You don't have to be a cowboy or cowgirl to love these cookies. There are so many textures, flavours, and elements in every bite and it all somehow works. They're like an Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie with the addition of shredded coconut. Throw in some pecans and dates and you've got yourself a mouthful. The pecans add a firmer crunch while the dates add a subtle sweetness. The crunchiness plays off the chewiness from the oats and coconut beautifully. Almost everything but the kitchen sink is in them and it's the type of recipe that it's easy to make substitutions based on the add-ins used.

So why are they called Cowboy cookies? They are so full of energy, after eating a few you'll be ready to put in more than a few hours of work on the ranch!

This scrumptious recipe comes courtesy of the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo's official cook book!

YIELD: about 2 dozen medium cookies
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
COOK TIME: 8 to 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 49 minutes
CALORIES: Who is counting?

2 large eggs
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
s cups old-fashioned whole-rolled oats (not quick-cook or instant)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 package (6 oz)  semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped (walnuts or raisins may be substituted)
1- 1/2 cup of dates (or raisins, cranberries)

To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer) add the egg, butter, sugars, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and well combined, about 4 minutes. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the chocolate chips, coconut, pecans, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
Using a large cookie scoop, 1/4-cup measure, or your hands, form approximately 24 equal-sized mounds of dough. Tip - Strategically place a few chocolate chips on top of each mound of dough by taking chips from the underside and adding them on top.
Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet or spray with cooking spray. Place dough mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet) and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the centre; don't over bake. Cookies firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before serving. I let them cool on the baking sheet and don't use a rack.
Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.