I love me a chocolate chip cookie as much as the next girl, but my real favorite childhood cookie is a ranger cookie. My Grandma Meyer made big batches of these coconut-and-cereal-laced beauties, piled them into empty Butter-Nut Coffee cans, and hauled them to the lake for mid-day, swim-starved snacking. We grandkids would inhale a stack of them as we ran back to the beach, while my grandma and aunties enjoyed theirs sitting in the shade with a cup of tea. They would politely eat one or two, although I never understood how. I was—and clearly still am—obsessed with their buttery, naughty goodness.
Apparently so was all of Clara City, Minn., given their Bethenny Reformed Church cookbook. There are several recipes by several different names—cereal cookies, oatmeal corn flake cookies, cracked coconut oat cookies (my favorite), and of course ranger cookies. Some recipes call for rice krispies instead of corn flakes, some for shortening instead of butter, but they’re all a variation of the same basic recipe. My son noted that these cookies are an early version of the currently uber-popular Momofuku compost cookies—and he’s right! I consider these a purer, more elegant form. Then again, nostalgia is a powerful seasoning.
Bethenny Reformed Church Cookbook
Makes 3-4 dozen cookies
I love very much that the word “naughty” is written in the margin next to this recipe.
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. salted butter, softened to room temperature
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. rolled oats
1 c. unsweeted coconut flakes
2 c. lightly crushed corn flakes
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugars together until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture until just incorporated, scraping the bowl a few times as you go. Stir in the oats, coconut, and corn flakes by hand (dough will be quite stiff).
Roll dough into 1-inch balls, then lightly flatten before setting on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until cookies are golden brown. Cool for a few minutes on the pan, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.