One of my great passions is cooking. I just love to be in my kitchen whipping up something yummy, and my family has come to eagerly anticipate the results as well, when they see me start loading up my big red Kitchen Aid mixer with such simple things as flour, sugar, baking powder, and eggs and “tah-dah!”…soon something yummy comes out of the oven, piping hot and inviting little fingers to touch…how many times have I had to say “It has to cool down first!”???
Today I’d like to share with you my recipe for Cowboy Cookies…okay, I’ll give credit where credit is due, it’s my mother’s recipe. Anyway, I have a habit of bringing these cookies to church gatherings…I have a few friends who have gotten hooked on them. One of these friends in particular gets a bit testy if I don’t show up with these cookies, and one night when I waltzed in with a salad instead of her favorite tasty treat, she strangled me. I’m serious, she put her hands around my neck and squeezed! No, of course she didn’t hurt me, that’s silly (and Patty, if you’re ever reading this, I love you and I thought it was hilarious!), but I thought it quite a compliment to these fabulous cookies. My mom and I have debated over renaming them, something girlier (like “Cowgirl Cookies”…yeah, we’re that creative) because of the yummy chocolate and cherries.
3 sticks butter, just barely softened
2 cups white sugar
2 cups brown sugar (Okay, stop here. I use 3 1/2 cups total evaporated cane juice instead of the mixture of white and brown sugars.)
4 eggs (I recommend whatever the biggest size available to you is, for moisture reasons that I will elaborate on down below.)
1 T. vanilla (opt.)
4 c. flour
4 c. oats (old fashioned or quick, whatever you’ve got)
1 t. salt
2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 c. coconut ( I very highly recommend “Let’s Do Organic” brand, it’s got a great texture and isn’t really any more expensive than my grocery store’s brand)
3/4 c. chopped pecans (you can use walnuts if you like ’em better…just don’t use stale nuts!)
12 oz. package chocolate chips (oh, sure you could use less…but do you really want to?)
Dried cherries (I use about half of a small package, about 1/2 cup, but I have been known to load some extra in for special occasions. If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, they have a wonderful price on these)
Cream butter and sugar, but don’t overmix. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well but again, do not overmix. Now, this is the part where I tell you to combine the dry ingredients except chocolate and cherries in a bowl, but the truth is that I dump all that stuff into my big mixer and keep on going…just so you know. Then I add the chocolate and cherries, but even in the 6 qt. Kitchen Aid I have to keep the dough from flying out of the bowl by with my hands. If you don’t have a large size mixer, I think you can successfully cut the recipe in half. If you try it, let me know! Bake these on ungreased cookie sheets at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (do not overbake, take out at the very first hint of browning, even if you think they look a little underdone.) If, like me, you do two cookie sheets at a time, put the timer on for 7 minutes, and then switch oven racks and bake for an additional 6 minutes. I like to use a cookie scoop to get evenly sized cookies…you can also drop them on with a tablespoon. Just a bit of a warning…my mixer seized up on me a couple of weeks ago while making this recipe…I realized the dough was a little dry, and it’s so heavy to begin with, so if your mixer seems to be struggling with the dough, just proceed cautiously at the lowest speed, do not add too much flour, and moisten it up a little with milk if need be, just a tablespoon at a time. You shouldn’t need the milk, though, I have never had a problem before, and I likely wasn’t thinking and added an extra cup of flour or some such oversight.
If you like plain oatmeal cookies, you can leave out the chocolate and cherries…my son has to eat them this way, because he’s on the Feingold Diet (no, I can’t go into it right now, you’ll have to wait for another day), and he just loves them!
Beware, baking up a batch of these delicious cookies could be dangerous!!!
ps…all you Coffee Tea Books & Me fans out there…yes, she has it on her recipe blog!