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  • Mary Kay

Cowboy Cast Iron Skillet Cookie on a Chuck Wagon

How about baking Mom’s popular Cowboy Cookies into a skillet cake and adorning it with Snickers Candy Bars? These were two of Mom’s favorite sweet treats and I’m sure she would love this combination…made in one of her little 6” cast iron skillets. It’s a recipe that’s been around forever…

How many of you have watched those old western movies full of tired, dusty cowboys gathered around the campfire after a long day of driving cattle along the range. The cook with the chuck wagon was seen as an important of the drive, especially with all the “vittles” he provided for the crews. This Cowboy Skillet Cookie might even have been something they would have cooked in their heavy cast iron skillets. It would have been easier to make them in a big skillet than as individual cookies. Who knows. Anyway, I’ve taken Mom’s Cowboy Cookie recipe and turned it into small skillet cookies today, topped with Snickers Candy Bars.


Even so, these cookies have been around for decades…at least 70 years or more in our extended family. Mom used to make them and pack them into “care packages” for us when we grew up and moved out of the house. She always had extras on hand in case we happened to stop by, and of course, she’d send a box of her treats home with us.


Mom shared this recipe with everybody since they were so popular. Pam, a close friend of my sister’s, still makes them quite often for her kids and grandchildren. In fact, I had to ask Pam for Mom’s recipe just to make sure I had the correct one. 

As an adult I always felt like I hit the jackpot when I stopped at Mom’s house and could smell fresh cookies from outside on the porch. Sure enough, she’d be in the kitchen baking, with cookies stacked up all over the dining room tables, divvied up, ready to be boxed up and sent off to one of the kids, grandkids or other relatives and friends.


What a wonderful testament to bringing people together through homemade cookies – Mom baking cookies and sharing them and her recipes with anyone who asked. 

This recipe makes 3-4 six inch cast iron skillet cookies, depending on how thick you want the dough:


Preheat your oven to 350F degrees.


Prepare your cast iron skillets:

Cut circles from parchment paper to line the bottom of each cast iron skillet. As you cut the circles, include 3-4 wings on two opposing sides. The wings will be a handy way to lift the big cookies out of the skillets after they’ve cooled. 

Gather up the Ingredients:

¾ Pound Butter (3 sticks), softened

1 ½ C Sugar

1 ½ C Brown sugar

3 Eggs

1 T Vanilla extract

3 C Flour

1 T Baking powder

1 T Soda

1 T Cinnamon, ground

1 t Salt

3 C Oats, quick or old fashioned

3 C Chocolate chips

2 C Coconut, flaked

2 C Nuts, rough chopped



2 Snickers Candy Bars, large

20 Chocolate candy wafers, melted


Make and bake:

-With a large electric stand mixer, cream the softened butter and eggs until well combined. I use my 5.5 quart stand mixer for this big job. (If you want to substitute half of the butter for the same amount of white shortening, go ahead. It will give a little more body to the large cookie.)

-Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the side of the bowl after each egg.

-Stir in the vanilla extract.

-Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon and salt. Start beating on low and slowly increase the speed until combined.

-Slowly beat in the oats, chocolate chips, coconut and nuts just until combined and well distributed. Don’t overmix.

-Divide the dough into 3-4 portions and press each portion into one 6” prepared cast iron skillet.

-Bake at 350F degrees for 15-18 minutes. I usually check the cookies at the 10-minute mark in order to rotate my skillets.

-Take the skillet cookies out of the oven and allow them to stay on the pans for 15 minutes so they can continue to bake on the inside, before transferring them to cooling racks.

-Lift the cookies by the side wings to set them on a platter. 


-While the skillet cookies are still warm, melt the chocolate candy wafers and spread a portion of it in the middle of the cookie.

-Sprinkle the chopped-up Snickers Candy Bars on top so they stick in the chocolate.

-With a fork, drizzle the rest of the melted candy wafers back and forth over the top of all.



Optional ingredients:

-Here are some other items Mom used to include in her cookies, depending on what she had in the cupboard. She was never afraid to try new additions in her cookies. And, of course, we always gobbled them down. If you do add any of these, delete portions of the chocolate chips, coconut, and nuts so you don’t have so much “stuff” that the cookies don’t hold together. For instance, if you add a half cup of potato chips, then cut back a half cup of coconut.

-Potato chips, rough crushed

-Pretzels, rough chopped

-Crispy cereal

-Marshmallows, mini 

Cowboy Skillet Cookies…I’m not sure who first “invented” Cowboy Cookies, but they sure are delicious, with many wonderful memories. However you want to remember these fun-filled cookies, make some friends with them and, “Bake your own Memories!”

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