Cowboy Cookies (Happy Birthday, Dad!)

When I was young my grandma would always make the best desserts ever any time we visited. One of my favorite cookies she made were these: Cowboy Cookies. I think she added nuts of some sort to her batches, and probably made them a bit larger than I did here, but I’m into experimenting and changing things to taste.

This batch was made for my dad. He is turning 45 today, and I know he enjoys these cookies as well. I opted to omit the coconut – I’m not sure he likes that in his cookies, and I generally do not. I also had some extra mini peanut butter cups on hand (found at Trader Joe’s – my favorite grocery store of all time), so I threw the rest of those in after letting them sit in the freezer for a half hour. This helps them to keep their shape while baking.

Near the end of my bowl of scooped cookie dough, I decided to add some coconut for my sister.  She’s a fan and I found some in the back of the cupboard, so why not? They end up tasting just as good as cookies without, in my opinion. So I suggest throwing in whatever you think might be good: Nuts, raisins, butterscotch chips, etc. These cookies are pretty versatile so have fun with them. Enjoy!

Cowboy Cookies (Recipe adapted from Food Network)

1 cup shortening (I used butter flavored)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans (I omitted)
1 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
1/2 cup mini peanut butter cups, frozen (or add an extra 1/2 cup of chocolate chips)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the shortening, granulated sugar, and brown sugar.

Add eggs and the vanilla and beat until well blended. Stir in the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder.

Add oats, chocolate chips, peanut cups (from freezer so they hold their shape during baking), and coconut and/or nuts (if using). Mix until combined.

Spoon cookie mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls onto greased foil-lined cookie sheet, keeping them about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for about 11-14 minutes. Cookies will not brown much on top, so be careful not to over-bake. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.

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