Monday, 1 December 2008

Recipe #1 -- Ranger Cookies

Yesterday afternoon, I baked Ranger Cookies, a staple item in my kitchen ... and my diet. Now that Nablopomo is over (and, sadly, I did NOT manage 30 posts in 30 days), I thought I would set myself another lofty goal for the month of December. With cookies in mind, I've decided to post 25 recipes during the coming month. So here is recipe numero uno ... Ranger cookies.First, cream together 1 cup of softened butter, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 cup brown sugar. Yes, I use REAL butter ... margarine is whipped plastic with added colouring and which tastes like crap and cannot possibly be good for you, but hey, who am I to judge if you want to use margarine instead of the REAL thing! Oh, and I use pure cane sugar instead of refined white sugar. It's all about being more wholesome. But once again, who am I to judge if you prefer that refined white stuff.Second, add 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 eggs, and 2 teaspoons vanilla to your creamed butter and sugar. Nice brown eggs, eh? I finally found a shop that sells great eggs!Third, add 2 1/2 cups of flour, and once that's well incorporated into the creamed mixture ...... mix in 2 cups of rolled oats and 2 cups coconut. Sometimes I use the stringy kind of coconut. Yesterday I happened to have half a package of flaked coconut. Whatever tickles your fancy. Or floats your boat. Or whatever. Now here's the magical bit about this recipe ...... mix in 1 cup each of 4 or 5 different goodies. That is correct ... up to 5 cups of raisins, choc chips, pb chips, dried fruit, nuts ... in whatever combination of yummy additions that YOU enjoy or imagine you might enjoy, or that YOU happen to have in YOUR pantry at the moment. Upon surveying MY pantry, I added sunflower seeds, chopped pecans, whole pine nuts, and sliced almonds. Choc chips aren't allowed to visit my house very often 'cuz I eat 'em ... usually before they make it into cookies. And I didn't want fruity stuff 'cuz I had just finished baking fruit bread. Anyway, YOU decide what YOU want to add, and add 4 or 5 cups of it. Okay? Okay.Your cookie dough is going to be really stiff. If you have to, you can add 2 or 3 tablespoons of liquid to help mix it together. I added a couple of tablespoons of cold coffee. Sometimes I add cream, or something boozy, or lemon juice ... as I keep saying, whatever YOU want to add. The important bit is to be patient and keep mixing until all those nuts, seeds, etc are well distributed.
I shape my Ranger Cookies into balls from about 2 tablespoons of dough, then flatten them between my hands a bit before placing them on cookie sheets. I don't find it necessary to grease my cookie sheets, but I suppose that depends on your bakeware.
I bake my Ranger Cookies in a 350 degree F oven for about 14 minutes. I don't like my cookies too soft. In fact, I prefer them a bit on the crunchy-biscotti side, so sometimes I put them all back into a 200 degree F oven to dry them out MORE after they are all baked. Let them cool completely before stashing in your favourite cookie jar.
I keep trying to count how many cookies this recipe makes, but for some strange reason, cookie monsters keep appearing and disturbing my count! I'm guessing this recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies. If YOU get an accurate count, please let me know!
1 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups coconut
4 to 5 cups your favourite cookie additions (raisins,
dried fruits, choc chips, nuts, seeds, etc)
2 to 3 tablespoons liquid to help mix ingredients together.

Roll into balls, 2 tablespoons of dough at a time. Flatten slightly. Bake about 14 minutes at 350
degrees F.

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