If you’re ever in Fairbanks, Alaska for a few days, plan to schedule a visit to Running Reindeer Ranch. It’s only about a 20-minute drive north, into the Gold Stream Valley area.
Jane’s Famous Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
When you arrive at the ranch, you’ll find nearly a dozen adorable reindeer ready to greet you as you step from your car. But the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are later. First, you meet the four-legged gang.
Running Reindeer Ranch is the brainchild of Jane Atkinson, her husband Doug and daughter Robin. Starting with only two reindeer, the family fell in love with these gentle creatures. The ranch hosts guests year-round on a walking tour along with their reindeer through the lush boreal forest.
Being among reindeer as we all meandered through the woods is an experience I’ll never forget. You get to learn the reindeers’ names (they’re part of the family), some of their quirks and how to properly pet a reindeer. After the walking tour, back at the guesthouse, it’s time for a little education about reindeer plus pass-around antlers and reindeer tales.
Guests are treated to Jane’s “famous” oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and lemonade. These cookies are so delicious that Jane decided to publish her oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe on their site. As soon as I got back home, I had to try to make a batch of these treats for myself.
I followed Jane’s recipe to the T, except for the walnuts…I used half as much as the recipe calls for using. No particular reason other than to bring out the chocolate rather than a walnut taste. But I’m the same way with brownies, too.
You can read and take a photo tour of my walking with reindeer adventure here.
My visit to Running Reindeer Ranch was truly one of the highlights of my five days in Fairbanks. And finding their oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe was a great reminder of the time I spent walking with reindeer in Alaska.
Here’s Jane’s Running Reindeer Ranch cookie recipe.
Running Reindeer Ranch Cookies
- ½ Cup White Sugar
- ¾ Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Cup Unsalted Butter - Allow to soften to room temperature
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Tsp Real Vanilla
- 1 Cup Flour
- 1 Tsp Baking Soda
- 4 Cups Whole Rolled Oats - Can use less if you prefer less dense cookies
- 1 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips - Ghiradelli 60% cocoa chips
- 1 ½ Cups Unsweetened Shredded Coconut - Bob's Red Mill works well.
- 1 Cup Chopped Walnuts - Can omit if you'd prefer
- In a large bowl, mix together white and brown sugars and softened butter.
- Add two eggs and two teaspoons of vanilla to butter mixture.
- Mix together. Electric hand mixer works well.
- Slowly stir in flour, baking soda, oatmeal, chocolate chips, coconut and walnuts.
- Roll into 1 1/2" balls, place on baking sheet and press to slightly flatten a bit.
- Bake at 350° for about 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°