This won’t be your traditional intro to a cookie, but hang in there. It’ll be worth it. 🙂
About 12 years ago, I went to Ecuador for the summer to volunteer in orphanages. I spent three months in a foreign country, surrounded by a language I sort of understood and didn’t speak, and submersed in a beautiful culture full of delicious new food, smiling brown faces, and sights I couldn’t have even imagined.
I was a world away from home.
My mother was fearless. I don’t know if she was exactly fearless, but she sent her 18 year old daughter off into the world with a smile and wave. It gave me the courage to face whatever came my way with enthusiasm. About a month in, my courage started cracking a bit.
Working in orphanages is hard work. It was a lot of hard work and my body was exhausted! But not only was it hard on my body, it was hard on my heart. I’d never been in a position to love so many little humans with such intensity as I did then. We all knew that these kids didn’t have a mom to love them, they had twelve little moms to love them and take care of them. And as soon as we left, another round of “moms” would come in and care for our “babies.” These beautiful little people had been left at the orphanages for one reason or another, and it made us hurt to know that their parents’ lives were so hard they couldn’t take care of their flesh and blood.
My mom, being on a completely different continent, did the only thing she could so soothe my aching soul. She packaged up all the ingredients for her special cookies, and mailed it to me. It wasn’t exactly a heavy package, but $80 later, it was on its way.
Because it’s a foreign country and things work a little differently, my package couldn’t be delivered to our apartment. It was sent to a central post office building in a completely different city. I had to travel by taxi and bus to go get it. By the time we got there, the post office building was closing, and they weren’t handing out any more packages.
This was the only chance we had, due to our schedules with the orphanages and my lack of interpreting skills. My friend elbowed our way to the front of the horde of people begging for their packages. It was like the NYSE floor! She somehow flagged down a worker and told him our story. He took one look at the weepy American girl and took pity on us. He handed me my package, and I swear I heard angels sing!
When I got home, I made up the batch of cookies, and we all sat around the kitchen table eating freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. I think as we enjoyed the cookies, we all tasted something a little bit different. We all tasted a bit of home.
After my husband and I married, we were still living far from home. Whenever we went to visit my parents, my mom would whip up a batch of these cookies for us to take on our trip home. She calls them trip cookies. 🙂
Since then, these have been a family tradition. If we make cookies, we make these.
The best part about these is that they have FIVE DIFFERENT KINDS OF CHOCOLATE CHIPS!! Ready for this? Semisweet chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, peanut butter and butterscotch chips.
I keep a steady supply in my freezer so I have them on hand always. If we’re missing one or two kinds of chips, we still make them with what we have.
The name is a nod to not only my mother’s Hispanic Heritage, but also a reminder of what it meant to have a taste of home while I was in a South American country.
- 1 cup or butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/4 c flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 c brown sugar
- 3/4 c white sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup of each chip: semisweet chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, peanut butter and butterscotch chips.
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Beat together butter and sugars.
- Add vanilla then eggs one at a time and beat for two minutes until fluffy.
- Add flour, salt and baking soda and mix.
- Stir in chips.
- Bake for 8 - 9 minutes.
This will make 4 – 5 dozen. I freeze the first dozen or two. I know a lot of people will freeze the dough, but I bake the cookies and then freeze them. And I freeze the first few dozen that come out of the oven, otherwise there won’t be any left to freeze because we’ll eat them all!
Do you have a favorite food that reminds you of home?