Kelly Simmons hopes to expand to the District. (Courtesy photo)
Kelly Simmons hopes to expand to the District. (Courtesy photo)

Many people fondly remember, adore and revere the old-school packaged cookies that we craved before and after the lunch bell rang.

The taste of chocolate chip or even butter crunch cookies remained irresistible.

And while some still long for the authentic taste that’s so hard to find, Kelly Simmons has come up with the perfect recipe.

After owning a beauty salon for 13 years and then working as an educator in Jessup, Maryland, Simmons founded and opened Aunt Kelly’s Cookies, a bakery where customers brag that “you can taste the homemade goodness in every bite.”

“I only use the freshest, highest quality ingredients and we bake on site every day to ensure that the cookies taste as fresh as they look,” Simmons said.

Located at 857 N. Howard Street in Baltimore, Aunt Kelly’s Cookies has earned acclaim for its butter crunch, chocolate chip and butter pecan cookies.

One of the more popular treats — the butter crunch and chocolate chip combination.

“That’s my favorite,” Simmons exclaimed. “I thought, ‘why hasn’t anyone put those two together?’ I wondered why they were never married.”

The combination proved so popular, Simmons included it in her “Cookie of the Month” selections.

That wasn’t the only flavor customers – both in Baltimore and those ordering online – craved.

“I did another one called butter pecan and I brought it out as a Cookie of the Month,” Simmons recalled. “When I took it away, my customers hounded me for almost eight months to bring it back.”

Simmons said her journey into the bakery business began in the 1980s as a young girl living in Baltimore.

“I was in grade school and like many of my peers, I would make sure I had change for buying butter crunch cookies,” she said.  “As the years passed, I searched for, but could never find, that same butter crunch taste I remembered.”

“That is until I started baking my own cookies in 1999. I had finally discovered the key ingredients that make this memorable cookie. I couldn’t wait to share my discovery with my family and now I want to share that experience with everyone,” Simmons said.

While working as an educator, she noted that she’d sometimes bake cookies for her students and they fell in love with the taste.

“I have had people from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia tasting the cookies,” Simmons stated. “Where I am, the cookies follow me and I share them with everyone. People say they remind them of the cookies they used to get in elementary school.”

So, what’s the secret?

“First of all, I hate tasting chemicals,” Simmons observed. “I’m trying to taste the same cookies that we tasted going back to my grandmother’s days. So, I stick to the basics like my grandmother showed me and that’s why I make the cookies fresh every day. We mix and bake on-site each day so that our customers are getting the freshest and purest cookies.”

Simmons opened Aunt Kelly’s Cookies in 2018 and said she “mixes every batch with love” using locally sourced ingredients, including Domino Sugar.

Simmons, who has quickly established herself as a successful Black woman-owned business in the Baltimore area, said she cannot wait to make Aunt Kelly’s Cookies a household name.

Aunt Kelly’s Cookies have already been voted a 5-star bakery in over 100 local reviews. She has expanded upon her famous butter crunch cookies and offers a variety of options. And while customers can place orders online, she still hopes to expand to other areas.

“I’d love to open up in D.C.,” Simmons said. “I sold some cookies there before and people loved them. So, it’s my goal to open Aunt Kelly’s Cookies in D.C.”

To learn more or to place an order, go to

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Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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