Cowgirl Cookies

November 5, 2008

If you are a frequent reader of food blogs, you will often see sentences along the lines of this…

“You have got to make this.”
“Stop what you are doing and make this.”

“It is imperative that you make this.”

“This is the best (fill in the blank) you will ever eat, so make this.”

I have to admit, the rebel in me immediately decides, no I’m not going to make this. Maybe I would have if you hadn’t insisted, but now that you did I won’t. So there.

Keeping the above sentiment in mind, I am going to try and not use any of the example sentences on my blog…after today. These cookies? I would very strongly suggest that you make them very soon. I realize they don’t look like much and truly the ingredients aren’t all that sexy, but somehow through the magic of baking, they turn out to be the most perfect mouthful of deliciousness. Oats, cashews, and butterscotch chips – certainly not what I would pick in my ideal cookie (there would be lots of chocolate in that one), but every single person I have made these for goes crazy over them.

I don’t know how these Cowgirl Cookies got their name, but they are from the most delightful cookbook. I have waxed poetic about Holly B’s Bakery before here and I just have to say again what a magical place that bakery is. It is tiny and perfect. You walk in and will, without a doubt, want to try everything. Not just try but “eat it all up like cookie monster”, as my older son is currently fond of saying. I have owned her cookbook for years and treasure it as much for the stories about her family and life on Lopez Island as I do for the amazing recipes.

On the ferry to Lopez last summer, I realized that we were parked right next to Holly as I was trying to wrestle my baby out of his car seat. She gazed at me with that wistful look of a mom of boys whose boys are grown.
“Your boys are beautiful,” she said, “I have three of my own.”

“Oh, I know,” I said. “I have read and re-read your cookbook from cover to cover.”

She seemed really happy about that.

Cowgirl Cookies
Adapted from
With Love and Butter
Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies

This recipe calls for raw cashews which are unsalted and unroasted. They can be a little hard to find (Whole Foods and natural food stores carry them). Because I didn’t have them this time, I just used the roasted, salted ones I had on hand and didn’t add any additional salt. I also chopped them into small pieces rather than leaving them in half.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

cup granulated sugar
2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups flour

tsp. baking soda
tsp. baking powder
tsp. salt
1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cups butterscotch chips
1 cup raw cashew halves

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees with the rack in the center position.

Cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together with an electric mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix, then add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Combine thoroughly. Stir in the oats, butterscotch chips, and cashews by hand.

Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop the dough onto the cookie sheets, 1 inch apart. Flatten each cookie slightly with your thumb. Bake 5 minutes, rotate the pan, and continue baking 4-5 minutes. The cookies are done when caramel-brown around the edges. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.


  1. Those sound so good. They slightly remind me of these “butterscotch haystacks” my mom and I used to make, I forgot totally that I liked butterscotch. I can’t wait to try these out! :)

    Comment by Miss Marie — November 6, 2008 @ 1:19 pm

  2. haha rebelling against the food bloggers! I will make these- I don’t know if it was your gentle prompt or the delicious description- but I really will make these!!

    Comment by Emily Rose — November 6, 2008 @ 2:40 pm

  3. These are so good, I almost didn’t give any to my husband. I did give him, just one. This is a Dana Treat that even I can (and will) make! Thank you!

    Comment by Seattle Mama Drama — November 7, 2008 @ 6:05 am

  4. Hi Dana,

    I stumbled upon your lovely blog somehow over the weekend and perused it off and on for a couple of days. I bookmarked half a dozen of your recipes, but had to try this one tonight. The first sheet is out of the oven and already half gone. They’re so tasty!

    Thanks for the great recipes and the inspiration to get to work in the kitchen.


    Comment by Steph — October 2, 2009 @ 3:04 am

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