Silver Lining: soft and chewy cowboy cookies

April 27, 2017

soft and chewy cowboy cookies

To me, there are a few things that make the perfect cookie. First, it has to be soft and chewy, not hard and crispy. Second, it has to be a fairly easy recipe and be made with ingredients I usually have on hand so it only takes a few minutes to make a batch after a long day, when a friend is in need, or when I want to do something fun with my toddler. And third, they have to freeze well so we can pull a few out when we have guests over.

My favorite go-to is this recipe for soft and chewy cowboy cookies. They are just so yummy and soft. The oats set them apart from a regular 'ole chocolate chip, and the M&Ms add both color and deliciousness.

This has been a very long week over at our house, and to be honest, it helps knowing I have a batch in the freezer that I can sneak when the kids are in bed and I want a 5-minute break. 

So without further ado, I give you the easy, soft, chewy, delicious, cowboy cookies we love so much around here.


*recipe adapted from my cousins, Matt and Michelle Ratto. An earlier version was shared on my blog a few years ago here.


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 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
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. 

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

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