Saturday, December 08, 2012

Ranger Cookies

Ranger Cookies were a family favorite when I was growing up, and my sister Chris - who died a year ago today - continued to make them for herself and her husband through the years. She especially enjoyed making them for her daughters and granddaughters.  So, today I decided to make some. But I had not continued to make them as she had, so I didn't know where to find the family recipe. I could probably have gotten it from my niece, but that would have been too easy. Besides, I didn't think of that until I was "ready to go"...and of course, California is three hours behind me.

After perusing dozens of recipes online, I found one I liked...and then I "messed with it".  I wanted the cookies to have a little less fat. So I cut the fat almost in half (but I adapted in order to do that). But that doesn't mean we can eat them by the handful, because I didn't cut the sugar down at all. If you wanted to do that, you probably could...or you could use a sugar substitute, if that's what you do.

One more thing. There is no one basic ingredient list for Ranger Cookies. The ingredients vary widely, kind of like a minestrone soup. (Did I just compare cookies to soup?) If you have your own favorite recipe or favorite ingredients, go for it. And maybe you'd like to share yours, or a link, in the comments.

Without further comment, here's my recipe. Wait, I gotta' get another cookie first.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cream together the following ingredients:

3 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten with a fork
1 teaspoon vanilla

Measure the dry ingredients onto the above, and then mix:
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or unbleached flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

Now add these ingredients and mix again:
1 cup rolled oats (quick-cooking but not instant)
1 cup corn flakes, slightly crushed
¼ cup coconut

Spray a cookie sheet lightly with vegetable oil spray. (This is not absolutely necessary and you usually bake these kind of cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet. But I sprayed the cookie sheet because I had cut down on the fat.)  Use a teaspoon to drop about two teaspoonsful (a heaping teaspoonful) of cookie dough, 12 to a pan. 

Bake for 10 minutes until golden. I always bake a test cookie first to make sure the dough, oven temperature, and time are going to sync. (For those using screen-readers, I meant synchronize, not like the kitchen sink, which, incidentally, is what some people call ranger cookies.).  

Use a spatula to move baked cookies to a wire rack to cool. 

Makes about 2 dozen.  Big family or company coming?  Should be simple to double the recipe.

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