Saturday, October 30, 2010

Playing in the Leaves and Cowboy Cookies

This weekend the kids had a few extra days added onto their weekend. So, we put our heads together to cook up a little fun. The kids got the rakes out while I got the cookie sheets out. Then we called our best friends over for a leaf pile party.

I was going to put milk and cookies on the table...

...while the kids were going to put on a show!

Once we came up with our plan, the kids immediately requested that I make cowboy cookies. A couple of years ago, I found Laura Bush's cowboy cookie recipe. The first time I made them, they were a HUGE hit. How could I possibly let these lovely kids down with some inferior cookie?

This cookie is not for the faint of heart and the board of ingredients looks a little daunting, but believe me when I say, these cookies are worth it.

I use my Kitchen Aid mixer for the first part of these cookies. Put the butter in the bowl and mix it for a few minutes.

Add the white sugar to the bowl and give it a couple of minutes to mix. You want that sugar and butter to really mix well at this point for a good cookie.

Add the brown sugar and give that a few minutes to mix into the butter.

Next in is the eggs. Give them a bit of time to incorporate as well.

And the last wet ingredient is vanilla. Give it just a minute to mix in with the butter and sugar before the dry ingredients go in.

Now it is time to start adding the dry ingredients in. First add all the flour and mix very slowly until all the flour is incorporated. Do not over mix the dough. As soon as everything is incorporated stop mixing.

Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and just mix until the cinnamon is evenly distributed.

Add the coconut and oatmeal and mix.

At this point, if you are using a Kitchen Aid, remove the beater and take the bowl out of the stand mixer. The bowl is now too full to mix any more ingredients into the dough without spilling. So from here on out, the mixing has to be done the old fashioned wooden spoon!

Add the chocolate. I am using Ghiradelli chocolate chips. 1 1/2 cups of semi sweet chips and 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chips.


Work out time. Mix the chocolate and pecans into the dough.

I make 1/4 cup dough balls. I fill a 1/4 cup measuring cup and then dig the dough out with a spoon.

On my air bake cookie sheets, I only put five dough balls on at a time. These cookies need plenty of room to spread out while they are baking.

They cook for 18 minutes and they come out slightly soft in the middle, but golden brown along the outside edge. They sit on the cookie sheet for a few minutes until the middle is set. Then I transfer them to a flat surface...not a cooling rack. They cool quickly, but they do need that flat surface to finish setting up.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon. baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups sweetened flake coconut
  • 2 cups chopped pecans (8 ounces)

  • Directions

    Prep Time: 25 minutes
    Bake Time: 17 to 20 minutes
    Yield: About 3 dozen cookies (see note below)

    1. Heat oven to 350 F.

    2. Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in bowl.

    3. In 8-quart bowl, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1 minute. Gradually beat in sugars; beat to combine, 2 minutes.

    4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Beat in vanilla.

    5. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Add chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans.

    6. For each cookie, drop 1/4 cup dough onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing 3 inches apart.

    7. Bake in 350 F oven 17 to 29 minutes, until edges are lightly browned; rotate sheets halfway through. Remove cookies from rack to cool.

    Note: For 6 dozen small cookies, use 2 tablespoons dough for each. Bake at 350 F for 15 to 18 minutes.

    Copyright 2000, Laura Bush

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