Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Remember when?

Every single year, without fail, I get nostalgic about my childhood summer vacations to a little cottage in Michigan. Custer, Michigan to be exact. It is just east of Ludington, which is famous to us for The House of Flavors Ice Cream Shop where you can order something called the Super Pig, Clown Town, where we watched the attendant get run over by a go kart and we laughed until it hurt when we saw it happen and Fort Dahl, the mecca of all cheesy souvenir shops. It was every kid's dream, but besides the kitschy charm, I remember the foods we used to eat.

On our way for a Jeep ride! 
This is the Jeep I learned to drive stick on,
well before I was 16.

We were a crew and I miss this scene.
This is looking away from the cottage, 
right before the first turn going out.
Why Noni is carrying a purse in the middle of the woods is beyond me.
Left to right: Auntie Do, Me, Amber, Ingrid, 
Dena and Noni.
 I'm sure Auntie B was behind the camera.
We ate different things up at the cabin with my two great aunts and my Noni. They really were GREAT aunts, Auntie Do and Auntie B. They would make all kinds of different things, like beet tops. Let's just say I will NEVER be devoting a blog post to beet tops. Besides those lovely beet tops, they made their own jelly which was spread on Amish bread, I remember wheat germ, which I had never heard of before, and my favorites, Ranger Cookies.

Oh baby, here they are!
(insert squeal here)
Ranger Cookies are kinda like a chocolate chip only better.
Auntie B and Do would send them in a care package every Christmas, along with the Sour Milk Cookies, a post for another day. We also enjoyed them at the cottage and since it is now summertime, cottage time, I wanted to make them. The problem was, I didn't have the recipe.

Enter Ingrid, my crazy awesome cousin, who used to orchestrate dog shows at the cottage. Now you may be thinking, where did they get the dogs at a cottage in the middle of the woods? Yeeeaaaayyy, Dena, Amber and I were the dogs, which she trained and we put on a dog show to raise money to use in town. Oh, yes, and now, would you believe it, Ingrid really does train dogs in her spare time and YES, they are real dogs this time, but back to the story. I got in touch with Ingrid, Auntie Do's granddaughter. Ingrid gave me the total hook up! She had the recipe and gave it to me! THANK YOU!!!!

Ok, so here I am with one of my very favorite cookie recipes in hand and I just had to get started. Thankfully, I had all of the ingredients.

Every year I would look forward to driving up that little path that wound deep into the woods and opened to a little dark log cabin and a lake. Even now, I can feel that tingle of anticipation as we neared the opening in the woods. As I started baking these cookies, heart full of nostalgia, I had the same excited tingle inside.

Ranger Cookies
1 cup butter soft
3/4 cups brown sugar
3/4 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt (if using unsalted butter)
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp milk
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup chopped walnuts
12oz. chocolate chips
2 cups of crushed cornflakes(it says optional, but I used them)
1 cup coconut (says optional and she didn't use it, so neither did I, but I might experiment next time)

Beat butter and sugar until mixed. Add eggs, vanilla and the milk and mix.
This is all of the dry, including
the crushed corn flakes.

Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl.
I kind of flattened them a little
before baking because they
seemed dense.
Fold together the dry ingredients with the already mixed wet ingredients.
Drop by the spoonful onto a greased sheet or onto parchment.

Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes and then cool on a wire wrack.

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