Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Laura Bush's Texas Governor's Mansion Cowboy Cookies

As I am beginning to write this post, the last batch of these cookies is finishing off in the oven.  I could not wait to share this amazing cookie recipe with you!  I had found a link on Pinterest a while back for these and repinned it so that I wouldn't forget to try out this yummy-looking cookie recipe for myself! 

I did some searching through different websites that have posted this recipe throughout the years (including The New York Times and Family Circle magazine) and it appears that most of the postings have been pretty much the same in terms of ingredients, quantities and directions.

I can tell you that both my hubby and I found these cookies to be some of the best we've ever had!  They are superb!  My mother, Dawn, is (typically) the cookie maker in the family.  I usually don't have the patience for making cookies.  But, I was dying to try these ... especially after reading through so many positive comments and reviews on other sites for this particular recipe!

In 2000, this recipe by Laura Bush beat out Tipper Gore's gingersnap cookie recipe in a magazine contest.  The two potential first wives each submitted a cookie recipe in the months leading up to the election and readers voted for their favorite. 

This recipe certainly has my vote and will (undoubtedly) become a favorite in my household!

Yields approximately 4 1/2 dozen cookies.


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 brown sugar (I used dark, but I'm sure light is fine, too)                   
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I actually used 2 - 2 1/2 cups of mini chips and it was perfect)                  
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened flake coconut
2 cups chopped pecans (optional - I omit)
Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

In a very large bowl, beat butter (yes, it really is 3 sticks!) with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy.  Gradually beat in sugar and combine thoroughly.

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

Stir in flour mixture until just combined.

You may reach a point when you're blending in the flour that you feel like it will never come together.  It will ... just keep stirring!  It'll look like the photo below part-way through blending the flour into the butter mixture.  Trust me, friends ... it'll get there!

Stir in chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans (if using).

For each cookie, drop a heaping, rounded tablespoon onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper ... spacing three inches apart.  I, literally, used my tablespoon measuring spoon for this and kind of rounded the "heaping part" lightly with my fingers and then scooped it out of the meauring spoon with a regular spoon.  I did 8 cookies per large baking sheet so they wouldn't touch once baked.

Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.  Rotate sheets halfway through. Allow cookies to cool on sheet pan for 2 - 3 minutes on counter, then remove cookies from rack to cool.

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  1. These look awesome! They remind me of cookies my grandmother used to make for me that had cornflakes in them (no coconut)...aside from that, they are to the letter the same. Now I need to take a nostalgia break and plan some weekend baking...:)

    1. Hi, WC! I have seen cookie recipes with cornflakes in them, but have never tried any! Sounds delicious, too! These are fabulous and I can tell you that the recipe is worth trying! Let me know if ya do! :) Thanks for the comment!

  2. These look yummy. I remember reading about them years ago. Glad they have resurfaced. I'll make a batch to take when we go visit our grandkids. Actually I'll buy the kids fish crackers these are adult cookies!

    1. Hi, Cindy! These ARE so divine! I can't wait to make another batch! I think they may be my new favorite cookie! Totally worth making! :) Thanks for commenting! :)

    2. I have been making these since a friend from Texas shared it with me in '03. She make her cookies large, I make mine normal size. I make them in my large KitchenAid stand mixer because it gets impossible for me to stir after adding the oats, choc. chips, and nuts. Everyone that has tasted them absoultly loves them. Because it makes so many, I use a cookie scoop and make into balls. When I have a cookie sheet full of them, I stick the cookie sheet in the freezer. After the balls are no longer sticky, I put them in freezer bags. That allows me to make as many or as few as I want. When I bake them, I use parchment. Think I'll make a batch this week.

    3. I just made them again this week and did the same ... froze the dough balls to pull out whenever the craving hits for these amazing cookies! Thanks for sharing and stopping by! :)

  3. I have made something similar for years. One of my families favorite cookies....called Ranger cookies. I used butterscotch chips or toffee bits in those. They have rice cereal in them as well.

  4. I mixed most of the flour in with my Kitchen Aid and then put all into a large pot. If you have any latex exam gloves, they are perfect for mixing in the remaining ingredients, not difficult at all. The gloves also make it easy to make balls, to freeze or bake, no sticking.

  5. I remember them as having sour cherries in them.

    1. I'm sure that cherries could easily be added. Yum! :)

  6. I have arthritis, but no mixer. Do you think I could still make these cookies since the batter is so stiff?

    1. Ya know, I'm not quite sure. It definitely is on the stiffer side of the spectrum, but not overly difficult I wouldn't think. You could always try to halve the batch so it isn't as much to have to work with ... and see how that goes. Yes, it would still be a stiff dough, of course, but maybe more manageable? If you've ever made Monster Cookies (with lots of oats, peanut butter and m & m's) ... this would be a similar stiffness.