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Cowgirl Cookies

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These cowgirl cookies have all the good stuff… brown butter, oatmeal, chocolate and hint of salt. They are a fun twist on cowboy cookies that will make you say yee-haw and grab another! 

Stack of freshly baked brown butter cowgirl cookies with chocolate chips and oatmeal next to cup of milk.

These cookies are a perfect way to quiet your sweet tooth.  The brown butter adds depth of flavor and the final results are the perfect mix of chewy delicious oatmeal and chocolate cookies. 

A pinch of salt on top is optional, but adds one more layer of flavor.  Make a batch to share or make some and freeze the extra for when you need to treat yourself!

Ingredients including brown butter, flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, corn starch, vanilla, eggs, pecans, and chocolate chips ready to be made into cowgirl cookies.

MiMi originally made this recipe back in 2015.  She thought she was saving herself some time browning the butter rather than softening it, but then she chilled it to let it set back up. 

That negated any saved time from browning the butter.  You know what I did though? 

Didn’t chill the butter to firm it back up. I’m a rebel like that.

That’s right, I used the still liquid brown butter and whipped it together with the sugars instead of creaming it.  I saved the chilling for the end once the dough was made.

And you know what? It worked really well! 

So I made that a permanent part of the recipe.  There is really no need to set the butter back up at all.

MiMi made this recipe as an adaptation of a cowboy cookie recipe she loved.  Now these have taken the place of those cookies and have become a favorite instead.  

Possible Additions and Adaptations

For more colorful cookies, use M&M’s or something similar rather than chocolate chips.

You can change up the kinds of nuts, macadamia nuts would be delicious. Or leave them out alltogether.

A lot of cowboy cookie recipes include shredded coconut. MiMi doesn’t like coconut, so she doesn’t use it.

Hand holding a fresh baked cowgirl cookie with bits of oats and chocolate chips showing.

However, you could easily add anywhere from a half cup to a whole cup of shredded coconut if you want.

For more of a trailmix vibe, use chocolate coated sunflower seeds in place of some or all of the chocolate chips. That would keep a cowgirl going on a long trail ride!

Freezing Cowgirl Cookies

If you don’t need the whole batch at once, there are two great ways to save some for later.  Of course you can just freeze the cookies.

Place baked cookies in freezer bags or an airtight container and take them out as you want to. My aunt loves to eat them straight from the freezer, otherwise you can just let them defrost a bit.

How to Freeze Cookie Dough

But for the taste (and smell!) of fresh baked cookies, you can also freeze the dough to bake later.

Our favorite way to do that is to scoop the dough out onto cookie sheets and freeze the balls of dough.  Once the dough is frozen, place the balls of dough into freezer bags and just pull out as many balls of dough as you’d like when the craving strikes.

brown butter cowgirl cookies on pink platter.

You can bake the dough while it is still frozen, no need to defrost.  Just watch the cookies as they will need an extra minute or two in the oven.

Of course you can freeze the cookie dough in bulk too. You will just need to let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight and then scoop and bake it according to the recipe directions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are they called cowboy cookies?

There are several theories for the name. One is that the recipe was developed in Texas, the home to many cowboys and cowgirls.

Another is that they are hearty and last well in a saddlebag. My guess is it is just a fun name that stuck around.

These cookies are a perfect way to quiet your sweet tooth. The brown butter adds depth of flavor and the final results are the perfect mix of chewy delicious oatmeal and chocolate cookies. A pinch of salt on top is optional, but adds one more layer of flavor. Make a batch to share or make some and freeze the extra for when you need to treat yourself!

Why are my cookies flat?

Flat cookies can result from a few issues. Almost all of them relate to the butter melting before the cookies have a chance to set.

This can happen if your dough isn’t fully chilled. It can also happen if your oven is to hot.

If neither of these are the issue, add a Tablespoon or two of additional flour to the dough to give it more structure.

Or check out this guide to fixing flat cookies.

Bite missing from warm cowgirl cookie showing melted chocolate chips and gooey center.

More Great Cookie Recipes

If you like your cookies loaded with goodies, you may also like the sweet and salty combination of kitchen sink cookies. Or maybe the buttery melt in your mouth ranger cookie that’s loaded with a cup of this and a cup of that.

Monster cookies are another loaded cookie that is perfect for the cowpoke in your life. Or try cookies and cream gooey butter cookies for a soft cookie that starts with a cake mix and pieces of Oreo.

Check out my full collection of cookie recipes to pick up some new favorites.

Love this recipe? Give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review in the recipe card below!

Stack of freshly baked brown butter cowgirl cookies with chocolate chips and oatmeal next to cup of milk.

Cowgirl Cookies

Carlee
These cookies are a perfect way to quiet your sweet tooth.  The brown butter adds depth of flavor and the final results are the perfect mix of chewy delicious oatmeal and chocolate cookies.  A pinch of salt on top is optional, but adds one more layer of flavor.  Make a batch to share or make some and freeze the extra for when you need to treat yourself!
5 from 12 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 42 Cookies
Calories 136 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • cups packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cups granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • cups old-fashioned oats
  • cups finely chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Brown butter in a skillet over medium heat until a nutty brown color. It will most likely foam up and have a few brown specks in it. This is to be expected. It should smell toasted and be a light golden brown, be careful not to let it burn. Let cool slightly while you gather the remaining ingredients.
    1 cup unsalted butter
  • Beat together brown butter, brown sugar and white sugar in your mixing bowl. Set aside to cool slightly.
    1½ cups packed light brown sugar, ½ cups granulated white sugar
  • In another bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir with a whisk.
    2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt
  • Add the eggs to the butter mixture, one at a time, mixing after each until incorporated. Stir in the vanilla.
    2 large eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients a little at a time and beat until combined.
  • Stir in the oats, walnuts or pecans and chocolate chips.
    1½ cups old-fashioned oats, ⅓ cups finely chopped walnuts or pecans, 1 cup chocolate chips
  • Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Use a medium cookie scoop (or a about 1½ Tablespoons) of dough per cookie onto a cookie sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • When you remove it from the oven, sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of sea salt if desired. 
  • Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then remove onto a cooling rack.  Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container at room temperature or freeze until ready to eat. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 136kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 2gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 409mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11g
Tried this recipe?Mention @carleecooks or tag #cookingwcarlee!

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Recipe Rating




Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies

Tuesday 2nd of July 2019

As soon as it's cool enough to turn the oven on, I am making these!

Carlee

Friday 19th of July 2019

Today's not the day then, it was a scorcher!

Andrea Nine

Monday 17th of June 2019

I just read a post from someone who made cowboy cookies, but they sound even better!

Carlee

Wednesday 26th of June 2019

Both are good, but the brown butter in these really adds that little something extra!

Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen

Sunday 16th of June 2019

These look absolutely perfect! Brown butter makes everything even more delicious!

Carlee

Wednesday 26th of June 2019

Doesn't it though?

Frugal Hausfrau

Tuesday 7th of June 2016

I was just thinking I haven't made any cookies in ages and now these and those XXX peanut butter! How can I choose, lol!

Carlee

Tuesday 7th of June 2016

You'll just have to make both! (It's the only logical thing to do!)

Anonymous

Saturday 4th of June 2016

Oh these look ridiculously amazing, Carlee! I am one of those people who just don't like nuts in my desserts, so I would leave the walnuts out (my mom calls me crazy!)! My mom and I make brown butter shortbread cookies during the holidays, and this recipe makes me think of those!

Carlee

Saturday 4th of June 2016

My husband doesn't like nuts at all, and to be honest I love them but prefer them separate from my desserts for the most part. Brown butter shortbread sounds absolutely amazing!