Home on the range, here I come!

Ranger Cookies

Though my most recent license plates read Minnesota and Wisconsin, I am a truly Kansas girl. I grew up in Wichita, Kan., as did my parents and grandparents. I can still identify that state reptile (box turtle), nickname (the Sunflower State—very fitting since sunflowers are my favorite bloom), and song (“Home on the Range.”)

  • To answer a few Kansas FAQs:
  • No, I don’t live on a farm
  • Yes, tornadoes occur frequently. The closest I’ve come is 2 miles.
  • No, my middle name isn’t Dorothy. Though, it is my grandma’s first name, and I’m quite proud of her!
  • Yes, Pizza Hut was invented in Wichita (OK, no one actually asks me that. I just thought you should know.)
Ben and I are headed to the heartland for the weekend to celebrate my cousin’s wedding. It’s going to be quite the day (5:50 a.m. flight out of Madison + Connection in Detroit + 3 hour drive from Kansas City = Evening Wedding Extravaganza). While I may need to hook myself to a coffee I.V., I’m thrilled to be making the trek to my Home on the Range. Agenda high points: lunch at my favorite restaurant with high school pals, my Grammy’s legendary mac ‘n’ cheese, and quality time with my lovely sisters.

Now, I could just show up with a big hug. Or, I could show up with a big hug and homemade goodies. What better way to kick start a wonderful weekend at my own “home on the range” than with crunchy, chocolately RANGER COOKIES?

Ranger Cookies have been around since the 1920s. Rumors abound as to their origin. My favorite links them to the “Lone Ranger”, a popular old radio serial, which is quite fitting since the recipe contains actual cereal. Baked with Cornflakes, toasted pecans, coconut, oatmeal, and chocolate chips, Ranger Cookies have a special crunch that is absolutely irresistible.

Some recipes call for Rice Krispies, Special K, or Total as the cereal, but Cornflakes (invented in 1906) are the classic. For this recipe, I sought the most old-school version possible, snuck in some whole wheat flour, and created a scrumptious, toasty cookie with incredible texture and flavor.

Whether your home is on a range, beside an ocean, or a top a mountain, these Ranger Cookies belong in your cookie jar and, more importantly, your tummyIf my family wasn’t happy to have me home before, they certainly will be now!

 

Ranger Cookies
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Ranger Cookies

Baked with Cornflakes, toasted pecans, coconut, oatmeal, and chocolate chips, Ranger Cookies have a special crunch that is absolutely irresistible.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening — (ok to sub butter, but shortening is the original)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar — firmly packed
  • 1/2  cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour — plus 2 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal — or sub additional all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup pecans — (chopped and toasted)
  • 1 1/2 cup Cornflakes cereal

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Beat together the shortening, sugars, vanilla, and salt until fluffy. Add the egg and beat until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, flax seed (if using), baking powder, and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the shortening mixture and beat until well blended.
  4. Stir in the oats, coconut, chocolate chips, pecans, and cereal, mixing just until combined.
  5. Drop the dough by rounded teaspoons onto lightly greased or parchment-lined cookie sheets.
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they're golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest for 1 minute on cookie sheets. Place on a wire rack to cool.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easy Cookie Recipe, Ranger Cookies

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