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Ranger Cookies

But­tery, chewy, crispy and deli­cious! Ranger cook­ies (Texas Ranger cook­ies) are every­thing you love about an oat­meal choco­late chip cook­ie, plus, some coconut and Rice Krispies cere­al thrown in for good mea­sure. They’re crispy on the edges, chewy in the mid­dle, choco­late good­ness. My Ranger Cook­ies recipe has it all and they’re SO easy to make!

Ranger Cookies on a white plate sitting on a concrete counter with a bottle of milk next to a turquoise vase
Post may con­tain affil­i­ate links. See my Affil­i­ate Disclosure.

Ranger Cook­ies are def­i­nite­ly not my own inven­tion. They’re my adap­ta­tion of one of the recipes from my great grand­ma’s “church ladies” cookbook. 

I grew up with a spe­cif­ic wire-bound cook­book ALWAYS in our kitchen. My mom had made notes on some of the recipes inside and writ­ten some oth­er recipes inside the cov­er. Those cov­er ones. They were the MOST important.

The first recipe I remem­ber mak­ing from the Hearth and Home Cook­book (writ­ten by the ladies of Bethel E. Free Church in Nebras­ka City, NE.) was Drop Dough­nuts. But, the cook­book was most impor­tant because my Grand­ma Bon­nie’s sug­ar cook­ie recipe was writ­ten on the inside cover.

Hearth and Home Cookbook open to Ranger Cookies recipe

It’s been a nos­tal­gic week­end for me. I went through this cook­book and anoth­er old church cook­book, giv­en to me by David’s mom. It’s fun­ny how we lose track of clas­sic old recipes as we move on to new ones. Food trends and ideas change. And, won­der­ful old recipes are lost in the shuffle. 

But, I decid­ed to embrace the nos­tal­gia, this week­end, and try out some recipes from both cook­books. With a lit­tle updat­ing, these 1950’s recipes can be brand new favorites, all over again. I think you’re gonna love Ranger Cookies!

Ranger Cookies Variations

Appar­ent­ly, the Ranger Cook­ies recipe is as wide­ly var­ied as the peo­ple who enjoy bak­ing and eat­ing them. They are some­times called Cow­boy Cook­ies or Texas Ranger cookies. 

My changes and sub­sti­tu­tions to the clas­sic recipe were basic. I switched short­en­ing to but­ter, tripled the vanil­la and added choco­late chips/chunks.

In my research, I found Ranger cook­ies that were thin and crisp. I found some that were thick­er and chewy, with crispy edges, like my version. 

Ranger Cookies on a wire rack with brown parchment underneath

There were Ranger cook­ie recipes with choco­late chips, and with­out. I even found a ver­sion that used corn flakes, instead of rice krispies cere­al. (I believe they said that corn flake ver­sion can be traced back to the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry. So, the recipe has been around, awhile.)

I think there are some oth­er real­ly tasty vari­a­tion pos­si­bil­i­ties for Ranger Cook­ies that would be fun to try. Some of these may show up in MY future batch­es. Be sure to let me know if you try any of them, too.

  • You could def­i­nite­ly try them with corn­flakes. Or maybe a gra­ham crack­er style cereal. 
  • Nuts: Pecans or wal­nuts would be delish!
  • Raisins: (or chopped dates or figs)
  • But­ter­scotch Chips
  • Replace 1/4 cup of the but­ter with Peanut But­ter (or make the recipe as writ­ten and just add peanut but­ter chips.)
  • Reduce the flour by 1/2 cup and add 1/2 cup cocoa pow­der, instead. Then, use white choco­late chips instead of semi-sweet.
  • You could also sub in all white sug­ar if you want. How­ev­er, in my opin­ion, the cook­ies will not be as caramel tast­ing or chewy, if you don’t use dark brown sugar.
Ranger Cookies on a white plate sitting on a concrete counter with a bottle of milk next to a turquoise vase

The Ingredients

  • But­ter
  • Dark Brown Sugar
  • Gran­u­lat­ed Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanil­la Extract
  • All Pur­pose Flour
  • Rolled Oats (Old Fash­ioned Oats)
  • Rice Krispies Cere­al (or oth­er brand of crispy rice cere­al) The Rice Krispies / crispy rice cere­al may seem odd, but I promise, it’s spec­tac­u­lar! Great tex­ture that stays crisp even after baking!
  • Sweet­ened Flaked Coconut (shred­ded coconut)
  • Bak­ing Soda
  • Salt
  • Bak­ing Powder
  • Semi-Sweet Choco­late Chips or Chunks

FAQs About Ranger Cookies

Can you refrig­er­ate cook­ie dough for Ranger Cook­ies?

