Cookie Monster: Ranger Cookies
My 90-year-old grandmother has a secret: She's in love with Walker, Texas Ranger. She's seen every episode countless times (not hard after we set her up with a DVD player and the series in a boxed set) but if the show happens to come on TV, she is always eager to watch it again.
Now Chuck Norris isn't exactly my type, but I don't question her devotion—the woman's been living alone since 1973. For someone who's lived a hard life, it must be nice to watch the good guy always come out on top. Over many years of visits, I've watched quite a few episodes and I will attest that Mr. Texas Ranger has a certain heroic charm. He wears that big ole cowboy hat like Butch Cassidy is setting the seasonal trends, and he even recorded his own opening song, "Eyes Of The Ranger." (My grandmother told me that.)
That doesn't mean that we don't all tease her, just a little bit. She gets an adorable blush and giggles when we accuse her of love loving Walker. That's why I wanted to make her these Ranger cookies (though I'm sure she'd send them to Chuck Norris if she could.)
This is actually an old American recipe, one that dates back to at least the 1960s. The drop cookie batter is similar to chocolate chip cookie dough. Brown sugar gives the cookies just a hint of molasses flavor and helps them toast to a golden brown. The base is a mixture of flour and oats, which adds texture and body. But the mix-ins are where things get good: there's a combination of chocolate chips, shredded coconut, and cornflakes. I use a mix of milk and dark chocolate chips for maximum flavor, and sweetened coconut flakes for moisture. The cornflakes are definitely the key to the whole operation. They add a subtle crunch and an almost honeyed sweetness that stands out from the chocolate chips. I find that these cookies are fun to make for grandmothers, but kids really enjoy them too.