My Great Aunt Abe loves to play Uno and evidently she loves to bake as well. Recently I went through some of my Aunt Abe’s things that were gathered from her home as she is now moving to assisted living.

In the box of miscellaneous items I chose a set of hand stitched pillowcases that belonged to my Great Grandmother, a little cleaver (I have no idea what she was doing with a mini cleaver but I plan on using it for cheese platters as it will be easily able to hack through hard cheeses), and a book filled with her hand written recipes.


Hand written recipes are so precious to me. Someones personal collection of favorite recipes is more intimate than a journal and more revealing than dirty laundry. I long to find the cook’s notes in beautifully written script on the edge of a yellowed page in a used cookbook.

I just really love old recipes. Today we are bombarded by the precision required in baking. I can not dispute the fact that baking is a science but recipes given to me by those in my grandparent’s generation focus on the art and feel of it rather than the technicality required.


In the few but precious moments of baking instruction given to me by my grandmother she did not recite a recipe accurate down to the 1/8 teaspoon. Rather she taught me what to look for and what it should feel like. Similarly as I skim through this newly acquired treasury of retro recipes, the notes on the method are simple and brief. There are no sweat inducing introductions to the recipe that demand that every ingredient be 97.2 degrees. They are simple, delicious and memory-evoking dishes.


When I saw, “Crunchy Chocolate Cookies” in her collection I just knew I had to try them. With corn flakes as an ingredient I was intrigued. And with two sticks of butter and one cup of vegetable oil I knew they couldn’t be that bad. It turns out my intuition was correct. These cookies are truly delicious. One bite and I was flooded with memories of snagging these cookies off the potluck table in the basement of my Grandmother’s church.


They are as the recipe suggests, “crunchy”. But it is not the kind of crunchiness you taste from and over baked cookie. It is the addition of the oil that gives it a tender crispness that shatters in your mouth. The oats in the recipe give the cookie some bulk and chew, which I find very enjoyable. Although the cornflakes are not very easy to detect in the finished product, every once and a while you get a slightly salt crunch that reminds of you scarfing down a bowl of the flakes in the morning before jetting off to first period.


Don’t be to scared of the amount of fat in the recipe. This batch makes a very large quantity. However it is still early in the evening and I have already eaten six.

I hope you enjoy them as much as my Aunt Abe and I do.

Crunchy Chocolate Cookies

Bake at 350* for 12 min.

3 1/2 cups All-purpose flour

3 tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. Salt

1 cup butter

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk

2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup corn flakes

1 cup quick oats

1 (12 oz) pkg. chocolate chips

Sift the flour, salt and soda onto wax paper. Beat butter and sugars until well creamed. Combine egg, vanilla and oil in a small bowl. Alternately add the oil mixture and the flour mixture to the creamed sugars. Mix until just combined. Stir in the corn flakes, oats and chocolate. Drop by heaping teaspoons onto cookie sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until golden.