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Recipe of the Month – Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies

My mom made these cookies recently for a church event. She said everyone wanted the recipe.

This recipe comes from the 2000 Family Circle magazine’s Presidential Cookie Bake-Off. You see, every year since 1992, the magazine has done a bake off between the two potential first ladies with the public voting for their favorite. In 2000, Laura Bush submitted her Cowboy Cookies which beat out Tipper Gore’s Ginger Snaps. In fact, out of all the cookies in the history of the contest, Mrs. Bush’s have circulated the most.

This recipe only produces 36 cookies but they are huge. (Everything is bigger in Texas, right?) Enjoy!


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, room temperature

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar

3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

2 cups sweetened flake coconut

2 cups chopped pecans


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

In an 8-quart bowl, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add sugars and beat to combine, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each one, and the vanilla extract. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture gradually until just combined. Add the chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans, mixing until just combined.

For large cookies, drop a hefty 1/4 cup of dough onto the baking sheets for each cookie, spacing 3 inches apart. Bake 17 to 19 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Rotate cookies sheets halfway through cooking. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to rack to cool completely.

For smaller cookies, use 2 tablespoons dough per cookie and bake for 15 to 18 minutes total, rotating the baking sheets midway through. Store in airtight containers at room temperature for several days.

Makes 36 large cookies.

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