Funfetti Ranger Cookies
Fun fact: I'm "from" Texas.
This is a difficult subject for me.
Whenever I'm asked where I'm from, there is always this long pause between the question and the answer, and the person who asked it must think I'm slow. I began to just answer the question off-the-bat with "oh, I'm from all over." And then that gave way to more conversation, because it led to me explaining everywhere we've lived, and I always felt like it was more than the asker wanted, so now I've begun to gauge the conversation and decide how I'm going to answer the question that way.
Most of the time, I'll answer it with "I'm from Colorado" or "I'm from Texas." Sometimes I'll find myself saying "I'm from North Carolina," and most often I'll be switching back and forth between North Carolina and Texas because those are the two places in which we've lived the longest -- of course, if you don't count Colorado, even though we've been going to Steamboat Springs for my entire life and it feels more home than anywhere else.
But I didn't go to school there -- I worked there, yes -- and it was never a permanent home, so I can't really say I'm from Steamboat. Most recently: I'm from Denver. As in: this is where I currently live. I suppose that's a different question, but most of the time, it's not necessary to go deeper than that. In honor of curiosity, however, we can get into it the quick way: I was born in Kansas. We then moved to Texas. Then we moved to Connecticut. Then we moved back to Texas. Then we moved to North Carolina. Then I went to school in South Carolina, and now I live in Denver. If you ask my brother Kevin, he'll tell you that our most formative years were spent in Texas, and therefore we're from Texas. (Even though I'd argue my most formative years were spent in North Carolina, but I like the sound of Texas better so I'll go with that.)
Why are we talking about Texas? Because we're about to segue into Ranger Cookies, which apparently originated in Texas.
As told by Flyby:
"'The origin of name ‘Ranger cookie’ is rather interesting,' Breslin wrote FlyBy. '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.' Yeah, Ranger Cookie’s definitely the best name out of those choices. Can you imagine raving to all your friends about ‘The Lone Ranger Cookie?’ FlyBy certainly can’t—too many syllables, man. Besides, these cookies by any other name might not bear the same significance for devotees, like Currier sophomore Liza Pincus. 'What I like the most about them is that no one knows exactly what they are, and no one bothers to ask,' she said."
That was a little lengthy, but we can focus on the facts here: The Ranger Cookie is a better version of the Cowboy Cookie because of one amazing ingredient: cornflakes. Cornflakes in a cookie -- immediately these had my heart, years ago when I first saw a recipe pop up on King Arthur Flour. And when I decided to make them again a few days ago, I made them even better with chopped chocolate and sprinkles. Behold: Funfetti Ranger Cookies.
They're thick & crunchy on the outside, and they're just chewy enough on the inside. Plus: they're not too thin or too crunchy or too buttery, because we're using shortening here instead of butter. If you prefer a crunchier cookie (not my style), feel free to sub butter in for the shortening, and bake the cookies a tad bit longer. And maybe you'll have a newfound appreciation for Texas while you're at it. ;)
Funfetti Ranger Cookies
Prep time: 10 minutes | Bake time: 12 minutes | Yields 16-18 large cookies
1 cup shortening, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup instant oats
2 cups cornflakes
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup semisweet or dark chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup sprinkles
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat shortening and sugars until combined and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until combined. Gradually add flour mixture to the batter and mix well. Stir in oats, cornflakes, coconut, chocolate and sprinkles and mix until just combined.
Scoop out 1/4-cup handfuls of dough and roll into balls. Place cookies on lined baking sheets 2-3 inches apart, and bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time, until the cookies are golden brown around the edges and just done in the centers. Remove from oven and let sit on baking pans for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.