Cowboy Cookies

Updated February 06, 2023
Cowboy Cookies
Cowboy Cookies
This image courtesy of Jim Scherer

Editor's Note: After a long day of school, work, and running errands, these Cowboy Cookies just might be the boost you need! This easy cookie recipe is loaded with an assortment of ingredients that everyone is sure to love. With chocolate chips, dried fruit, and even toasted walnuts among the ingredients, you can't go wrong with these cookies. Are you looking for ideas for a full meal? Then consider making the Moosewood Collective's recipe for Portuguese White Bean and Kale Soup for dinner, then following up with this delicious cookie recipe for dessert. This is one winning combination that you can't miss!

Our dessert makers tryout a lot of different cookies at Moosewood, but most frequently they make easy Cowboy Cookies, which are sturdy, wholesome, homespun treats that might even sustain you on a hard day out on the trail. We keep a big glass jar full of cookies near the side door that leads down the hall to the other stores in our building.

Every day people from the antique shop or the toy store or the guitar workshop pop their heads in to check out the cookies of the day. When they find a beautifully frosted or filled cookie or some ethnic classic that took all morning to fill and roll and layer or some delicate airy miracle of bakers art, they are polite about it, but what they really want most of all are Cowboy Cookies again and again. 

Makes24 big cookies or 40 smaller cookies

Preparation Time25 min

Cooking MethodBaking



Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Buffet Meal, Card Night, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get Together, Game Day, Tailgate Party

Recipe CourseDessert, Snack

Taste and TextureChocolatey, Crunchy, Sweet

Type of DishCookie, Dessert


  • 2 cups unbleached white all purpose flour (see Note below)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature (2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (12 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins, dried cranberries, or chopped dried cherries (optional)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well. Add the dry ingredients and blend well. Stir in the oats. Fold in the chocolate chips and the dried fruit and the nuts, if using. The dough will be fairly stiff.

  3. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto unoiled baking sheets. For large cookies, place rounded blobs of dough about the size of a ping-pong ball on the baking sheets, placing then about 4 inches apart. For smaller cookies, drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto the baking sheets, placing them about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown. 

  4. Transfer the cookies to wire cooling racks. Cool completely before storing ill a sealed container.


Some of us like to use pastry flour, which makes the cookies crisper.


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These Cowboy Cookies are a great after school treat to keep my kids going til tea time. And the great ingredients help them from falling into that afternoon slump. One change I had to make in the recipe, though. If you are making these in the UK, our baking powder is only single acting, so to get the proper action from our baking powder you have to add an extra half or full amount of what the recipe calls for. I do try and buy American baking powder when I am making American recipes, but I don't always have it at hand.


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