High Altitude Cowboy Cookie Recipe
You know what I love? Cookies. Like ALL. THE. COOKIES. I especially love these Cowboy Cookies. I tinkered with this recipe a few times to get it just right for all my high altitude baking friends and I’m psyched to share it with all of you!
WHERE DID COWBOY COOKIES COME FROM?
Truth be told, I’m kind of new to the Cowboy Cookie scene. I’d heard of them but had never actually baked them or eaten one. Or maybe I had and just don’t remember. Anyway, when I was catering last month, one of my clients told me about her “famous cowboy cookies” that everyone wants the recipe for whenever she makes them. Intrigued I asked her to tell me more- I could talk food all day/everyday, fyi! Apparently Cowboy Cookies are big in the south and I swear she told me this was Ladybird Johnson’s cookie recipe but when I turned to the internet I only found numerous mentions of cowboy cookies being Laura Bush’s favorite. Either way, these loaded oatmeal cookies are now a favorite of mine, too!
WHAT’S IN A COWBOY COOKIE?
You’ll find bazillions of cowboy cookie recipes and variations if you search the web. Most of the recipes are oatmeal based and and have a variety of mix-in’s. Almost always some kind of chopped nuts, lots of chocolate chips, sometimes M&M’s, and sometimes shredded coconut. I decided to follow the recipe from my client and then adapt them to high altitude. These are loaded with shredded coconut, chopped pecans, and milk chocolate chocolate chips.
ADJUSTING COOKIES FOR HIGH ALTITUDE
Cookies don’t need to be hugely adjusted for success. With that being said, it’s so annoying when you end up with flat discs for cookies so making a few changes will ensure successfully baked cookies. I decreased the amount of sugar and brown sugar by just a bit, added extra moisture in the way of egg, upped the vanilla, and decreased the baking powder. I also like to use quick oats instead of regular oats when making oatmeal cookies. The result is a Cowboy Cookie that is perfectly dense, perfectly chewy, and loaded with total deliciousness!
MAKING COOKIES AHEAD OF TIME
I like to make the cookie dough the day before I actually bake the cookies. Or at least make the dough a few hours before baking. I don’t know what it is about letting the dough sit for a few hours or overnight but I really think it makes for a better baked cookie. You can also make the dough, portion it out, and then freeze the cookie dough balls. When ready to bake the cookies, simply bake from frozen and add 1-2 minutes to regular baking time. You can also freeze the baked cookies and defrost just before you want to eat!
Enjoy the cookie recipe and have a wonderful week. Thanks for reading!! xo, Kelley
photos by Kellie Hatcher/recipe by Mountain Mama Cooks by way of the internet 🙂Print
High Altitude Cowboy Cookie Recipe
A delicious cookie recipe loaded with oats, coconut, chopped pecans, and chocolate chips!
- 1 1/2 sticks butter (12 tablespoons), room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups quick oats
- 1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- Sift together flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon; set aside.
- Cream butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add eggs and vanilla; beat.
- Add flour mixture and stir just until incorporated. Stir in oats, coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips.
- Drop by the spoonful onto a cookie sheet- I always use either a baking mat or a piece of parchment to line my cookie pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes just until the edges are brown. Remove from the oven and let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Can you make without coconut? Highly allergic. What could i sub?
You could simply leave it out!
Thanks. It won’t make them flat will it?
When I lived overseas, I had some friends from the South that made cowboy cookies all the time. Always so homey. These did not disappoint! Delicious! Almost butter-scotchy… couldn’t stop eating the dough either I might have to figure out how to turn this into a edible cookie dough or a cookie dough dip.
I’m with you. This cookie dough is the best ever!
If you don’t live in high altitude do you need to readjust the recipe?
I think you should be able to make them as written- just increase the leavening by 1/4 and add 1 tablespoons more sugar.
How many cookies does this make? This is usually part of a recipe.
24-36 depending on the size.
Thanks for the high-altitude style cookies! I’m at 9,000 feet and have not always been successful with cookies. I used 1 tsp. baking powder, which I think was about right. It took 16 minutes to bake them, but they turned out great, with 1 1/4 cups white chocolate chips, 3/4 cup pecans, 3/4 cup craisins & half the coconut.
Oh. My. Goodness. I tried this recipe for the first time & it was an instant Hit with my family & friends! I used a gluten-free flour blend & the unsweetened coconut flakes I had on hand and they were AMAZING! I had to bake them for 16 mins. to get them done. Not sure why, I’m just under 7,000 feet. But, they stayed soft. So I’m happy.
Forgot to include the rating. 🙂
What type of brown sugar do you recommend- dark or light?
I use whatever I have on hand which is usually light. Though I’ve used both so it really doesn’t matter!
Can I use old fashion oats instead of quick oats?
You can but I think quick oats are better in these cookies.
I’m going to make this afternoon, should I use salted or unsalted butter?
It doesn’t really matter. I’ve used both. When I have unsalted (which isn’t all the time) that’s my preference for baking but they will be delicious either way!
When you say high altitude, how high ya talking?
I live at 7,000 feet and 9,000 feet respectively. These cookies work at both altitudes!
These taste absolutely delicious, but they turned out very flat. 🙁 Any suggestions? I live at 6800 feet.
Make sure your butter isn’t too warm and that you’re measuring the flour correctly!
I reviewed these 7 months ago, and still think they’re great. I’ve modified them some since then for my elevation & preference. At 9000′ I use 1/4 tsp baking powder and add 3 Tblsp water. This helps them spread out a bit more (rather than a tight, round clump) and keeps them chewier. Yum! My husband likes them best with butterscotch chips rather than chocolate, and I must admit they are delicious that way.
Thank you for posting for all of us “mountain folk”. Its always been frustrating to bake and have things go flat. (Utah native) Are all of your baking recipes adjusted for high altitude, or just the ones that say it in the title?
Cookies were delicious but flat as a disc 🙁 I’m at 6,800 ft.
This is a tried and true recipe! Make sure your butter isn’t too soft and you’re measuring your flour correctly.
Excited to try this recipe but I’m wondering if I could use butter flavored crisco? It’s all I have on hand.
Sure. Substitute equal parts crisco and butter.