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cowboy cookies close up showing texture.

Cowboy Cookies with salted cereal brittle

  • Author: Joy the Baker
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 11-13 minnutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: about 2 dozen cookies 1x
  • Category: cookies, dessert
  • Method: baking


Former first lady Laura Bush’s famous recipe for cowboy cookies with a delicious twist: salted cereal brittle! These oatmeal cookies are also stacked cinnamon, chocolate chips and coconut.  Meet your new favorite cookie!



For the Brittle:

  • 1 (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup Cornflake cereal
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Flaky sea salt, for topping

For the Dough:

  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (120 grams) quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup (2 sticks, 113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 grams) lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 68 ounces large chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli Grand Chips), reserving a few for topping
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • Flaky sea salt, for topping


  1. Line two baking sheets, one small baking sheet and another larger baking sheet, with parchment paper. Spray the small pan very lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Set both pans aside.
  2. First we’ll make cereal brittle. Pour sugar into a medium skillet and place over medium-high heat. Cook, without stirring, until the sugar begins to liquify, about 4 minutes. Swirl the pan, stirring sparingly, until all of the sugar melts into a caramel. Continue to cook the sugar until it is a deep brown (just about the color of copper). Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the cereal and chopped pecans.
  3. Carefully and quickly pour the hot brittle onto the small prepared pan. Quickly use a spatula to spread it flat though don’t worry if you can’t get it as flat as you’d like before it cools. We’ll break up the brittle after it cools completely no matter what. Place the brittle in the freezer for 15 minutes or refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Now let’s make the cookie dough!
  4. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and oats. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl with electric hand beaters or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla extract on low speed.
  6. Add the dry ingredients all at once and beat on low speed until almost fully combined. Leave a few flour streaks in the dough and add chocolate chips and coconut flakes.
  7. Remove the brittle from it’s cooling place and use a kitchen mallet or the bottom of a small pan to break the bite-size chunks. Stir into the batter.
  8. Scoop the dough into wax paper or plastic wrap, a thick disk is fine, and refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour to allow the moisture to distribute through the dry ingredients and the butter to harden slightly. Alternately, you can portion the dough into 2 tablespoon cookie dough balls and refrigerate the balls on a parchment lined baking sheet. The dough can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or well wrapped in the freezer for 1 month.
  9. Thirty minutes before baking, place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Place 2 tablespoon dough balls on a parchment lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Press a few chocolate chips into each dough ball, and use the heel of your hand to gently press the dough into a thick disk and sprinkle with sea salt if you’re feeling it. Bake for 11-13 minutes until golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to rest on a baking sheet for 10 minutes to set before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. You’ll of course eat one as soon as they’re cool enough to handle. Store any cookies you don’t snack on or share in an airtight container at room temperature for as long as they last. They’re best within 5 days or so.

Keywords: cowboy cookies, oatmeal cookies, chocolate chip cookies, cookie recipe,