Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies!

When I was home for Christmas, I picked up an item that's a crucial part of American culture:

They don't have chocolate chips in this country, so they don't have chocolate chip cookies. As a Peace Corps volunteer, it's one of my duties to help Dominicans learn about the important aspects of American culture (and the world at large) that aren't part of Dominican life. So, obviously, I was obligated to bake cookies with some friends.

I got most of the ingredients (except the chocolate chips) from supermarkets here in the DR. I didn't want to use up my friends' food, but I did depend on them for bowls and pans and a stove (and gas for the stove, which isn't always available).

I started at the house of my friend Eliza, who loves baking and has plenty of supplies. She's mostly familiar with cakes, but picked up on cookies quickly and we ended up with a good batch.
As I said, she mainly bakes cakes, so we ended up baking cookies in cake pans!

The next week, I went to my former host family. They weren't quite as well equipped, and their oven didn't get very hot, and I didn't add enough flour, but they were still the best chocolate chip cookies they'd ever tasted.

Finally, I baked with the family of one of my first reading students. I'd brought them the Spanish version of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," and that was where I got the idea of baking cookies in the first place. They had the least supplies of anyone, but we made do.
They didn't have a 1 Cup measure, so we filled a pitcher with 1 Cup of water, poured it into this cup, and marked it off with a pencil. I think we made it too small, but it worked. More or less.

I left the recipe at all three houses, but I don't know how often they'll get a chance to use it (and they'll have to break up their own pieces of chocolate). It made me wonder which is worse: never having chocolate chip cookies at all, or only having them once?