Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies and Puppy Chow!

Mmmm...Chocolate Chip Cookies

As I mentioned in the previous post, baking in another country can be pretty challenging. There are new and different ingredients, odd utensils, and ovens that don’t really work. Yep. Ovens without temperature gauges. That would define most ovens in Mexico.

Yay for Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Yesterday, I was invited to a fiesta to celebrate Mexican Independence Day. Of course, I had to bring something with me, and I thought a dessert would be a welcome addition to the menu. I thought long and hard about what to show up with, and in the end I decided that banana bread would be a good option. Wow…did I think wrong! The batter came together beautifully, but it cooked into a big mess. Or rather, it didn’t really cook at all. The temperature gauge on my oven is terrible. and the oven decided to randomly shut off half way through the process. I didn’t realize that until much later.

Puppy Chow for Mexican Independence Day

The banana bread turned out to be a pile of mush. Soooo, I moved on to Plan B—I decided to attempt chocolate chip cookies. I have this recipe for chocolate chip cookies that I consider to be my no-fail recipe. In other words, if this recipe bombs then you are in a real baking dilemma. I was able to find all of the ingredients for the cookies with the exception of brown sugar—I smashed up piloncillo with a rolling pin as a close approximation. The dough mixed up rather nicely, and would you believe that the cookies baked up beautifully? Yes…they did and I have the pictures to prove it. They tasted yummy too, and I kind of enjoyed the fun bursts of piloncillo pockets in my mouth.

Puppy Chow

The cookies were such a success that I decided to make puppy chow, too. Even though they don’t have Crispix here in Mexico, I was able to find a similar variation called Quaker Complete. The puppy chow was also a success! I hope this means that I’m getting better at baking here in Mexico. But, I bet it’s probably just had a stroke of good luck. We’ll see… Alton Brown's Chocolate Chip Cookies (Click here for printable recipe.) Recipe Source: Alton Brown Cookies 2 sticks unsalted butter 2 ¼ cups bread flour (12 oz, 340 g) 1 tsp kosher salt 1 tsp baking soda ¼ cup granulated sugar (1 ¾ oz, 50 g) 1 ¼ cups brown sugar (9 oz, 255 g) 1 egg 1 egg yolk 2 TBSP milk (1 oz, 30 g) 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (7 oz, 250 g)
  • Heat the oven to 375°F. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat.
  • Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  • Pour the melted butter in a mixing bowl and add sugars. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed until well combined. The butter should not puddle.
  • Add the egg, egg yolk, milk, and vanilla and mix thoroughly until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture. When combined, stir in chocolate chips.
  • Chill the dough for about 15 minutes, the scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes (with convection on) or 14 minutes (without convection). Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Makes…28 cookies

AND Puppy Chow (Click here for printable recipe.)

Recipe Source: Mom

Puppy Chow 12 oz (340 g) chocolate chips 8 oz (226 g) peanut butter 12 oz (340 g) Crispix 16 oz (454 g) powdered sugar

  • In a large pot set over medium heat, mix together chocolate chips and peanut butter until melted. Remove from heat.
  • Gently stir Crispix cereal into chocolate-peanut butter mixture being careful not to crush the cereal. Coat completely.
  • Fill the bottom of a plastic grocery bag with half of the powdered sugar. Pour the chocolate-coated cereal into the grocery bag. Top with the remaining powdered sugar. Twist the bag close and shake until the cereal is completely coated with powdered sugar.
  • Enjoy!

Makes…6-8 cups of puppy chow


  1. Hi Nicole,

    I've applied this year for an ETA in Mexico and was just searching on Google, and came across your post on Mari's blog! She and I have exchanged a few emails over the past year or so as I've been abroad teaching and then working through my application.

    Are you in Mexico now, then? If you ever have a spare moment to tell me a few juicy details, I'd love to hear them! There's not a whole lot of information out about the day-to-day lives of the Fulbright grantees, especially in Mexico and ESPECIALLY the ETAs. I'd love to hear about the job, the students you work with, what you're up to in your spare time, how you found a place to live in, anything really!

    Thanks so much. Stay safe and enjoy your time with the program!

    Julie Emerson