Butterless Cowboy Cookies

cowboy cookies with olive oil | dailywaffle

While I’ve been waiting for stone fruit to really come in full force, I’ve been baking cookies. It started with some gluten-free peanut butter oat cookies from this month’s mailer from PCC, our local market. Then, the Spice Cookies from Jerusalem. Now, Cowboy Cookies…oats, pecans, chocolate chips, a little coconut. This time, with olive oil instead of butter.  There are worse ways to pass the time.

In making some changes to my diet, there isn’t a lot of room for passive butter.  I’d rather save it for butter-critical foods, like biscuits.  The thing is, I still want to eat cookies.  The good news is butter isn’t critical here. Olive oil works just fine.  And because this recipe uses part whole wheat pastry flour, you can replace it 1:1. So which olive oil to use? Choose something light and fruity, it doesn’t need to be expensive, but it should be quality. I used California Olive Ranch’s Arbequina.

Adapted from Lisa’s recipe on Homesick Texan (which was adapted from Saveur), I’ve also added a little coconut and cut back the chocolate chips just a bit.  These are a new favorite.

cowboy cookies with CA olive oil | dailywaffle


Cowboy Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert, Snack
Serves: 12 cookies
  • Cowboy cookies, adapted from Saveur
  • Ingredients:
  • 6 T. olive oil
  • 6 T. sugar
  • 6 T. brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3⁄4 cup rolled oats
  • 1⁄2 c. pecans, chopped
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and oats.
  3. In a large bowl, combine olive oil and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in pecans, chocolate chips and coconut.
  4. Using a small cookie scoop (about 1½ T), arrange cookies on baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 14-17 minutes, cookies will be slightly soft in the center.
  5. Let cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.


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  1. Carol says:

    The narrative says to use whole wheat pastry flour while the recipe calls for whole wheat flour. Does it make a difference?

    • Michelle says:

      Hi Carol – Thanks for catching that. It should be whole wheat pastry flour (at least for my version), though in this small an amount, just a 1/4 c., I don’t think it’ll make that much difference. Thanks for stopping by!

        • Carol says:

          I think the pastry flour must make a difference. When I made these cookies with regular whole wheat flour they spread out terribly as they cooked and didn’t look anything like your photo.

          • Michelle says:

            Hmm, sorry to hear that. I’m scratching my head, I don’t think it should make *that* much difference. I’ve made Homesick Texan’s original recipe with butter as well, so maybe give it a shot, too, if you’re ok w/ dairy.

  2. Hannah says:

    Beautiful cookies, Michelle! I love the combo of oats, coconut, chocolate chips and pecans – all good things and so good together. I’ve baked a few times with olive oil and really like it. Great idea to use it in cookies!

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