Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cookies on Friday: Ranger Cookies

As I mentioned in another post, I own quite a few copies of the Betty Crocker Cookbook. My favorite is the 1969 version, which actually belongs to my parents but “lives” with me. This is the cookbook that I grew up using and it’s the one that I return to with fond memories.

I own over 10 different editions of the Betty Crocker Cookbook, and they have changed a lot over the years. When I was an undergrad, I wrote a paper for an American culture class that discussed how the cookbook had changed over the years to reflect American society. During the 1950s, Americans looked to movie stars as idols and you’ll find recipes in cookbooks from those years that are listed as so-and-so’s favorite. As women started entering the workforce, recipes started using more processed ingredients to save time. More healthful recipes were introduced in the 1980s when that became popular. I had a fun time researching that paper, as you can imagine. I got to read cookbooks!

Over the years it is also interesting to see which recipes persist and which disappear over time. This recipe for Ranger Cookies isn’t found in too many editions of the cookbook. I’m not sure why as I think it is a great classic cookie. The original recipe calls for Wheaties or Total instead of the crispy rice cereal (let us not forget that Betty Crocker was created to help sell General Mills products), but I like the lightness that the crispy rice cereal adds. This is a fairly simple cookie with great flavor; you could certainly add chocolate chips, raisins, or any other sort of addition that you can come up with.

½ cup shortening
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup oats
1 cup crispy rice cereal
½ cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together the shortening, sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Drop by teaspoonfuls on to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes until golden. Immediately remove from the cookie sheet to cool on a wire rack.
From the Betty Crocker Cookbook (1969 edition)


Brandy said...

while my husband and I were baking cookies tonight, I was curious where the term "Ranger Cookies" came from and happened upon your blog. I also got the recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook and after a little research found that I am actually making what is commonly called "Cowboy cookies" because they are made with oats not cereal. I am going to have to try it again with the cereal, because I love a cookie you can add whatever you have on hand to and it come out great. Thanks. Brandy

Unknown said...

Thanks for the recipe! I have been wanting to make this one again as this recipe was given to me by my sis years ago. I lost it and didn't want to make a different version.ouseres

Anonymous said...

I need alittle help here and I think your perfect.
I have a homeless friend who tells me that he invented a recipe for Betty Crocker when he was a boy, that is called ranger cookies. His name is jodi and he has to be at least 55 or 60 because he's an ornery old -------. do you think you have any names in your research?

Diana said...

My sis had the Betty Crocker cookbook from the 80's and this was in it.