Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies

Every year since 1992, Family Circle magazine has held an event that is similar to a presidential bake-off, but it’s in print. Every time there is an election, the two women who want to be first ladies send in their best cookie recipe, and fans choose the best one. (And with only a few exceptions, this cookie bake-off usually picks the winner of the real election!) This is the recipe that Laura Bush sent in for her Texas Governor’s Mansion Cowboy Cookies in 2000.

Tipper Gore sent in her Ginger Snaps. The winner was Laura’s Cowboy Cookies, which have since become Family Circle’s most popular presidential cookie recipe. It’s simple to understand why. You should try these cookies. They taste like chocolate chip cookies, but they have a lot more texture and flavor because they have a few other things added to them. As most things in Texas are, they’re pretty big, and I promise that every time you give them out, someone will ask you for the recipe.

Since I’ve been making them for years, I know that almost everyone loves them. I once made them so that my mother-in-law could bring them to an event. When she got there, she put them on the dessert table. She said that during the speaker’s talk, so many people sneaked to the back of the room to grab one that there were none left for the reception. (And this dish makes 30.)

At first, the recipe just calls for chocolate chips. Then, shredded coconut, rolled oats, chopped nuts, and cinnamon are added. Ten cups of extras need to be mixed into the dough, so you’ll need the biggest bowl and strong arms. Even though the dough is thick, the cookies that come out of it have a taste and texture that can’t be beat. These cookies are BIG, as we already said.

They’re put three inches apart and scooped out in quarter-cup portions, but as they bake, they spread out into a cookie with crisp edges and a soft middle full of extras. They are extras, but they never feel extra. Instead, they make one amazing cookie by blending together in a delicious way.

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