A Treasured Recipe

Recently a reader sent me a sweet letter and a handwritten recipe. You know by now how much I love a handwritten recipe! And if that recipe was handed down from generation to generation then that recipe is truly a treasure to me. Here is a recipe for “Raisin Toffee Bars” from Beverly and Jack Hollen of Mountain View, California. The recipe belonged to Beverly’s late mother-in-law. This is a good breakfast cookie. Once in a while you can start the day off with dessert, you know. There. I just gave you permission.

Raisin Toffee Bars

½ cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
1 cup Kellogg’s All-Bran Original cereal
1 cup flour

Combine the butter and sugar. Mix thoroughly. Add beaten eggs, vanilla, and salt. Stir in All-Bran and raisins. Add the flour and stir until thoroughly mixed. Bake in a greased 9 x 9 pan at 350⁰ for 30 minutes.


1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp butter
½ tsp vanilla
1-2 tbsp milk

Beat until smooth then spread.

The local store did not have All-Bran cereal so I looked for it when I went shopping in Madras. I was surprised that I had to visit three stores in order to find it. All-Bran, you are playing hard to get! One of the criteria I use when writing about a recipe is that the ingredients have to be readily available. I wondered if another type of cereal might work. The closest substitute I could think of was Wheat Chex but . . . that didn’t work very well. All-Bran may be a bit elusive but it’s versatile and could become a welcome addition to your pantry. Plus, in addition to being a yummy ingredient to include in your baking, it’s also delicious to eat straight out of the box while you are making the cookies. I can vouch for that because that is what I did. The cereal has a wonderful crunchy texture and the just right amount of sweetness. Check out more recipes at all-bran.com. I want to try their version of banana nut bread soon. This cereal won’t hang around long in my pantry.

When I made the cookies a second time, they only took seven minutes to make because I had already memorized the recipe. I used dried fig pieces instead of raisins. I did not make the frosting because the raisins and figs added just the right amount of sweetness for me.

This is the ultimate quick and easy cookie recipe. Thank you Hollen family for sharing your late mother-in-law’s treasure. Who knows, in a hundred years the cookies made from this handed down recipe may show up in someone’s lunch box!