You could make this dough up to 24 hours ahead and store, tight­ly cov­ered in the fridge. Bring the dough back to room tem­per­a­ture before bak­ing or the cook­ies may not spread as well.

Can you freeze cook­ie dough for Ranger Cook­ies?

Yes. I rec­om­mend mak­ing the dough into balls before freez­ing. Arrange them on a bak­ing tray. They can be close, but not touch­ing. Flash freeze the cook­ie dough by plac­ing the tray in the freez­er for a cou­ple hours. When the cook­ie dough balls have frozen, trans­fer them to a zip top bag and store in the freez­er for 3 or 4 months.

To bake the frozen cook­ie dough, remove as many dough balls as you plan to bake. Place them on a prepped bak­ing sheet and bake as direct­ed in recipe. Allow 1–3 extra min­utes of bak­ing time. Keep in mind, cold dough may not spread as well. (Alter­na­tive­ly, you could thaw in the fridge and then bring the dough back to room temperature.)

Ranger Cookie Dough Balls ready for freezer
Dough balls can be close, but should­n’t touch when flash freez­ing them.
Can you freeze cook­ies?

Yes, you can freeze Ranger Cook­ies. When the cook­ies have com­plete­ly cooled, seal them in an air­tight con­tain­er or freez­er bag and freeze for up to 3 or 4 months. 

How to Make Ranger Cookies

  1. Pre­heat oven to 350° and spray bak­ing sheets or line them with parch­ment or sil­i­cone bak­ing mats.
  2. Cream togeth­er the but­ter and sugars.
  3. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  4. Mix the dry ingre­di­ents (except choco­late chips) in a medi­um mix­ing bowl. Stir to dis­trib­ute them evenly.
  5. Add the dry ingre­di­ents to the butter/egg mix­ture and fold in until all the dry ingre­di­ents have been incor­po­rat­ed and the dough has formed.
  6. Fold in the choco­late chips or choco­late chunks.
  7. Scoop dough onto pre­pared bak­ing sheets.
  8. Bake at 350° for 10–12 min­utes. Don’t over­bake. Cook­ies will be light­ly browned and crisp around the edges, but still soft in the cen­ter. They will con­tin­ue to bake on the tray after they are tak­en out of the oven.

The Tools I Used

  • Bak­ing Sheets: I like heavy-duty rimmed bak­ing sheets [affil­i­ate link]. They bake more even­ly and don’t warp in the oven.
  • Sil­i­cone Bak­ing Mats: You can use pan spray to prep the bak­ing sheets. I some­times do. But, I have sil­i­cone bak­ing mats [affil­i­ate link], so it’s just a quick and easy solu­tion. They nev­er run out and need replac­ing. Parch­ment paper can also work.
  • Cook­ie Scoop: The cook­ie scoop I use [affil­i­ate link] is the impor­tant piece of equip­ment you need to know about. It’s big. This scoop makes a large 3 to 3 1/2 inch cook­ie. It’s con­sid­ered a cupcake/muffin scoop and holds just under 3 Table­spoons of dough. (Using a small­er scoop will make you a few more, albeit small­er, cook­ies. If you do opt to make them small­er, you should watch the bak­ing time close­ly for your first tray. They won’t need to bake quite as long as my larg­er ones.)
  • Cool­ing Rack: I have four of these now and I love them! Tru­ly my favorite cool­ing rack [affil­i­ate link]. But, this cool­ing rack also fits down into my rimmed bak­ing sheets, so I can roast things on them and the drip­pings go down into the sheet. They are oven and dish­wash­er safe. I use them almost daily.
Ranger Cookies on a cooling rack

I am so excit­ed for you to make Ranger cook­ies! They are def­i­nite­ly going down as one of our fam­i­ly’s all-time favorites. I’m guess­ing they will be yours, too! 

If you get a chance to make Ranger Cook­ies (Cow­boy Cook­ies), be sure to stop back here and let me know! Enjoy and have a won­der­ful­ly blessed week!

