Former First Lady Laura Bush is credited with putting these delicious oat-, coconut-, and pecan-stuffed chocolate chip cookies, now known as Cowboy Cookies, on the map. And the story behind her famous Cowboy Cookie recipe is almost as good as the cookies themselves. Almost.
Starting in 1992, Family Circle magazine has orchestrated a political bake-off during every presidential election year. It was already commonplace for presidential candidates to release family recipes during their campaign—it helps to humanize the candidates and also allows them to promote family values. But Family Circle decided to up the ante by publishing cookie recipes from the wives of each candidate and asking readers to try baking both and then vote on their favorite. The results of the bake-off have interestingly almost always predicted the winner of the presidential election, save a couple outliers.
In the first First Lady bake-off in 1992, Hillary Clinton’s chocolate chip cookies beat out Barbara Bush’s still-delicious chocolate chip recipe, and again in 1996, Hillary’s chocolate chip recipe won over Elizabeth Dole’s Pecan Roll cookies. In 2000, Laura Bush debuted her Texas Governor’s House Cowboy Cookies, and as expected, they beat our Tipper Gore’s ginger snap recipe. Laura switched up her recipe during her husband’s second presidential campaign in 2004 to a similar oatmeal chocolate chunk recipe, but it’s her first Cowboy Cookie that’s become so famous.
As with most things in Texas, Laura’s Cowboy Cookies are big and completely stuffed with so many mix-ins: oats, coconut, pecans, and of course, chocolate chips. They’re sure to win over any crowd.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups light-brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened flake coconut
2 cups chopped pecans
How to Make It
Heat oven to 350 degree F.
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in bowl.
In 8-quart bowl, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1 minute. Gradually beat in sugars to combine, 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Beat in vanilla.
Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Add chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans.
For each cookie, drop 1/4 cup dough onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing 3 inches apart.
Bake in 350 degree F oven 17 to 20 minutes, until edges are lightly browned; rotate sheets halfway through. Remove cookies to rack to cool.