I reject such modern innovations.
Cowboy cookies are, at their finest, modestly-sized chocolate chip cookies with rolled oats added to the dough, made with shortening instead of butter or margarine. The oats have to be the old-fashioned whole rolled oats, not the quick cooking ones (which are chopped too small) or the instant variety (which has a lot of extra salt, is precooked and chopped even smaller). The cookies are scooped out by tablespoon, so you get a good number of them---about 10 dozen. However, I generally use a commercial cookie scoop which measures out 3/4 oz. of dough, so the recipe yields about 4 dozen.
There is a lot of speculation as to why they are called cowboy cookies, and one of the aforementioned versions has even been at the center of a political struggle, but I have my own theory: kids like cowboys. These cookies first became popular when the cowboy movie or serial was a popular genre for kids (think of the Lone Ranger and Hopalong Cassidy) and dressing up as a cowboy or cowgirl among the most popular Halloween costumes. In fact, the back of the recipe card above features the image to the right. I have no idea who these children are---they were cut out of the magazine in which the recipe appeared---but this could easily be a picture of my older brother Marty and my younger sister Eileen, pigtails and all.