Texas Governor’s Mansion Cookies – with a twist

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When my family lived in Austin many years ago, I discovered a recipe in the Austin-American Statesman (Austin’s local newspaper) for Laura Bush’s Texas Governor’s Mansion Cookies. The story behind the recipe is that in 2000, Family Circle Magazine held a cookie cook-off between the two Presidential Candidate’s wives, Laura Bush and Tipper Gore. Laura Bush’s Texas Governor’s Mansion Cookies faced off against Tipper Gore’s Ginger Snaps and guess what, Laura Bush’s cookies won. Seriously not a surprise to me considering all the wonderful ingredients in these gigantic cookies.

Texas Governors Mansion Cookies from ZagLeft main b

Mrs. Bush’s Texas Governor’s Mansion Cookies are incredibly moist. In every bite, you’ll find a delightful taste of rich, creamy chocolate, crunchy nuts and sweet, subtle flakes of coconut. They’re perfectly crisp on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. The perfect cookie in my book.

Texas Governors Mansion Cookies from ZagLeft aMoving from Louisiana to Texas, I wanted to bake something that I could send back home to family and friends. I wanted to make something that would give them a little taste of Texas and these cookies have become my signature dessert.

Texas Governors Mansion Cookies from ZagLeft cI make these Texas sized cookies all the time for parties and they’re always a huge hit. They pack well so I often send them off to my college kids in their (almost) monthly care packages and I try to make them often, although not as often as my family would like just to keep in our cookie jar.

In the original recipe, also referred to as Cowboy Cookies, these delicious treats combine semisweet chocolate chips, old fashioned rolled oats, chopped pecans and coconut flakes. In my opinion, a great combination. And might I suggest, if someone in your family doesn’t like coconut flakes, consider adding it anyway. I have two kids who are not particularly fond of coconut but both agree that they love the flavor it brings to the cookies. The coconut taste is subtle yet it adds a wonderful flavor.

The recipe is easily adaptable to what’s in your pantry. Mix up the nuts or use a different chocolate. Maybe semi sweet chocolate and hazelnuts or milk chocolate and peanuts. Experiment and have fun. I’ve made all variations and hands down, these cookies are the best. In the most recent version, I made them with dark chocolate, walnuts and coconut.  HUGE HIT!

Texas Governors Mansion Cookies from ZagLeft dPlease understand that these cookies are gigantic. When I make them, I make some of the cookies “Texas-sized”  and make the rest smaller by spooning less cookie dough onto the baking sheet. Just make sure you don’t bake the smaller cookies in the oven for as long as you bake the bigger ones because the smaller cookies will cook faster. If baking smaller cookies, I’d recommend decreasing the baking time to 8-10 minutes.

Texas Governor's Mansion Cookies from Zagleft

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Texas Governor’s Mansion Cookies...with a twist

This recipe for Texas Governor's Mansion Cookies combines rich, creamy chocolate, crunchy walnuts and sweet yet subtle coconut flakes. A variation of the original, this Texas sized cowboy cookie is sure to please.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 3 dozen cookies
Author: Joanie Zisk


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups butter at room temperature, 3 sticks
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups sweetened flake coconut
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  • In a very large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Slowly beat in the sugars and combine thoroughly.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  • Beat in the vanilla.
  • Stir the flour mixture until combined.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips, oats, coconut and walnuts.
  • For each cookie, drop 1/4 cup dough onto lined cookie sheets, spacing 3 inches apart.
  • Bake for 15-17 minutes.
  • Remove cookies from oven and transfer to a rack to cool.

2 thoughts on “Texas Governor’s Mansion Cookies – with a twist”

    1. Thank you Kelli, they really are delicious! I’ll admit, I’ve had one or two of these for breakfast myself 😉

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