Chef Tamara Mitchell is owner of Dine-In Diva Personal Chef Services and also a familiar face in area cooking schools where she often teaches.

Every year among the dozens of beautiful holiday cookie trays filled with nut horns, Russian tea cakes, and sugar cookies cut into Santas, bells and candy canes with royal icing, there were ugly brown ones, which were my favorite: Chocolate Wheaties.

Basically a poor man's haystack, it really doesn't get any easier than this. Hershey's chocolate is preferred. When my mother was making these regularly, there was one really giant-sized bar of Hershey's, and the Wheaties box was probably what is considered the smallest size now.

The other personal bonus is that they are the last ones to go stale. I've been known to discover some tucked in a container months later and still eat them.

For a wedding gift, my mother typed out recipe cards and put them in a photo album of family recipes.

CHOCOLATE WHEATIES

1 lb. milk chocolate (such as Hershey bars or chips)

2 squares baking chocolate

1 box Wheaties cereal (small size)

Melt chocolate over hot water, or slowly in microwave, checking often. Add to Wheaties in a large bowl, stirring to coat.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper. Cool before moving.

Store in airtight container.

Makes several dozen cookies, depending on size.