at Recipe Lion. You can find the recipe here.

When I initially posted this recipe in November 2012, I was still using an iPhone 3 for a camera since it was the first year of my food blog. After the first year I began using a Canon so the pictures became decidedly better.

As a result, I’ve been going back through all those first year recipes and remaking them so I can retake the pictures. I made these cookies (June 2015) for a youth swim party at our house last month. They were eaten like hot cakes!

Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these fabulous #oatmeal #cookies were a presidential winner. #dessert #chocolate

Here’s a look at Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies. This is one terrific cookie!

Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these fabulous #oatmeal #cookies were a presidential winner. #dessert #chocolate

These amazing cookies are filled with chocolate chips, pecans, oatmeal and coconut.

Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these fabulous #oatmeal #cookies were a presidential winner. #dessert #chocolate

The taste and texture of Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies is wonderful.

Here’s what I did.

Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these fabulous #oatmeal #cookies were a presidential winner. #dessert #chocolate

I used these ingredients.

Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these fabulous #oatmeal #cookies were a presidential winner. #dessert #chocolate

Put softened butter in a mixing bowl. Add sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these fabulous #oatmeal #cookies were a presidential winner. #dessert #chocolate

Mix all ingredients together with an electric mixer.

Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these fabulous #oatmeal #cookies were a presidential winner. #dessert #chocolate

Add UNBLEACHED all-purpose flour. Bleached flour toughens baked goods. Add oatmeal, chocolate chips, coconut and chopped pecans.

Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these fabulous #oatmeal #cookies were a presidential winner. #dessert #chocolate

Stir all ingredients together.

Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these fabulous #oatmeal #cookies were a presidential winner. #dessert #chocolate

Scoop dough with a cookie scoop. 

Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these fabulous #oatmeal #cookies were a presidential winner. #dessert #chocolate

Set balls on cookie sheets that have been sprayed with cooking spray.

Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these fabulous #oatmeal #cookies were a presidential winner. #dessert #chocolate

Bake in 350 oven 17-20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these fabulous #oatmeal #cookies were a presidential winner. #dessert #chocolate

Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies are always a crowd pleaser!

Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these fabulous #oatmeal #cookies were a presidential winner. #dessert #chocolate

Here’s a heap of these fantastic cookies.

Here’s the recipe.

LAURA BUSH’S COWBOY COOKIES

(Recipe adapted from Bettie Raye, a co-worker when we worked at Dallas Baptist University. Source: Family Circle.)

Print Recipe
Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list Yum
Laura Bush's lovely oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips, coconut and pecans. This terrific recipe is wonderful for potlucks, tailgating parties, backyard barbecues or even holiday baking. Every bite will have you drooling.
Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Mix sugars, butter, eggs, vanilla, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon with an electric mixer until well combined.
  3. Stir in flour, chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans with a wooden spoon.
  4. For each cookie, drop ¼ cup of dough onto cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray, spacing 3 inches apart.
  5. Bake 17-20 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.
  6. Remove to rack to cool.
  7. Rotate cookie sheets on racks every 7-8 minutes.
Recipe Notes

NOTE: You will need a very large bowl to mix the ingredients.

NOTE: You can also use a large cookie scoop portion out the cookie dough.

NOTE: If you don't prefer a strong cinnamon taste, cut the amount from one tablespoon to one teaspoon.

NOTEIf you make the cookies smaller, they may tend to become too hard after baking. They need to be made large so they don't toughen.

NOTE: If your oven runs hot, you may want to dial back the temperature so these cookies raise properly while baking. Otherwise, they will cook too quickly before the cookies have had a chance to rise, resulting in tougher cookies.

Recipe adapted from Family Circle Presidential Bake-Off Recipes.
© Can’t Stay Out of the Kitchen

 

[b]Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies[/b]
 
Recipe Type: Cookies, Brownies and Bars
Cuisine: American
Author: Teresa Ambra adapted from Bettie Raye when we worked together at Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, TX; source: [url href=”http://www.familycircle.com/recipes/desserts/past-presidential-cookie-bake-off/?page=2″ target=”_blank” title=”laura bush’s cowboy cookies”]Family Circle[/url] Presidential Bake Cook-Off
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 36
Laura Bush’s lovely oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips, coconut and pecans.
Ingredients
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups [url href=”http://www.goldmedalflour.com/” target=”_blank”]Gold Medal[/url] UNBLEACHED all-purpose flour (bleached flour toughens baked goods)
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips (1 ½ bags)
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups sweetened flake coconut
  • 2 cups chopped pecans (8-oz.)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Mix sugars, butter, eggs, vanilla, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon with an electric mixer until well combined.
  3. Stir in flour, chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans with a wooden spoon.
  4. For each cookie, drop ¼ cup of dough onto cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray, spacing 3 inches apart.
  5. Bake 17-20 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.
  6. Remove to rack to cool.
 
