Saturday, January 12, 2013

laura bush's cowboy cookies




Family Circle Magazine has been holding a cookie contest between presidential candidate's wives every four years since 1992, when Hillary Clinton and Barbara Bush first baked off!  Readers  of the magazine were asked to bake the entries, and vote for their favorite.  Only one contest winner did not go on to live in the White House.  In 2008, Cindy McCain's Oatmeal-Butterscotch cookies beat out Michelle Obama's Lemon and Orange Shortbread Cookies!






In the year 2000, Laura Bush's Texas Governor's Mansion Cowboy Cookies, the full name of this fabulous cookie, went up against Tipper Gore's Gingersnaps, and won by a landslide.  Mrs. Bush's cookies have become one of my absolute, most favorite cookies!  Although I'd like to claim this as my signature cookie for as many times as I've created them, that distinction obviously belongs to our former First Lady.

It's Chocolate Party time again!  Since I've been participating in Roxana's Home Baking's monthly Chocolate Party, the lovely ingredient chocolate has been paired with pumpkin, cranberry, peppermint, and January's pairing...ta-dah...coconut!  I was thrilled with January's choice, since besides loving coconut, I knew instantly I was going to create Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies.






This colossal cookie, is bursting with lots of merging, textural flavors from chocolate, coconut, oats, and pecans...claiming a crispy outside and delicious, chewy inside.  Recipe requests follow every time I bake them. They are incredible warm, cooled, or right out of the freezer, which is the way I usually eat them to pace myself! :)

My next post is a low calorie, low fat, scrumptious, savory dish...which I think you'll be happy to receive after gobbling down these cowboy cookies.

Until next time...mangia!  xox

Carol





Laura Bush Texas Governor's Mansion Cowboy Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen large cookies (see Carol's notes)

Ingredients:

3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature (I use unsalted)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I use dark chocolate chips)
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
2 cups chopped pecans  (I use pecans or walnuts depending on what I have on hand)

Create the Cookies:

Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

Using a stand mixer on medium speed, beat butter until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.  Gradually add sugars and beat to combine, about 2 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each one, and then add the vanilla extract.  Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture gradually until just combined.  Add the chocolate chips, oats, coconut, and pecans, mixing until just combined.

Drop 1/4 cup of dough (I use a 1/4 cup ice cream/cookie scoop) onto the baking sheets for each cookie, spacing 3 inches apart.  Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, then rotate sheets top to bottom and front to back.  Bake for an additional 8 to 9 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Don't overbake.  Let cookies cool on baking sheet for about 3 - 4 minutes, then transfer to rack to cool completely.

Store in airtight containers at room temperature for up to a week, or may be frozen.

Carol's notes:
I find that the entire recipe is way too much to work with.  You will need a 7 quart stand mixer.  I have a large 6 quart professional Kitchenaid stand mixer, and the dough and I always struggle with each other coming over the top. :)  I prefer to make half the recipe, and make it again if I want more (which you may, once you taste them!)  I also work with only one cookie sheet at a time in the center of the oven, and turn it around halfway through, having the 2nd sheet ready to go in once the first one is complete.  Just my preference.

Although I've never made a smaller size, if desired, you can make smaller cookies using a rounded tablespoon of dough, and adjust cooking time accordingly, about 10 - 12 minutes total.  This will yield a huge bunch of cookies using the full recipe (about 6 dozen)!!! :)

Recipe adapted from Family Circle Magazine.



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44 comments:

  1. I have this recipe and you are correct when saying it makes too many for a small family. I chose to make one-half recipe, as well.
    But I also like the idea of putting in coconut this time around. Unique, yet tasty. They are perfect around the holidays for gift-giving. Keep up the good work. Your blog is perfection at its best.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Lady1932, and for your kind comment!

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  2. After so much publicity I have to try them! They do sound incredible. Have a great weekend Carol!

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    1. Hi Paula! You definitely will have to...you won't be sorry! You have a great weekend as well, Paula! Thanks so much for stopping by for a visit!!!

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  3. I've made these cookies before and they are incredible! So perfect for the Chocolate Party, they definitely live up to their reputation!

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    1. They sure do - thank you, Laura! Thanks for visiting, and have a great weekend!!!

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  4. I have everything to make these RIGHT NOW, but am holding off since tomorrow is my birthday, and I'm going to have a whole cake to get through! My boys are going to love these cookies. Love the idea of using dark chocolate too, especially with the coconut. I just love that combination. So glad I found your blog. :)

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    1. Happy Birthday, Tracy!!! I'm so happy you found my blog too! Please let me know how your boys like the cookies after you have a chance to make them! ...and enjoy your cake tomorrow! xox

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    2. Happy Feast of St. Joseph Carol! My husband is bringing home Zeppole for the grown-ups, but I made these for my kids today and they LOVED them! I made them smaller, and had enough to give to my neighbor who also LOVED them!

      My boys said thanks Miss Carol!