The Recipe

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Ranger Cookies


  • Author: Glen­da Embree [ adapt­ed from 1956 Hearth and Home Cookbook ] 
  • Total Time: 30 min­utes
  • Yield: 2427 cook­ies 1x

Description

But­tery, chewy, crispy and deli­cious! Ranger cook­ies are every­thing you love about an oat­meal choco­late chip cook­ie, plus, some coconut and rice krispies cere­al thrown in for good mea­sure. They’re crispy on the edges, chewy in the mid­dle, choco­latey goodness.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 cup but­ter, softened
  • 1 cup dark brown sug­ar, packed
  • 1 cup gran­u­lat­ed sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Table­spoon home­made vanil­la extract (or buy a qual­i­ty vanil­la extract)
  • 2 cups unbleached all pur­pose flour, (spooned into cup and leveled)
  • 2 cups rice krispies cere­al (or oth­er brand of crispy rice cereal)
  • 2 cups rolled oats (old fash­ioned oats)
  • 1 cup sweet­ened flaked coconut (shred­ded coconut)
  • 1 tea­spoon bak­ing soda
  • 1 tea­spoon salt
  • 1/2 tea­spoon bak­ing powder
  • 1 (12 oz) bag semi-sweet choco­late chips or chunks

Instructions

  1. Pre­heat oven to 350° and spray bak­ing sheets or line them with parch­ment or sil­i­cone bak­ing mats.
  2. Cream togeth­er the but­ter and sugars.
  3. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  4. Mix the dry ingre­di­ents, includ­ing rice krispies and shred­ded coconut, (but not the choco­late chips) in a medi­um mix­ing bowl. Stir to dis­trib­ute them evenly.
  5. Add the dry ingre­di­ents to the butter/egg mix­ture and fold in until all the dry ingre­di­ents have been incor­po­rat­ed and the dough has formed.
  6. Fold in the choco­late chips or choco­late chunks.
  7. Scoop dough onto pre­pared bak­ing sheets.
  8. Bake at 350° for 10–12 min­utes. Don’t over­bake. Cook­ies will be light­ly browned and crisp around the edges, but still soft in the cen­ter. They will con­tin­ue to bake on the tray after they are tak­en out of the oven.

Notes

The Rice Krispies / crispy rice cere­al may seem odd, but I promise, it’s spec­tac­u­lar! Great tex­ture that stays crisp even after bak­ing!  Don’t skip it.  It makes these cookies!

Be sure to use old fash­ioned oats (rolled oats).  It’s all about the tex­ture.  Quick oats won’t pro­vide the same chew.

 
Can you refrig­er­ate cook­ie dough for Ranger Cook­ies? You could make this dough up to 24 hours ahead and store, tight­ly cov­ered in the fridge. Bring the dough back to room tem­per­a­ture before bak­ing or the cook­ies may not spread as well.
Can you freeze cook­ie dough for Ranger Cook­ies? Yes. I rec­om­mend mak­ing the dough into balls before freez­ing. Arrange them on a bak­ing tray. They can be close, but not touch­ing. Flash freeze the cook­ie dough by plac­ing the tray in the freez­er for a cou­ple hours. When the cook­ie dough balls have frozen, trans­fer them to a zip top bag and store in the freez­er for 3 or 4 months. 
To bake the frozen cook­ie dough, remove as many dough balls as you plan to bake. Place them on a prepped bak­ing sheet and bake as direct­ed in recipe. Allow 1–3 extra min­utes of bak­ing time.
Can you freeze Ranger Cook­ies?  Yes, you can freeze Ranger Cook­ies. When the cook­ies have com­plete­ly cooled, seal them in an air­tight con­tain­er or freez­er bag and freeze for up to 3 or 4 months.
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Cat­e­go­ry: Cook­ies, Dessert
  • Method: Bak­ing
  • Cui­sine: Amer­i­can

Black Cocoa No Bake Cook­ies — These del­ish black cocoa no bake cook­ies, from Sher­ry, over at From Michi­gan to the Table will be your quick-fix choco­late crav­ing solution!

30 thoughts on “Ranger Cookies”

  1. I’d nev­er heard of ranger cook­ies, but they looked so yum that I had to try them!
    I only got 1!!!! THE KIDS DEMOLISHED THEM!
    Such a great recipe 🙂

    Reply
  2. I’d nev­er heard of these cook­ies before, but I have to say they might be a new favorite! The tex­tures and fla­vors are so great.

    Reply

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