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Cracker Jack Rice Krispie Cookies have a hint of caramel with a combination of coconut, oatmeal, peanuts and of course crispy rice cereal making them a delicious cookie everyone will love. Make a double batch for the freezer so you’ll always have some to enjoy!
Why We Love This Cookie Recipe
Several years ago I started going through my recipe box that had recipes I had collected over the years. This recipe for Rice Krispie Cookies a.k.a. Cracker Jack Cookies was one I had held on to forever but I wasn’t really sure of its origins.
So I decided to give it a try back then and I’m so glad I did! They were an instant hit with my family and we have made this recipe many times since then.
There are a few secrets to this cookie recipe that make up the unique flavor and I think one of them is the amount of brown sugar—it’s a little bit more than many other similar cookie recipes that use a combination of brown and white sugars.
And the addition of TWO teaspoons of vanilla bumps up the flavor! It makes the cookies taste a little more “caramelly” to me.
With a nod to that classic American ballpark favorite snack, Cracker Jacks, the blend of ingredients do totally remind me of this favorite snack mix!
Ingredient Tips To Make These Cookies
All of the ingredients called for in these cookies are easy to find but I have some tips on a few of them for you.
I prefer to buy the unsweetened coconut flakes as it helps to reduce the sugar, even if it’s just a little bit. Sometimes, it can be hard to find but my local Kroger store does carry the unsweetened variety.
I also try to buy peanuts at Aldi as they can be a lot less expensive than when purchased at other stores. I buy nuts for other recipes like Black Forest Trail Mix or Banana Split Trail Mix at Aldi too. They’re just more economical there but I’ll also buy the store brand at other stores when I don’t go to Aldi.
I also like to use my handheld food chopper (affiliate link) to chop the peanuts. It makes it so much easier!
This recipe calls for Rice Krispies, which is a name brand, but any crispy rice cereal will do. Just like the peanuts, I try to buy these at Aldi or a store brand variety to save money.
How to Make These Cookies
Making these crispy rice cookies is pretty straightforward, just like many other cookies such as these Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies.
I do have a couple of tips though. After you’ve creamed together the butter, sugar, and eggs and added the flour mixture, it’s time to add the shredded coconut, oatmeal and crispy rice cereal (1) This will make the batter get pretty thick but that’s ok!
Then add the chopped peanuts, mixing just until combined (2).
I love using my small scoop (affiliate link) to portion out the dough (3) on to my baking sheet (affiliate link) lined with a silicone baking mat (affiliate link). It helps the cookies to bake more evenly when they start out at about the same size.
Next, I use the back of a large spoon to flatten the cookies (4). You can also use a the bottom of a glass but you’ll want to dip it in sugar every few cookies so it doesn’t stick to the cookie dough.
Then it’s time to bake and enjoy! So easy!
Make Ahead Prep Ideas
Cookies are one of the easiest things to bake and make ahead and these Rice Krispie Cookies are no exception. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week (if they last that long!)
Sometimes I will measure out and mix up all the dry ingredients to save time when I’m ready to bake up a batch of cookies. This is especially helpful when there are additional steps to do, like chopping the peanuts. You can even make up a bunch of the dry mix “kits” and label so you can bake them up any time.
Are These Cookies Freezer Friendly?
You can freeze these baked cookies for up to 3 months (or sometimes longer is fine). Just be sure to label your container (these are my favorite reusable labels—affiliate link) and squeeze out as much air as possible to preserve freshness.
Another thing I will sometimes do is make up the cookie dough entirely then scoop the cookie dough balls out onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat (affiliate link) and flash freeze until they are solid.
For these Cracker Jack Cookies, I would go through the step where it says to flatten the cookie dough ball and then place them on the baking sheet before freezing. Then you can just bake from frozen to have fresh cookies any time you like! Simply add a couple of extra minutes to the total baking time and you’ll be good to go and ready to enjoy!
Love Cookies? Check Out These Recipes Too!
Originally published in July 2017 and republished in August 2020 with new photos and content.
Cracker Jack Rice Krispie Cookies
- Baking Sheet
- Silicone Baking Mat
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar lightly packed
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups oatmeal old-fashioned style, not quick cooking
- 2 cups crisped rice cereal
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup roasted peanuts finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350◦F .
- In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add flour mixture and mix just until blended.
- Add oatmeal, coconut and crisped rice cereal. Mix just until blended.
- Drop dough by heaping tablespoons on a greased baking sheet (or use parchment paper or silicone baking mat). Flatten cookie slightly with bottom of a cup or just using the back of the spoon.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are slightly brown around the edges.
- Cool for one minute on baking sheet then remove cookies to a wire cooling rack to continue cooling.
- Store cookies in an airtight container for up to one week—if they last that long! Or in the freezer for up to three months.