Ranger cookies are oatmeal cookies filled with extra mix-ins like rice krispies cereal, shredded coconut, and chopped pecans. They're chewy and sweet with a little bit of crunch!
If you love oatmeal cookies, you'll want to give these old fashioned ranger cookies a try. Oats, rice krispies cereal, shredded coconut, and pecans are mixed into a buttery and sweet cookie dough to add plenty of texture, crunch, and chewiness.
To make ranger cookies, you'll make a standard cookie dough, add your mix-ins, and drop by heaping tablespoon onto a prepared baking sheet. There's no chilling required for this dough, so you'll have a batch of warm, homemade cookies ready in 30 minutes or less!
Serve ranger cookies any time of year. They're perfect for after school snacking, potlucks and picnics (they travel well), or adding to your holiday cookie tray.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Unsalted butter - The butter and salt listed in the recipe can be substituted with salted butter if needed.
- Sugars - We're using a combination of granulated sugar and brown sugar in this recipe for optimal texture and flavor. Granulated sugar helps aerate the butter when creaming the two together, which helps lift your cookies as they bake. Brown sugar adds a caramelized, molasses flavor and chewy texture to your cookies.
- Eggs - Room temperature eggs incorporate seamlessly into the dough and add moisture and structure.
- Vanilla extract - Enhances the flavor of your cookies.
- All-purpose flour - Adds structure to your cookies and balances the wet ingredients in the recipe. I haven't tested this recipe with other types of flours, so I can't say for sure how your cookies would turn out with substitutions. To avoid wasting ingredients, I highly suggest searching for a recipe that has been developed with the type of flour you'd like to use.
- Leavening - You'll need both baking soda and baking powder for this recipe.
- Salt - Enhances the flavor of your cookies and balances the sweetness without making your cookies "salty".
- Quick cook oats - Can be substituted with old fashioned oats for a thicker, heartier cookie with more texture. I don't recommend using steel cut oats, they're even thicker and take longer to cook through.
- Pecans - Can be substituted with walnuts, peanuts, or almonds. Or, add chocolate chips to your cookies to make more of a 'cowboy cookie' instead.
- Rice krispies cereal - Variations of ranger cookies include using other types of cereal, like cornflakes or frosted flakes, instead of rice krispies.
- Shredded coconut - Adds flavor and chewiness to your cookies. Can be omitted if desired, or substituted with extra rice krispies cereal.
Tips and tricks
Check out my full post, 10 tips for baking cookies, for my best tips on baking a perfect batch of cookies. Here are my favorites:
- Room temperature ingredients - Room temperature ingredients mix together evenly throughout your cookie dough, which creates a consistent, perfect batch of cookies.
- To bring ingredients to room temperature quickly - Slice sticks of butter into small, ½ inch slivers. Small pieces warm up faster than a whole stick. Place eggs into a bowl and cover with very warm tap water. They'll come to room temperature in about ten minutes.
- Properly measured flour - The most common issue I see in baking is the improper measuring of flour. I highly recommend using a kitchen scale and measuring using the gram measurements in the recipe card. If you don't have a scale, use the spoon and level method. Stir your flour, then spoon gently into a measuring cup and level off the top with a knife.
- Cookie scoop - Use a cookie scoop (we used a medium OXO cookie scoop for this recipe) for perfectly sized, even cookies.
Homemade cookies are best served within 24 hours of baking for optimal freshness and flavor.
Store cooled cookies in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for 5 to 7 days. Add a fresh slice of bread each day to help keep your cookies fresh and moist.
Ranger cookies (and cookie dough) can be frozen for up to 3 months in a tightly sealed, freezer safe container. To thaw, place frozen cookies on counter top for up to 1 hour. Cookie dough can be baked from frozen, but may need an additional 1-2 minutes to bake.
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup (149 g) granulated sugar
- ¾ cup (160 g) brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (178 g) quick cook oats
- ½ cup (57 g) chopped pecans
- 1 cup (28 g) rice krispies cereal
- 1 cup (85 g) shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or a silicone baking mat).
- In a large bowl, add butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Using a hand mixer (or stand mixer), cream together until light and fluffy, about a minute. Add eggs and vanilla extract and beat until fluffy, about a minute.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Gradually stir dry ingredients into butter mixture until just combined.
- Add oats, pecans, rice krispies cereal, and shredded coconut. Stir until just combined.
- Scoop dough using a medium cookie scoop or shape by hand into 1.5 inch balls. Place cookie dough balls 2 inches apart onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for about 9-12 minutes, or until lightly browned around edges and across the tops. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Cookies will keep for 5-7 days in a sealed container at room temperature. To help keep cookies fresh, place a slice of bread in the cookie container. Replace bread slice as needed.
- Raw cookie dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Cookie dough balls (and baked cookies) freeze well, up to 3 months in a sealed plastic container or freezer bag. Allow frozen balls to thaw for up to 10 minutes on the baking sheet before baking, or add 1-2 minutes to the baking time.
- Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking cookies, based on reader comments and questions!