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 just could not wait to share this amazing cookie recipe with you. Basically, these are an amped up version of oatmeal cookies. Chewy and hearty, they are loaded with oats, coconut, pecans and chocolate chips. So, so good.
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.

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) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar                  
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened flake coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
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 with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in sugars and combine thoroughly.

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

(Switch to now mixing with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.)

Stir in flour mixture until just combined.

NOTE: You may reach a point when you're blending in the flour and remaining ingredients that you feel like things will never come together. It will ... just keep stirring. This becomes a very thick, hearty dough by the time that all ingredients are incorporated.

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 2 - 3 inches apart. (Eight cookies per large baking sheet works best so that the cookies do not touch once baked.)

Bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cookies are still slightly doughy in the center. (Rotate baking sheet halfway through.) Allow cookies to cool on sheet pan for 2 - 3 minutes on counter, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.

11/16/17:  Updated photos and made clarifications to recipe/post.


  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.

  7. It would be nice if it was set up to have a print button.

  8. Do you think they would be good without coconut? Would the recipe need to be altered any?

    1. Hmmmm ... I am not sure. I don't want to recommend any exact swaps without testing it first. Perhaps maybe a mix of crushed pretzels, more oats, granola and/or chopped nuts. But, honestly, coconut is a key ingredient.

  9. Looks delicous! How about adding rice crispies to the batch-if you add 4 cups, you enlarge the receipe and lower the fat. If you add unsweetened rice cripies, then you lower the sugar too. They will come out crunchy!