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    3. You make me smile, Tracy!!! I'm so happy your boys enjoyed the cookies...that's always a good test! ;} Tell them Miss Carol said thank you very much! ...and Happy Feast of St. Joseph to you too! Oh, what memories you just brought back to me. My grandmother made THE BEST ZEPPOLE! Adore it! I must make it for the blog! Thank you for making my day, Tracy! xox

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  5. I've enjoyed looking at all your blog posts! Wonderful blog.

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    1. Thank you so much, Gale! Coming from a professional photographer and blogger yourself, I am truly honored. Thanks for visiting A Cup Of Mascarpone!!! Please stop by again...

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  6. What an interesting bit of trivia! I never knew about the cookie competition. Looking at the recipe and your pictures, I can imagine these are amazing.

    Nazneen

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    1. Hi Nazneen! They truly are amazing...hope you have an opportunity to try them sometime! Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave your sweet comment!

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  7. What a fun recipe. Thanks for sharing the story, Carol!

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting acom, Cassie! My pleasure to share. Have a great weekend!!!

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  8. I've never tried this recipe -will have to bake a batch, it is a huge recipe!!!
    Your photos are lovely;-)

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    1. Hi Patty! Thanks so much for the compliment on the photos. I tried to give them a little cowboy flair! :) It is a huge recipe, but very easily cut in half, which I usually do. Have a great weekend!

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  9. Just took the last tray of cookies from the oven. They came out perfect. Took your suggestion & made half the batch. Thanks for sharing & giving the helpful tips! If I get time I will post a picture.

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    1. Fran, you're incredible! I'm dying to see your picture on fb!!! Are they delicious, or what? xox

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    2. I am so glad that I saw your post on Sataurday. I had all the ingredients on hand so I baked them up & took them as a hostess gift to a dinner party. The size makes for an awesome presentation! Since I am not the chocolate lover that most people are I am going to make them minus the chocolate for my next oatmeal cookie. The coconut & pecans are such a wonderful combination! Love your recipes Carol...

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    3. Thanks so much, Fran! Loved your photo and presentation on FB! xox

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  10. I Love coconut!! (And cookies, of course!) These look amazing!

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    1. Thanks so much, Val! The coconut in these give them their great texture and chewy middle! Hope you're enjoying your weekend!

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  11. I've always wanted to bake these! Love the combo of oats AND coconut...double yum!

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    1. You really should give them a try sometime...they are incredible. Laura Bush knew what she was doing when she came up with these cookies! :) Hope you had a great weekend, Liz!

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  12. How many eggs do you use when you half the recipe? Can you post the measurements for halving it? Thanks

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    1. Good morning, Anon...great question! There may be other methods, but what I do for 1 1/2 eggs is add the 1 egg, and then hand whisk the other one in a small separate bowl - and use half of the whisked amount, and save the other half for another purpose, like an omelette. I eyeball the half measurement, but if you'd like you can measure how many tablespoons are in the whisked egg, usually around 3 tbls, and use 1 1/2 tbls. Hope this helps! Enjoy the cookies!!!

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Ronja!!!

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  14. I just baked these and they are delicious! I used a half recipe and used a tablespoon sized scoop; baked them for ~10 minutes. They're great!

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    1. Hi College Cook! Thank you so much for stopping by to let me know about your great results! So happy you enjoyed them! Have a great week...study hard! :)

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  15. These are some seriously gorgeous cookies. I adore the name too! How fun!

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    1. Thank you so much, Jocelyn!! I agree, the name is perfect for the cookies!!! Enjoy your day!!

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  16. Wow, Carol....I think I would have voted for these cookies, too! They are just packed with everything I love...especially coconut. But as beautiful as these cookies are...I have to tell you....that I LOVE LOVE LOVE your photography and food styling. Beautiful! : )

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    1. Hi Anne! Thank you so much for your kind comment!! I tried to give the cookies a cowboy, roundup type styling! It makes my day that you liked the photos!! :)

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  17. These are AMAZING!!!! I definitely had to lessen the cooking time to 6 mins top rack / 5-6 mins bottom rack. The first batch came out a little crispy but perfect for dunking! :) :) Love them!

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    1. Hi! Thanks so much for stopping by to let me know how much you enjoyed them!!! Have a great day!!!

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  18. I love coconut cookies! :) I write down your recipe :) xx :)

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    1. Hi! Thank you very much for stopping by! I hope you enjoy the recipe!!!

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  19. I've heard of Laura Bush's cookie and how delicious it is. Yours look perfect and I love the photography - absolutely gorgeous! I'm definitely going to try this recipe.

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    1. Good morning, Nancy! So happy you stopped by! Thank you so much for your kind words! These cookies are fantastic and definitely worth trying...in my humble opinion! :)

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  20. I don't think I've heard of these cookies but would love to see the first ladies bake cookies and then do some taste-testing
    Your cookies turned out amazing, the photos and the styling are simply stunning. Thanks for bringing them to this month chocolate party

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    1. Hi Roxana! Thank you so much for your kind words. You will definitely have to give them a try sometime! Have a great week!!!

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Hi! Thank you so much for stopping by a cup of mascarpone, and taking the time to leave a comment! I read, smile, and cherish each and every one of them! xox

Carol