Cornflake cookies are just what they sound like: cookies with cornflakes in them. The original source of the recipe, as far as I can tell, is unknown, but the idea of using cereal as an addition to cookies first became popular around the 1930s, so the very first batch was probably baked up around that time. The cookies were more prominent in the 1970s, when they became a fairly popular bake-sale item.
This particular cereal makes a great addition to cookies because it adds a lot of crunch, as well as a flavor and texture that few other ingredients can match. Overall, the cookies here have an almost delicate, crumble-in-your-mouth type of texture. It is more substantial than a crumbly shortbread, but (unless you underbake them slightly) they lack the chewiness of the average chocolate-chip type of cookie. The flavor is buttery, with a tiny hint of corn from the cornflakes, and there is quite a bit of crunch to each bite.
The cornflakes must be crushed up before stirring them into the batter. I found that it took almost twice the amount of whole cornflakes to make the amount of crushed cornflakes called for in the recipe below. I tried to leave some pieces a bit larger than others to add texture, but most pieces should be no larger than a pea. If you’re looking for a variation, you can substitute 1/2 of the cornflakes with chopped and toasted walnuts, or add a little bit of a chocolate drizzle. Otherwise, just eat the cookies plain with a big glass of milk on the side. It might be the fact that there is cereal in the cookies, but trust me when I say that milk is a necessity with these.
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup crushed corn flakes
1/2 cup quick cooking (not instant) oatmeal
Preheat the oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light. Beat in egg and vanilla extract, followed by vegetable oil, mixing until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until only a few streaks of flour remain visible, then add in the cornflakes and oatmeal and mix until cookie dough is uniform.
Drop cookies by tablespoonfuls (1-inch balls, approx.) onto prepared cookie sheet. Gently flatten each with the prongs of a fork (dipped in water to prevent sticking).
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are light gold all over.
Let cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.