Cowboy Cookies

For many years, Family Circle magazine held a cookie competition between the spouses of political candidates during election season. This friendly competition allowed the public to learn more about the personal lives of the candidates and their families, while also promoting family values and traditional recipes. However, in 2019, Family Circle announced that they were folding, bringing an end to this long-standing tradition.

One of the most famous recipes to come out of this competition was Mrs. Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookie. This recipe won the competition in 2000, and it has been a favorite among bakers ever since. This cookie is packed with oats, chocolate chips, coconut, and pecans, making it a hearty and delicious treat that is perfect for sharing with family and friends.

To make Mrs. Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies, start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, mix together three cups of all-purpose flour, one tablespoon of baking powder, one tablespoon of baking soda, one tablespoon of ground cinnamon, and one teaspoon of salt. Set this mixture aside.

In a separate, large bowl, beat together 1 ½ cups of room temperature butter until it is smooth and creamy. Then, slowly beat in 1 ½ cups of granulated sugar and 1 ½ cups of packed light-brown sugar until they are combined. Add three eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg. Then, beat in one tablespoon of vanilla extract.

Next, slowly beat or hand stir in the flour mixture until it is just combined. By hand, add in three cups of semisweet chocolate chips, three cups of old-fashioned rolled oats, two cups of sweetened flake coconut, and two cups of chopped pecans. Mix these ingredients together until they are combined.

For each cookie, place ¼ cup of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet or one that is lined with parchment paper. Be sure to space the cookies three inches apart. Bake the cookies in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for 15 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through baking. The cookies should be lightly browned on the edges but slightly undercooked in the middle. Once cooled, transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.

Mrs. Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies are a delicious and comforting treat that is perfect for sharing with family and friends. Although the tradition of the Family Circle cookie competition may have come to an end, this recipe continues to be a favorite among bakers and families alike.

Cowboy Cookies

The original winning recipe for Mrs. Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookie.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 40 cookies
Author Stasia Wimmer Boschetti


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups butter room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups light-brown sugar packed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups sweetened flake coconut
  • 2 cups chopped pecans


  1. Heat oven to 350 ℉.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a very large bowl, beat room temperature butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
  4. On medium speed, slowly beat in both sugars until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg. Beat in vanilla. Slowly beat or hand stir in the flour mixture until just combined.

  5. By hand, add in the chocolate chips, oats, coconut, chopped pecans, and mix until combined.

  6. For each cookie, place ¼ cup dough onto an ungreased baking sheet or lined with parchment paper, spacing 3 inches apart. Bake in a 350 ℉ oven for 15 minutes (rotate sheets halfway through baking), bake until edges are lightly browned and center is still soft, they will look slightly undercooked in the middle but once cooled they will be perfect. Cool cookies on cookie sheet until you can transfer them to a cooling on rack.

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