You know that indescribably wonderful, comforting feeling you get when you eat something that reminds you of your childhood? Well, I got to experience that this weekend.
I think I'd been on a hunt to find a recipe for cookies my mom used to make for me and my brother and sister when we were kids. I'd asked her about them a few times, but she didn't really remember them. (Apparently they did not leave as big of an impression on her as they did on me.) I remembered them as ranger cookies, but whenever I tried to find a recipe online for ranger cookies, the cookies had coconut and oatmeal and/or other things in them that the cookies I recalled certainly did not have. My ranger cookies had granola in them, and when I looked for granola cookie recipes, they did not seem to match what I remembered, either. (It turns out that had I just put the two words together and searched for granola ranger cookies, I would have struck gold.)
My sister was visiting from out of state last month. When visiting Wisconsin, Jen and Glen stay at my parents' house for most of their visit, and usually sleep one night at my house. When Jen arrived at our place, she showed me a couple of recipes she'd copied from Mom. One of them was for Granola Ranger Cookies! I just about chortled with glee! This was the recipe I'd been looking for! (And, as my luck would have it, Jen had requested it from Mom, who'd said she wasn't sure she still had the recipe......and then she'd found it 30 seconds later. I probably could have had this recipe years ago......!)
So on Saturday I made the cookies. The recipe is very easy; the dough is pretty similar to a chocolate chip cookie recipe (now realizing I could have just put granola instead of chocolate chips in my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe!)
Here's the recipe if you'd like to try it yourself. We think the recipe first came from Natural Valley, who used to make a dried granola or granola cereal that inspired the recipe. The Natural Valley loose granola is not made anymore; you can use your favorite purchased or homemade granola. I used Kellogg's Low Fat Granola (without raisins) cereal. Break any clumps into smaller pieces before adding to the dough.
Granola Ranger Cookies
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups granola
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix shortening, sugar, brown sugar, egg and vanilla thoroughly. Stir in remaining ingredients. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes. Cool slightly, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely. Yield: About 3 dozen small cookies or about 2 dozen medium cookies.
Note: Since these are made with shortening, the cookies do not spread much when baking and will remain rounded. If you prefer a flatter cookie, flatten dough to about 1/2 or 1/3 inch thick before baking.