Cowboy Cookies

Cowboy Cookies

This weekend saw the 3rd Cookie Swap in Cape Town. It was also the first time that it was held at a national level with swaps held in Johannesburg and Durban. It was a wonderful afternoon of sampling, swapping cookies and getting a recipe or two. Most important was the charity portion of the afternoon where the aim was to raise funds for the Khayelitsha Cookie Company for much-needed equipment. With the fantastic help of generous sponsors like Dear Me, De Grendel Restaurant, Jorgensens Distillery, Random Struik, Majeka House, Diemersdal, NomuBos Ice TeaLavender and LimeCape Wine Academy and Real Concerts the fundraising goal was met, which is such a happy achievement!

No matter where you are, it is so easy to find someone in need and an event like this makes it so much easier to join forces with others and make a difference. That difference also has a ripple effect that goes far beyond just giving money, so a huge thank you to my friend Ishay (food and travel writer extraordinaire of and her team for putting it all together again this year. I will most certainly be at no 4!

This recipe crossed my path earlier in the week and I thought it would be a fun tongue-in-cheek addition to the cookie table at the swap. The recipe yields a lot of cookies and even though it is far too early to think of Christmas (except for some local retailers) they are a perfect holiday cookie to have on hand for family and friends. They are deliciously crunchy and chewy and I think adding a tablespoon or two of very strong coffee when adding the vanilla will add great flavour as well.

Cowboy Cookies


Cowboy Cookies

Cowboy Cookies

Cowboy Cookies and the SA National Cookie Swap 2013


  • Makes 100 medium-sized cookies
  • (Adapted from Laura Bush’s Texas Governor’s Mansion Cowboy Cookies)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 450g butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 250g chocolate chips (milk or dark)
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut medium
  • 2 cups chopped pecan nuts (toasting them before chopping will add more flavour)
  • Smarties to decorate (optional)


  1. Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds and preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Toast the coconut in a dry pan until it turns a pale golden brown. In a large bowl, sieve together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  3. Using a stand mixer and beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one, and then add the vanilla extract. Reduce mixer speed and add flour mixture gradually until just combined. Place the egg and flour mixture in a large bowl and add the chocolate chips, oats, coconut, and pecans, mixing until just combined.
  4. Drop a tablespoon of mixture for each cookie onto the baking sheets, spacing at least 2cm apart. Place a Smartie on top and bake for 8 minutes, then rotate sheets top to bottom and front to back. Bake for an additional 7 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Don’t over bake. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and transfer to rack to cool completely.
  5. Store in airtight containers at room temperature for up to a week. They freeze well and can be taken out a few minutes before serving.
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