My grandmother was a great baker. She had several signature desserts, including a stunning lemon meringue pie that fascinated me completely. I couldn’t stop playing with the meringue.
Stranger cookies are what I called them as a kid, but these are officially known as Ranger cookies. A unique and hearty flavor profile of coconut, dates and oats. My grandmother would bake these before car outings and bring them in this red coffee can she repurposed for cookie storage. I’d always request that she sit in the back seat with me while we drove and she’d laugh at how many times I’d ask for another cookie.
I often miss her. She was an early cooking influence on me. She taught me to make cinnamon rolls with bisquick when I was so young I’d have to stand on a chair to roll the dough.
It’s her kitchen aid that I use to bake now. I often regret not learning more of her recipes when I could have retained them. Instead, I sputter through at the holidays and wonder what her magic secrets were.
Even with my poor baking skills, these cookies are excellent. My family raved about them. In fact, I received several pictures of different family members eating them. I laughed just like my grandma did when I begged for more.
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup butter, unsalted
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups white flour
- 1 cup oats
- 1 cup cornflakes
- 1 cup coconut
- 1 teaspoon soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (skip if butter is salted)
- 1 cup chopped dates
Start by setting butter out to warm and soften and preheat oven to 350.
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl and stir to blend thoroughly.
In an electric mixer, cream butter with both sugars. Add eggs and blend again, then add vanilla. Everything should be will blended.
Add the flour and blend thoroughly again.
Stir in the oats, coconut and cornflakes. I’d go in that order. It becomes hard to use the electric mixer at this point. I switched to my spatula.
Finally, add the dates and try to ensure that they are dispersed well throughout the dough.
Use a tablespoon to portion out your cookies and bake for 12 – 15 minutes at 350. Let cool 2 minutes before transferring cookies to a cooking rack.
This makes several dozen cookies.