Silver Lining: soft and chewy cowboy cookies

August 19, 2015

soft and chewy cowboy cookies

When I was engaged, one of my bridal shower gifts was a recipe book filled with some favorite family recipes. You know, so I can become a domestic goddess. Or something. And while I'm fairly certain I'm letting all those 1960s housewives down (I've definitely never been in the kitchen wearing heels and an apron and holding a fresh-baked apple pie when my husband comes home from work), I have made quite a few of those recipes over the years.

My all-time favorite recipe from that book is these cowboy cookies. You guys, they are so good. They're soft and thick and chewy, and you can customize them however you want. Best of all, they're easy to make! No sifting flour or separating egg yolks. No refrigerating the dough. No crazy ingredients. Just the easiest, most delicious soft cookies in the world.

Here's the recipe. If I've made you cookies any time in the last four years, chances are it's been these ones! (A huge thank you to Matt and Michelle Ratto for letting me share this goodness with the general population.)


1/2 cup shortening
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups M&Ms (or any combination of chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, etc.)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1/4 cup slivered almonds (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the shortening, butter, and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until well blended. Stir in the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Add oats, nuts, M&Ms (or chocolate chips) and coconut and mix until combined. Scoop cookie mixture onto greased cookie sheet (can line with nonstick mat or parchment paper). Bake for 10-13 minutes until the edges are barely light brown and the middle still looks a little under done. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.


+ I always add a little extra flour to give it extra fluffiness. If you're at a high altitude, also throw in 1/2 teaspoon of water.

+ Millions of lives have been ruined by people overbaking their cookies. Don't do it. Take them out a tiny bit before they look done. I promise it will make for the perfect soft cookie and lots of happy friends. Check those babies every minute after about 5 minutes!

+ If a little bit more than the prescribed amount of M&Ms happens to make it into your dough..... well, there would be no way of knowing ;)

+ I always use my small ice cream scoop to make perfect rounded cookie dough balls.

+ Recipe makes three dozen cookies. I love to freeze them and pull them out as a no-brainer dessert when we have guests over.

+ These cookies are also great as massive cookies! Make 6 large cookies, slightly flattened, per cookie sheet.

This recipe is all thanks to my demanding Instagram followers who rioted for the recipe when I posted this picture last week. I remain, as ever, your humble servant. ;)

Happy baking!

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