Notes
You will need a very large bowl to mix the ingredients.[br][br]You can also use a large ice cream scoop portion out the cookie dough.[br][br]If you don’t prefer a strong cinnamon taste, cut the amount from one tablespoon to one teaspoon.[br][br]If you use a bleached flour you may need to use a full 3 1/2 cups flour.
Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these fabulous #oatmeal #cookies were a presidential winner. #dessert #chocolate

Chocolate chips, oatmeal, coconut and pecans work so well together in this cookie.

Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these fabulous #oatmeal #cookies were a presidential winner. #dessert #chocolate

Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies are scrumptious treats that are great for holiday baking, office parties, or anytime you want a tasty dessert.

Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these fabulous #oatmeal #cookies were a presidential winner. #dessert #chocolate

These cookies have great crunch with the oatmeal, pecans and coconut, and then add the taste of softened chocolate chips and you have one marvelous cookie. 

You may also enjoy these delicious recipes!

Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | an old-fashioned favorite #cookie filled with #raisins #oatmeal and #walnuts. Great for #holiday #baking. #dessert

Oatmeal Peach Cookies

Oatmeal Peach Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these spectacular #cookies contain #oatmeal, fresh #peaches, #coconut & #pecans. They are absolutely mouthwatering & a terrific #recipe to make during #PeachSeason. #tailgating #dessert #PeachDessert #OatmealCookie #OatmealPeachCookies #LaborDay #LaborDayDessert

Blueberry Vanilla Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Blueberry Vanilla Chip Oatmeal Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | my family raved over these amazing #cookies. They're made with dried #blueberries, #oatmeal & #VanillaChips. It's one of the best #OatmealCookies you'll ever eat! Terrific for #holiday parties or a #ChristmasCookieExchange. #dessert #BlueberryVanillaChipOatmealCookies #BlueberryDessert
Print Recipe
Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list Yum
Laura Bush's lovely oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips, coconut and pecans. This terrific recipe is wonderful for potlucks, tailgating parties, backyard barbecues or even holiday baking. Every bite will have you drooling.
Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Mix sugars, butter, eggs, vanilla, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon with an electric mixer until well combined.
  3. Stir in flour, chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans with a wooden spoon.
  4. For each cookie, drop ¼ cup of dough onto cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray, spacing 3 inches apart.
  5. Bake 17-20 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.
  6. Remove to rack to cool.
  7. Rotate cookie sheets on racks every 7-8 minutes.
Recipe Notes

NOTE: You will need a very large bowl to mix the ingredients.

NOTE: You can also use a large cookie scoop portion out the cookie dough.

NOTE: If you don't prefer a strong cinnamon taste, cut the amount from one tablespoon to one teaspoon.

NOTEIf you make the cookies smaller, they may tend to become too hard after baking. They need to be made large so they don't toughen.

NOTE: If your oven runs hot, you may want to dial back the temperature so these cookies raise properly while baking. Otherwise, they will cook too quickly before the cookies have had a chance to rise, resulting in tougher cookies.

Recipe adapted from Family Circle Presidential Bake-Off Recipes.
© Can’t Stay Out of the Kitchen

66 Comments

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  • BettyAnn

    December 20, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Made these today, made a huge batch of cookies, however they are hard, taste ok but are hard as a rock, I have no idea what went wrong!

    1. Teresa

      December 20, 2018 at 3:15 pm

      Betty Ann, Two suggestions. If you have a hot oven it cooks the cookies too quickly. It doesn’t allow the process of rising and falling for the cookies to soften. Also, these cookies must be made very large. If they’re made smaller they will overcook at 17-20 minutes.

      1. Betty Ann

        December 23, 2018 at 8:30 pm

        Thank you, I do think the oven temp may be off. I did make them larger than most other cookies. I did put them in a container with a slice of bread and they did soften up.

        1. Teresa

          December 24, 2018 at 7:14 am

          Hi, Betty Ann. I thought of one more thing. When I bake this type of cookie, I usually have to take it out of the oven just before it is done. Right after it hits the peak rise and just barely after the last of the liquid part goes from shiny to dull (because it’s finally cooked), but before the cookie has actually set. I know it sounds trivial, but taking them out of the oven about a minute or two before they’re done and allowing the cookies to finish baking in the pans are what usually works for me. I hope you give it a try that way (plus reducing the temperature to about 325) and see if that works better for you. Perhaps, cutting the recipe in half or a fourth just to give it a try.

