Back to school week might be exciting, but it can also be stressful. Enter Signature Mainstay Cowboy cookies. Originally developed after an especially stressful day, while nursing a killer headache, I am certain these cookies have a special medicinal quality.
This recipe was the result of ravaging my pantry in a stress-based sweet-tooth craving. I scavenged around the kitchen, finding the remains of a bag of chocolate chips and my husband’s hidden stash of Reese’s Pieces. Those immediately gave me the idea for Cowboy Cookies.
A quick Google search gave me a recipe to use as a base. It suggested pecans and old-fashioned oats, which I had in my pantry, as well. I made some personal changes, primarily because I was too impatient to wait for the dough to chill. And yet, they turned out superbly!
I’ve continued to play with the recipe over the years, eventually adding in shredded coconut, as well. This recipe is the current iteration. They’re a great balance of chewy in the middle and crunchy on the outside. They’re rich and buttery, combining the sweetness of the candies with the crunch of the pecans and texture of the oats.
These are more than just my favorite cookies. They’re the cookies I make whenever someone is moving, having a baby, or celebrating a birthday. Everyone asks me to bring these cookies to parties and get-togethers. If plans get cancelled due to inclement weather, I curl up with a good book and a fresh batch of these cookies. Since the dough freezes beautifully, my freezer is stocked with premade frozen portions to pop into the oven, and my pantry is always – ALWAYS – stocked to be able to make these at any moment. They’re soothing after a hard day, boosting after a long day, and celebratory after a victorious day.
These are, in every aspect, Mainstay’s Signature Cookie. You’ve GOT to try them!
Mainstay Signature Cowboy Cookies
(Original recipe: The Food Charlatan)
1 C (8 oz) butter, room temperature
3/4 C granulated super-fine baker’s white sugar
3/4 C light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 C all-purpose flour, leveled
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 C old fashioned oats
3/4 C pecans, roughly chopped
3/4 C shredded coconut
1 C Reese’s Pieces
1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter until it is light and fluffy. Add both sugars and beat well, scraping sides and bottom. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well.
In a separate mixing bowl, sift flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients by hand slowly, and stop just before it’s fully incorporated. Add the oats, pecans, coconut, Reese’s Pieces, and chocolate chips to the bowl. Fold in gently. Don’t over mix, it will make your dough tough.
Place large spoonfuls (approx 1/4 cup) on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Leave at least a couple inches in between each ball of dough. Bake at 350F for 17-23 minutes, or until the cookies are golden on the edges and they are not too shiny in the middle. (A little shine is okay.) Be careful not to overbake or they will become dry.