Ranger cookies are a classic that dates from the 1930s. But nobody’s exactly sure where the name came from or where the cookies started. The most plausible explanation I’ve seen so far was quoted in The Harvard Crimson and offered by Harvard’s Director of Culinary Operations Martin Breslin: “Some claim that the cookie originated in Texas and was originally called the ‘Texas Ranger Cookie’ or ‘The Lone Ranger Cookie.’ The recipe is similar to the Cowboy cookie which has oats, chocolate chips and pecans.”
Well, fair enough. I can’t find anything definitive on the age of the cowboy cookie recipe, so I’ll buy that. Besides, I think the names are evocative anyhow; both cookies are are heartier than your standard chocolate chip and have a rough texture.
If you were going to make a list of “favorite-cookies-people-don’t-know-by-name,” both ranger cookies and cowboy cookies would make the list. Among the names I’ve seen for ranger cookies are cornflake cookies and krispie cookies (when a certain puffed rice cereal is used). If you mix ranger cookie dough and cowboy cookie dough together, you get kitchen sink cookies.
From a box sold in Canby, Oregon.
1 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
1 Teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups corn flakes
1 cup coconut
Cream shortening and sugar, eggs, vanilla. Add flour sifted with baking powder, soda, salt then oats, flakes, and coconut.
Roll into balls size of walnut and flatten with fork. Bake 400 degrees for 11 minutes.