  • Lisa

    September 23, 2018 at 5:28 am

    Hi!

    Can this recipe be used to make bar cookies rather than drop cookies? If so, how would the baking time change?

    Thanks in advance!
    Lisa

    1. Teresa

      September 23, 2018 at 8:15 pm

      Hi, Lisa. I’m sure you could easily do that. Since this is a large amount, you probably need a cookie sheet of about 18×26″. If you don’t have one that size you may have to use a couple of smaller cookie sheets. For the large cookie sheet, you will probably need to start checking for doneness at around the 30 minute mark. They may take as long as 45 minutes. Wait until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. For smaller cookie sheets, you may want to start checking around the 20-25 minute time frame. Hope this helps.

      1. Lisa

        September 23, 2018 at 10:59 pm

        Very much so! Thank you!

        1. Teresa

          September 24, 2018 at 3:34 pm

          Enjoy.

  • Peyton

    August 11, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    Wow these cookies were 😋😋😍👍🏼 So delicious!! I knew they were going to make a lot but I didn’t realize how much 😂 so I got to share them with lots of people which is always a great thing! Thanks for the recipe, it’s a keeper!!

    1. Teresa

      August 11, 2018 at 10:27 pm

      Hi, Peyton. So glad you enjoyed the recipe and had enough to share. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and letting me know. Have a great weekend.

  • Nina

    July 7, 2018 at 5:53 am

    Do you have to use old fashion oats or can you use quick oats??

    1. Teresa

      July 7, 2018 at 6:35 am

      Hi, Nina. You can use any kind of oats. I just like the texture better of the old fashioned oats.

  • Mechele

    December 7, 2017 at 10:31 am

    My Mom has made these cookies for as long as I can remember. I tried them last night on my own for the first time and they flattened out. How do I fix this.

    1. Teresa

      December 7, 2017 at 12:05 pm

      Hi Mechele. Some of that is the flour you use. I would recommend adding a little more flour to the recipe – about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup should do the trick. If you don’t want to add additional flour you can also roll the dough into balls and then refrigerate the dough for about an hour before baking. That will help the cookies hold their shape.

  • Destiny

    October 26, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    In the picture it says use a cookie scooper but in the recipe notes it says use a ice cream scooper which is much larger.i have a cookie scooper so do I still bake them for the same time?

    1. Teresa

      October 27, 2017 at 8:57 am

      Hi Destiny. I actually use a one-quarter cup scoop. I can use it for cookies or ice cream. Sorry for the confusion. You may need to bake them shorter or longer depending on your oven and the actual size of your scoop.

  • Karen

    August 25, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    my husband does not like coconut. if i leave it out do you recommend a replacement or another modification?

    1. Teresa

      August 26, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      Hi, Karen, I’ve heard of some folks using grape nuts as a substitute. I think I would try it without the coconut first. Then if you don’t like it that way, add grape nuts or some kind of dried fruit like raisins, craisins, apricots or something like that. You may have to increase the flour if the recipe is too gooey without the coconut. I’d bake one cookie to see how it turns out and if it runs flat and doesn’t do well, try adding a little additional flour and bake that way.

  • Jeanne L

    May 3, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    I just made these cookies for my husband’s VFW meeting. I think the Vets will like them. They are delicious and I will make them again. Lots of good ingredients that I like. They are a hefty cookie so I can only eat a few. I knew it was going to be a big batch but this is huge. I guess everything is bigger in Texas! Some will be going in the freezer to enjoy later on.

    1. Teresa

      May 3, 2017 at 8:25 pm

      Thanks, Jeanne, so glad you enjoyed them. Yes, they certainly are large cookies – not for the faint of heart. 🙂

  • Vera

    September 27, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Made these delicious cookies for the weekend for my family and they loved the cookies
    The recipe was easy to make too doesn’t use alot of ingredients!!!! GREAT TREAT?

    1. Teresa

      September 27, 2016 at 7:47 pm

      Yes, they really are terrific cookies, Vera. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Patty

    December 29, 2015 at 12:40 am

    I think these cookies would have been excellent using less cinnamon. One tablespoon seemed excessive but I followed the recipe. It overpowered the rest of the ingredients. Perhaps one teaspoon?

    1. Teresa

      December 29, 2015 at 6:02 pm

      Hi, Patty. I’m sorry you didn’t like the cinnamon taste in the cookie. One tablespoon cinnamon is what Laura Bush’s recipe called for so I kept it the same. By all means, feel free to cut it down to one teaspoon if that’s better for you and your family.

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  • teresa

    May 20, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    may I use margaine instead of butter and if I can how much do I put in

    1. Teresa

      May 20, 2015 at 4:17 pm

      Hi, Teresa, you can use margarine in the recipe, though it may change the texture and taste slightly. Thanks for stopping by.

