Have you ever had a cowboy cookie? It’s an oatmeal cookie filled with coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips. My version takes the recipe a step further by adding two special ingredients to make these the best cowboy cookies ever.
These cookies bake up with crisp buttery edges, a soft and chewy center, and tons of flavor from all the mix-ins! Each bite will have you coming back for more.
What are cowboy cookies?
Cowboy cookies are oatmeal cookies that are filled with shredded coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips. This combination of mix-ins not only tastes great but it adds a great texture to the cookies as well.
I like to take this classic cookie a step further by adding brown butter and toffee bits. More on this below. 🙂
Why you’ll love these cowboy cookies
Flavor: Nutty brown butter, sweet coconut, rich pecans, buttery toffee bits, and just the right amount of chocolate!
Texture: If you’re a fan of different textures you will love these cookies, they’re crispy, crunchy, soft, and chewy.
Brown butter*: This recipe starts with browning the butter rather than just using softened butter. Brown butter adds a warm nutty flavor and a richness that you can taste all throughout the cookies.
Toffee bits*: Toffee bits add a nutty buttery flavor (just like the brown butter) and a sweet crunch.
Coconut: Sweetened shredded coconut adds lots of flavor and chewy texture to the cookies.
Pecans: You’ll need 1 cup of chopped pecans. Be sure to toast your pecans to increase the flavor.
Chocolate chips: I prefer milk chocolate chips for this recipe, I find that the mild flavor helps from overpowering the other mix-ins.
Flaky sea salt: I love adding a sprinkle of finishing salt to these cookies after baking. The salty-sweet balance is incredible!
*The “special” ingredients that set this recipe apart.
*Full recipe below in recipe card*
- Combine the brown butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar.
- Beat in eggs and vanilla.
- Beat in flour, oats, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
- Stir in the mix-ins: coconut, pecans, chocolate chips, toffee bits.
Scoop the dough into 2-3 tablespoon portions and form each portion of dough into a thick disc. More on this below.
Bake for 9-12 minutes, until the edges are set and the center is still slightly underdone.
Tip: shaping cookie dough
After baking many batches of these cowboy cookies I have found that they bake up with the best shape if each portion is flattened before baking. I typically tell you to mound your cookie dough balls high, but this recipe is an exception!
Use a cookie scoop to portion the dough and instead of leaving it in a ball/mound, flatten it into a thick disc.
All about brown butter
I find that brown butter works especially well in this recipe. The flavor complements the nutty oats, pecans, and toffee bits.
What is brown butter? Brown butter is butter that has been cooked until the milk solids in the butter begin to toast/brown. The flavor is unmatched, brown butter tastes nutty and rich with a deep toffee-like flavor.
How to brown butter: Place the butter in a saucepan set over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned bits form on the bottom of the pan and the butter begins to turn golden and smell nutty.
If you’re a fan of brown butter you have to try our brown butter cookies. 🙂
Ultimate Cowboy Cookies
- 1 cup (226g) salted butter, cut into large pieces
- 2 cups (160g) old fashioned oats, see note
- 2 cups (250g) all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (220g) dark brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (55g) sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup (120g) chopped toasted pecans
- 1¼ cups (200g) milk chocolate chips
- ½ cup (75g) toffee bits, I use Heath bits o brickle
- Begin by browning the butter. Place the butter in a saucepan set over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until light brown bits form on the bottom of the pan and the butter begins to turn golden brown and smell nutty. Watch it closely as it can go from brown to burned quickly. Immediately transfer the butter into your mixing bowl along with any accumulated brown bits. Allow the butter to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a separate bowl (not the bowl the butter is in), combine 1 cup oats, 1 cup ground oats (see note), flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat brown butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar for a full minute. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until combined.
- Add the oat mixture to the wet ingredients beating until well combined.
- Add the coconut, pecans, chocolate chips*, and toffee bits, stirring until well combined.*I usually reserve ¼ cup of the chocolate chips for topping the cookies.
- Scoop generous 2-tablespoon portions of dough and form the dough into thick flat discs (this helps the cookies spread nicely). Place the discs a couple inches apart on prepared baking sheets and bake for 9-12 minutes. The cookies will have spread, the edges should be set but the middle of the cookies still slightly under baked. Add the reserved chocolate chips to the top of the warm cookies and sprinkle with flaky sea salt, if desired. Place the baking sheets on wire racks to cool for 15 minutes, then transfer the cookies directly to the rack.
Nutritional Information is an estimate based on third-party calculations and may vary based on products used and serving sizes.