Ranger Cookies

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

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

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About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

11 comments

  1. Erin, as you know, I’m always on the hunt for new cookie recipes. These sound amazing, and I’ll be baking them soon. Just as soon as I get rid of the chocolate walnut fudge I made last week! <3

    • Hi Jenn
      Absolutely delighted that this recipe caught your eye! You are one of my fave all-time bakers (fudge? YUM!), so please let me know how they turn out (and feel free to share any of your favorite cookie recipes too). Thanks so much for commenting! Stop by again soon :-)
      love,
      Erin

  2. Oh man….the flavor was amazing but the cookies turned out terrible! I don’t understand. I followed the recipe to a “T”. The cookies barely came together (batter was very dry) and when I baked them they never flattened out. Not sure if you need more liquid/wet than just the one egg and 1/2 butter or what. Tips?? I’m super disappointed because they looked really tasty in the pictures.

    • Hi Jamie! I’m sorry these cookies didn’t turn out for you!! We made them just as the recipe states, and they had a nice soft, chewy texture and flattened out, just as in the photo. It’s so hard for me to say what could have gone wrong without being in the kitchen with you. Is there any chance you might have added a greater amount of dry ingredients? Sometimes even packing the flour tightly (vs lightly spooning it into the cup) can make a difference. We’re the ingredients all at room temp? Feel free to email me at lawstudentswife(at)gmail(dot)com if you’d like to try troubleshooting it further. I wish I could give you a more direct answer.

  3. Hi Erin, this recipe has been kept pinned on my Pinterest page and I have been waiting to try these for some time. I just received a new Kitchenaid mixer and these were my first recipe with it. I made a couple substitutions so I know why mine don’t look exactly like yours. I used raisins instead of chocolate chips and grapeseed oil instead of shortening. They were puffy instead of flat but they were still really tasty! I’m wondering though, in the recipe it calls for 1/2 tsp. (I assumed it was supposed to be salt, so that’s what I added). Thanks for the recipe. I’ll keep it in my cookie rotation for sure. -Brisa

    • Hi Brisa! I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed these, and I’m totally honored that this was the first recipe in your  new mixer too :) Yes, that should be 1/2 tsp salt. I apologize for the confusion!

  4. Hi! I have been so excited to make these cookies but realized tonight that I don’t have cornflakes or even rice crispies. So I’m going to substitute honey bunches of oats because that’s the closest I have. However, I can see now why the other lady said her cookies were too dry. I have just completed step 3, and cannot imagine how all the other ingredients are going to hold into a cookie at all. I’m going to go ahead and try it anyway. I will let you know how they turn out.

  5. Update: I decided to add another stick of butter to the recipe after step three. So a full cup rather than a half cup. Other than that and subbing the Honey Bunches of Oats, I did everything the same and they turned out delicious. Still somewhat crumbly but they held together. Yum!

  6. It’s rather late now…all the way to March of ’18. And I have to agree with the bakers who reported a ‘too dry’ batter. Actually, more like a crumble. Any way added almond milk and a couple egg whites I had lying around and was able to get it moist enough to spoon onto a pan.
    They did not spread, browned fairly nicely, but I know ranger cookies and these are not ranger cookies.
    Possibly by now you have figured out your error and maybe even posted it somewhere.

    • Hi Paula, we made them just as the recipe states, and they had a nice soft, chewy texture and flattened out. It’s so hard for me to say what could have gone wrong without being in the kitchen with you, and I’m sorry to hear they didn’t turn out—I truly wish you had had success with the recipe!

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