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  • Veronica Petzold

    December 23, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    How many cookies does this make and should you chill the dough?

    1. Teresa

      December 23, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      Veronica, this makes 36 large cookies. I don’t recall ever chilling the dough except during the holidays when I’m making up 5-10 batches of this cookie at a time and I put it in the refrigerator overnight for the next day.

      1. Andria

        November 25, 2017 at 1:26 pm

        Can I freeze these once theyre baked?

        1. Teresa

          November 25, 2017 at 10:03 pm

          Hi, Andria. Absolutely. I freeze cookies all the time and I’ve frozen these ones before too.

  • Patti

    August 16, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    These cookies look so good!! I can’t wait to taste them but I have a question. How do I judge how much flour to use? It says 3 to 3 1/2 cups. Thanks!!

    1. Teresa

      August 16, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      Patti, If the mixture seems a little gooey at 3 cups, add an additional half cup. That way the cookies won’t flatten out too much while you bake them. (I always go with more rather than less flour). Hope that helps.

      1. Patti

        August 17, 2014 at 9:40 am

        Thank you!!!! I didn’t know that!

  • E. DODD

    August 3, 2014 at 8:41 am

    4 oz = 0.113398227359 kg

    a POUND OF BUTTER IS 16 OZ

  • Judith Piggott

    July 27, 2014 at 4:43 am

    Thanks to all for info. Regards Judith Piggott.

  • Judith Piggott

    July 26, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Hi , I am emailing you from New-Zealand so hope that you can reply. I want to make these delicious Laura Bush cookies but could you tell me how much is a stick of butter is. We use ounces or grams. I am making a guess that it would be 3 ounces. Thanks for the wonderful recipes on your site. Looking forward to more Regards Judy .

    1. Anonymous

      July 26, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      3 sticks butter = 12 ounces OR 3/4 lb. OR 1 1/2 cups
      Hope that helps.

    2. Gaylene

      July 26, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      A stick of butter is 4 oz.

    3. Teresa

      July 27, 2014 at 3:52 am

      Hey Judy, 2 sticks equal 1 cup or 8 ounces. 1 stick equals 4 ounces. 4 sticks equal 2 cups and weigh one pound. I hope that helps.

    4. Lynda Womack

      July 29, 2014 at 7:13 pm

      1 Stick of butter equals 8 tablespoons or 8 ozs. Good luck.

      1. Cyndi

        July 9, 2015 at 8:57 am

        Lynda,

        I think you meant 8 tablespoons = 4 ozs. 🙂

    5. elaine

      March 9, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      Each (one) stick of margarine or butter equal = 1/4 cup, or 4 oz.

      1. Teresa

        March 10, 2016 at 3:44 pm

        Hi, Elaine. Each stick of butter equals 8 tablespoons or 4 ounces, but that is equivalent to 1/2 cup. 2 sticks = 1 cup, 4 sticks or a 1-lb. package = 2 cups.

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  • mmmarzipan

    November 6, 2012 at 6:15 am

    How wonderful! They look yummy and it’s lovely that you share cookies with so many 🙂

    1. Teresa

      November 6, 2012 at 10:13 am

      Thanks. We have been doing it almost 35 years! It started out as gifts for family one of the first years we were married because we couldn’t afford anything else. I probably only made 3 or 4 batches of cookies back then!

  • petit4chocolatier

    November 6, 2012 at 5:53 am

    These look delicious! I remember the cook off : )

    1. Teresa

      November 6, 2012 at 10:13 am

      Thanks. They are delicious.

  • Vina’sdeliciousrecipes !

    November 6, 2012 at 12:12 am

    Hi !This looks incredible as usual!

    1. Teresa

      November 6, 2012 at 10:15 am

      Thank you so much. Appreciate your kind comments.

  • ngnrdgrl

    November 5, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    They look fabulous! I love oatmeal and coconut in cookies. All those pictures are making my mouth water. Thanks for sharing! 😀

    1. Teresa

      November 6, 2012 at 10:35 am

      You’re welcome. I love making cookies. There will be a lot more before the year is over!

  • cindy knoke

    November 5, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Teresa-
    This looks like a wonderful recipe. I read Laura Bush’s biography and she said that “it is better if I don’t cook!” I thought this was funny and remember it. Someone said someone cooks for them. But maybe she used to make cookies. Anyway, they look great.

    1. Teresa

      November 5, 2012 at 9:34 pm

      Yeah, she submitted these to Family Circle in 2000 for a presidential campaign bake off with Tipper Gore. They really are delicious.

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