And They Even Rival Grandma’s

If you’ve ever visited the ranch, you may have sampled our Rawhide Cookies. Since their creation 40 years ago, they have become another time-honored Rawhide tradition and easily the tastiest. The cookie legend began as a way to thank donors, visitors, neighbors, and friends for their support.

The Beginning of a Delicious Tradition

One of Rawhide’s first housekeepers, Helen Wilson, developed the original Frontier Cookie recipe. At the time, she was teaching a baking class to the guys, instructing them on fundamental baking procedures. Rawhide had just begun a partnership with the Wisconsin Automobile & Truck Dealers Association (WATDA) as a part of the vehicle donation program, and we wanted to thank auto dealerships for offering to be drop-off locations for donated cars. Helen, along with the guys, began baking the Frontier Cookies as a gift to the dealerships in appreciation for participating in the program. The cookies quickly became known as the “best cookies money can’t buy.”

original Rawhide cookies

One of the original Rawhide Frontier Cookies

Evolution of Rawhide Cookies

The original Frontier Cookies were much larger and thicker than the cookies made today. In fact, the original cookies weighed ½ pound each! If that doesn’t shock you then this just might—a batch of 50 cookies included the following ingredients:

  • 60 eggs
  • 20 cups of sugar
  • 5 pounds of butter
  • 15 pounds of chunky peanut butter
  • 90 cups of oatmeal
  • 8 pounds of M&M
  • 8 pounds of chocolate chips
  • “Lots of love!”

The recipe has evolved over the years, and it’s safe to say that today’s cookies are “healthier”—as far as cookies go.

Can You Smell Those Freshly Baked Cookies?

Even with the refined recipe, these cookies still rival grandma’s. One whiff of them coming out of the oven will start your mouth watering. And that first bite will not disappoint.

Today, Rawhide Frontier Cookies are available in three varieties:

  1. Chocolate Chip Walnut
  2. Oatmeal Raisin
  3. Peanut Butter

A usual batch yields 450 thinner cookies about 4” in diameter. We include the cookies as dessert at our seasonal Fish Fries, give them to donors as a thank-you gift, and hand them out at special events or during a Rawhide tour.

In preparation for special events, a few Rawhide guys help the diligent café staff bake 600+ cookies. They blend the ingredients together in a giant mixing bowl and measure a precise amount of dough for each cookie. Once the cookies are baked to tasty perfection, they use a machine to wrap them individually.

We still hand out the Frontier Cookies to say thank you to our supporters. They are definitely a “sweet” way to thank those that help us carry out our mission to help troubled youth.

‘Tis the Season for Christmas Treats

This time of year, beginning already in early November, the Rawhide café staff and a few of the guys are busy making special Christmas treats. In addition to the Frontier Cookies, they make almost every kind of Christmas cookie and candy you can imagine. These sweets fill several trays and pails on the kitchen shelves until they are ready to be enjoyed. Eventually, these delectable Christmas treats will be delivered to Rawhide’s neighbors and given to donors as a thank you around the holidays.

This Christmas, or any time of year, join us at the Ranch and enjoy one (or more!) of our famous Frontier Cookies. We promise you won’t regret experiencing our delicious Rawhide tradition.