We live near several antique shops, and enjoy browsing them on the occasional Sunday. Dave wanders off to find art inspiration, while I can be found scouring the books, in search of vintage cookbooks. I’ve found a couple, but mostly come across those mail in recipe booklets that company’s send out… My oldest find has been a Fleischman Yeast recipe booklet from 1926… For me, reading through these books is like being taught the old ways from a great-grandmother, and as much as I love having fun with recipes and putting my own spin on them, I believe in the importance of remembering our culinary roots.
Today, I wanted to share vintage Ranger Cookies. These would be similar to the one’s made by the amazing women of the 1930’s and 40’s, with the exception of my substitution of flaxseed for the eggs (which I honestly do not believe alters the essence of this cookie)… These day’s, it seems that people think Ranger Cookies are simply a variation of the oatmeal cookie. Which I suppose is true, but it’s a specific variation. Oatmeal, coconut, and crisp rice cereal (some people claim that cornflakes are the original, but the oldest recipes I’ve found use crisp rice). No chocolate chips, no raisins, no nuts… Actually, I suspect that the cereal was meant as an economical substitution for nuts. In those days, money was scares and families were big.
Don’t worry that these will be too plain. Without the dominating flavours of add-ins, the more delicate and delightful flavours of this sturdy cookie, have a chance to shine. Perfect for packing into lunch bags, backpacks, and pockets!
1 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Shortening
1/2 cup Brown Sugar, packed
1/4 cup Sugar
1 tbsp Ground Flaxseed
3 tbsp Water
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup Rolled Oats
1 cup Crisp Rice Cereal
1/2 cup Shredded Coconut, unsweetened
Preheat oven to 375°F and prepare cookie sheets.
Combine the flaxseed and water. Set aside, allowing mixture to become gelatinous.
Stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Stir together the oats, cereal, and coconut. Set aside.
Beat the shortening until smooth. Add both sugars and beat for 2 minutes. Add flaxseed mixture and vanilla and beat for another 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the oats mixture. Dough will be thick.
Scoop a heaping tablespoon of dough, roll into a ball and flatten into a 1/4″ – 1/2″ thick disk. Repeat, placing each disk on the cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
Bake for 6 – 8 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on sheet, before transferring to rack.
When completely cooled, store in a tightly sealed container… Personally, I prefer these cookies the next day, and recommend baking them the night before you need/want them. This gives them time for the flavours to meld and the cookies to soften a bit (they will still be firm and sturdy).
Makes approximately 24 cookies.