Hearty ingredients take a toll on texture. Could we soften this tough cookie?
Why This Recipe Works
Cowboy cookies—full of rolled oats, chocolate chips, toasted nuts, and flakes of coconut—have little to do with 10-gallon hats or gunfights at high noon. Instead they are a product of 1950s nostalgia for the American cowboy; recipes fondly call them hearty enough for the Western frontier. Since the dry oats and coconut absorbed moisture in the dough, making it tough, we added one egg plus one yolk and melted the butter (instead of creaming it with the sugar) to keep the dough moist and to give the cookies appealing chew. Deliberately underbaking the cookies (allowing for a bit of carryover cooking once they were out of the oven) gave us the ideal soft interiors and crisp exteriors. Staggering ¼-cup portions of dough on the cookie sheets created a rustic appearance and left enough room for them to spread to the proper large “cowboy” size.