Today is the first day of school and, as is tradition, there will be homemade chocolate chip cookies ready for the first after-school snack of the year. I have been making chocolate chip cookies for years. As a child I made them using half a bag of chips to make each bag stretch further. As I got older, CCC’s, as we called them, were key in celebrations with friends. Over time, I adapted recipes to come up with one of my own and now, I am happy to say, I am internationally known for my cookies — in certain communities in Basel and Hong Kong anyway.
As I moved I have had to adapt the recipe slightly to accommodate different ovens and different ingredients in different countries. It took me a long time initally to figure out why the recipe I’d used for years created cookies that tasted good, they were different in both tastse and texture. Turns out, the water content of Croatian butter was to blame. Now when I change countires, and therefore butter, I adjust the amount of oatmeal to reach the batter consistency I like.
At first I would import bags of Toll House Morsels and ask people to bring them when they came to visit. Then someone introduced me to Baker’s chocolate chunks, and I had friends bring those. In Hong Kong I could buy Guittard 60% chips (yum!). I recently learned that the Toll House morsels have ingredients in them I don’t want to be eating (not to mention they’re made by Nestle) so I have switched entirely to the local Schokoladewrüfeli, tiny cubes of a delicious, dark chocolate.
Brown sugar is another challenge and bringing it back with me is still the easiest solution. I understand that in France it’s possible to buy it, so that will take some investigating. Guess I will have to check out a boulangerie or two while sourcing my brown sugar!