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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Galletas Chocochips (Mami)

That's the recipe title I wrote almost thirteen years ago on my first ever recipe notebook. I was about to get married, move to the U.S. and carve a life away from my family and my friends. At least I wanted to bring their flavors along with me so I could taste and smell their familiarity and for a couple of bites, feel a bit closer.

These cookies are the first thing that pops into my mind whenever I think of my mother's cooking and baking. It wasn't the only thing she made, but this one watched us both, my brother and I, grow up. 
We would bake them together with the Nestle chocolate chips that she had "smuggled" into pre-Nafta Mexico, after trips abroad, always concerned the custumes' officer might discover the yellow bag hidden inside her unworn shoes in the suitcase.

When very young, my brother decided to make those cookies his only source of food. My mom started keeping the cookie jar behind a locked pantry, but he perfected a strange and still not clear climbing, contortionist and reaching technique with which he managed to take off the lid and empty the whole jar of its contents and into his mouth in one afternoon. She would hide the cookies, he would find them (weird, because it sounds exactly like my own son, and given the fact that they look identical, I often feel I live in a deja vu).
When my friends came over for pajama parties, they would wake up in the middle of the night, sneak into the kitchen and snack on the cookies too. They were kind of the "specialty of the house."

Two years ago exactly, my mother passed away after a 28-year-long fight for her life. She never gave up. She went when she fell her time had arrived, once my brother and I had reached adulthood, graduated university, got married, and kind of settled down. She didn't pass away 8 months after her cancer diagnosis, as her doctors had predicted she would, but 28 years.
She never gave up. She believed, and she knew what she wanted: to survive. And she survived. She never took a "no, you can't" for an answer. She never stopped fighting, being hopeful and confident. She passed away the day before Chanukah, and I find it incredible because--just like the oil needed to light the Menorah in the Temple in this holiday's story-- Her life, was supposedly going to extinguish much sooner than it did. G-d's miracle, made her light shine for much longer. 
And this is why, I want to share today; to celebrate her, her light, her strength and her beauty as a person; these chocolate chip cookie recipes.
I first thought I wouldn't change her original recipe, but after thinking it further, I came to the conclusion that she would probably be proud of the fact that I took what she gave me, made it my own and changed it for what I believe to be better. After all, she's the one who forced me to drink fresh orange juice every morning before school "to get my vitamin C," (I hated then and still hate, the pulp in my drinks, so I tried different techniques to escape it, like throwing the juice down the bathroom sink, or running to the car pretending I had forgotten. I was always caught). She was the one giving me bee pollen tablets "to strengthen my immune system" (those were the 70's...), and made brown colored lemonade, because she'd learned honey was a better sweetener than sugar. We were the only household I knew where sandwiches were prepared with whole wheat bread then, and there was never soda at home. I hated it then, and I embrace it now in every single way I can.
I wished I had her near me, healthy and happy. Teaching me how to be a mother. But in the meanwhile, I do have my memories and her her recipes. And I'm thankful for both and for the fact that with her powerful light, she still illuminates my life!

GALLETAS CHOCOCHIPS MAMI

Well, this is my interpretation of my mother's classic. The recipe uses pecans, that you could substitute for seeds or toasted brown rice cereal if you needed to. But my mother loved nuts and I wanted to keep them in. If you scroll down, you'll find my mother's REAL recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • Vegan, gluten, soy, wheat, dairy, and egg free. CONTAINS NUTS
  • Super ingredients: coconut and olive oil, flax meal, whole oat flour, pecans
2 ounces (1/4 cup) virgin coconut oil, melted
2 ounces (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
0.25 ounce (1 tablespoon) flax meal mixed with 3 tablespoons water
2.75 ounces (1/2 cup) coconut palm sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 ounces (1 1/4 cup) whole oat flour (gluten free if needed)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 1/2 ounces (3/4 cup)coarsley chopped pecans
3 ounces (2/3 cup) semi sweet chocolate chips or chunks

METHOD
Preheat oven to 357 F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix oils, flax-water mix, coconut sugar and vanilla extract with a spatula, until an homogeneous batter forms.

Add flour, baking soda and salt into the bowl with the oil mixture, and whisk it until it comes together.

Add pecans and chocolate chips and mix them into the dough with a spatula until they are evenly distributed.


Drop tablespoonfulls of dough onto the prepared pans, leaving 2 inches between each cookie (they spread a LOT).

Bake for about 11 minutes, until nice and brown.



Let cookies cool for 2 minutes and enjoy! The cookies are crunchy and very delicate, so be aware that they crumble a lot. Get a plate!!!

THE ORIGINAL RECIPE
INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chocolate chips

METHOD
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In an electring mixer, beat the butter and the sugars. Add the egg and the vanilla until egg incorporates.
Add flour, baking soda and salt and beat until the dough comes together.
Mix the pecans and chocolate chips by hand with a spatula and follow the instructions for the recipe above.

Enjoy! But don't bother hiding the cookies. They will find them anyways!!!

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