Easy Cowboy Cookie Bars

This quick and delicious chocolate and oatmeal bar cookie is known as Cowboy Cookie Bars. My husband grew up with these and our family now enjoys them regularly!

Warm cowboy cookie bar on a white plate on a red and white plaid napkin with the full sheet pan of cookies in the background.

Cowboy Cookie Bars Recipe

My husband grew up in a big family and his mom often made this bar cookie recipe.  After he made it for our family I can see why – these are the best bar cookies I’ve eaten!  He doubled the amount of chocolate that his mom had listed, which probably didn’t hurt the taste one bit!

Through experimenting with the recipe, we definitely learned that a 15″ pan is key to success!  We have a 15″ jelly roll pan like this that works perfectly. We also love to serve along with these easy 4 Ingredient Cake Mix Cookie Bars in a 9 x 13″ pan.

I wondered why these are called Cowboy Cookies.  Then I thought about the corny cowboy movies my dad watches where the cowboy with the quickest draw won.  Well, this is one of the quickest batches of cookies I’ve ever made.  

Spatula lifting an oatmeal and chocolate filled cowboy cookie bar above the pan full on a red and white napkin.

This easy Cowboy Bar Cookie recipe makes a lot of chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies in a hurry and they taste amazing! For individual cookies try my mom’s Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies or our Chocolate Chip Treasure Cookies.

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My husband’s family legend is that cowboys didn’t have time to make individual cookies so they always make bar cookies. 

Close up of a side view of a cowboy cookie bar showing lots of chocolate chips and oatmeal in a silver pan on a red and white napkin.

This big batch would also feed a big group of cowboys or farmers in a hurry!

Ingredients Needed

  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Oats – quick, rolled or old-fashioned Quaker oats work fine, but we typically use quick oats
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
Ingredients needed to make cowboy cookie bars are chocolate chips, sugar, flour, brown sugar, quick oats, butter, eggs and vanilla on a wooden counter top.

How to Make Cowboy Cookie Bars

Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly coat a 15″ jelly roll pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Add softened butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar to a medium mixing bowl.

Stick of butter in a silver bowl with granulated sugar and brown sugar.

Mix together.

Butter and eggs beaten into cookie dough in a silver bowl.

In a small mixing bowl use a fork or sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

All-purpose flour poured into a butter, brown sugar and egg mixture in a mixing bowl.

Stir together, but don’t over mix.

Then add oats and stir gently.

Quick oats stirred into cookie dough in a silver mixing bowl.

Fold in chocolate chips.

Red spatula stirring chocolate chips into cookie batter with oatmeal in a silver bowl.

Press into a 15″ jelly roll pan with your fingers. Make the layer as even as possible.

Oatmeal and chocolate chip cookie batter pressed into a jelly roll pan on a brown counter top.

Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until the cookies lightly begin to brown.

The cookies are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • Make sure butter is softened and at room temperature so that it mixes well
  • The recipe calls for 1/2 bag of chocolate chips, but we typically use a full bag
  • Make sure and use the correct size pan
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the cookies comes out clean
Golden brown top of cowboy cookie bars dessert in a sheet pan on a red and white napkin.

More Family Favorite Cookie Recipes

We hope you enjoy all of these cookie recipes as much as we do!

Bar cookie missing from a pan of chocolate chips and oatmeal cowboy cookie bars showing an easy chocolate chip filled bar cookie.

Easy Cowboy Cookie Bars

Servings 16 cookies
Author: Jennifer
This quick and delicious chocolate and oatmeal bar cookie recipe is a family favorite known as Cowboy Cookie Bars.
4.25 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 6 – 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease 15" jelly roll pan.  Cream sugars and butter.  Add egg and vanilla.
  • Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Slowly add to other ingredients and mix well.  
  • Add oats and mix.
  • Fold in chocolate chips.  We use a full bag, but 1/2 a bag would still taste great.  Spread in jelly roll pan and bake for 10 – 15 minutes until lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean.

Notes

  • Make sure butter is softened and at room temperature so that it mixes well
  • The recipe calls for 1/2 bag of chocolate chips, but we typically use a full bag
  • Make sure and use the correct size baking pan
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the cookies comes out clean

Nutrition

Calories: 368kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 4gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 246mgPotassium: 156mgFiber: 2gSugar: 30gVitamin A: 390IUCalcium: 38mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

Tried this recipe?Mention @PlowingThroughLife or tag #PlowingThroughLife!

Originally shared October 12, 2018 with updates made on November 7, 2023.

Collage of chocolate chip and oatmeal Cowboy Cookie Bars with lots of chocolate chips

13 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    Quick and tasty treat for the family!

    1. The quickest way to enjoy them! Thanks for stopping by & please let us know what you think 🙂

  2. Is it just me or what?. I had to call in for a jack hammer to be able to mix this and « spread ». I was lucky they were rolling asphalt on my street so they helped me with the spreading…. ouffff . In the oven now…. will see…. The mixture is SO DRY… is it normal????

    1. We were so concerned by your experience we immediately made another batch. We use softened butter, cold butter might affect the moisture, but ours turned out great. This is truly a family favorite! I hope you were able to enjoy your cookies!

  3. 4 stars
    I lined my pan with parchment paper (easy clean up). I opted for the smaller quantity of chips and now I’ll be having guilt free cookies for breakfast! Bake time for me was 20 minutes. I’ll definitely be making these again and I’m already thinking about add-ins: cinnamon, coconut, nuts, wheat germ, maybe craisins…. My husband gave them a thumbs up@

    1. So glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for sharing how you’ll change up the recipe in the future!

    2. Waiting for hurricane Dorian to turn and needed to keep busy. I reduced the flour to 1 1/2 cups and added 1/2 cup flaked coconut, 1/4 cup pecan pieces, 1/4 cup craisins, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. I made the mistake of breaking off a piece while still warm. Delicious!!!

  4. 5 stars
    If you use mini chips you get better bang for your buck for the spread of the chocolate thru out the bars

    1. Love this idea! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I can’t wait to try these, but am wondering what kind of oats to use….minute or old fashioned? Thank you so much!

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Great question! Quick oats work best. The key to making these cookies is – do not overbake. Hope you enjoy 🙂

  6. 4 stars
    I only had a big cookie sheet so it took 20 minutes. I did add Walnuts to this recipe. They are delicious and taste just like our family favorite cowboy cookie recipe. I definitely will make this again.

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