This recipe for corn flakes cereal made from scratch bakes in the oven. It stays crunchy in milk and has a lovely sweet and toasted corn flavor that is almost identical to that of the boxed cereal. The recipe makes a small batch (enough for 2 to 3 small bowls of cereal), but you can easily double or triple it—just be sure to divide the batter into additional baking sheets so that it doesn't come out too thick. This cereal is also great to snack on, to top yogurt or ice cream, or to crush to use as breading.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and grease lightly with oil or baking spray.
Whisk 1 cup of the cornmeal with the sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Add the vanilla extract and 3/4 cup water, a little at a time, stirring until the batter is smooth and thin. If it's too dry, add additional water. You want something the consistency of pancake batter.
Pour the batter onto the prepared baking sheet and spread out evenly. (It won't reach the edges, but that's OK. You want a nice thin layer, about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick.)
Combine the remaining 1/2 cup cornmeal with 1 teaspoon water and mix until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs; add an additional teaspoon or 2 of water, if too dry.
Sprinkle the top of the batter with the cornmeal crumbs (this will help give it a little extra crunchy texture).
Bake on the center rack, keeping a close eye on it, until the dough has dried out and cracked, 10 to 15 minutes. You're looking for a cracked arid-desert landscape look to it.
Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees F. Let the baking sheet cool, then use your hands to tear and crack the dough into small flakes. Return to the oven and bake on the center rack until the pieces are toasted, crisp, and golden, about 45 minutes.
Let cool completely before serving with milk or as you would any cereal. Store leftovers in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 2 weeks.