Dearest reader, I have neglected my blog for quite a few weeks. That doesn’t mean exciting things haven’t been happening, it just means I’ve been busy living those moments instead of photographing them and writing them down. As much as I love recounting the stories of my adventures and taking photos to remember them by, there are times when I have to put down my phone or camera and only have the memory in my mind’s eye.
I rather liked the format of my last post about my Ruta Maya travels where I had some photos and then the rainbows (highs) and rain clouds (lows) of each experience. If you get all the way through the post there is a lovely cookie recipe waiting for you as your prize. They were a hit at my fellow Fulbrighter’s potluck going away party, so get excited for that!
Things I cooked
Rainbow: cooking club’s final meeting! Over the course of my months in Mexico I have gotten together with my fellow Fulbrighters in Guadalajara once a month and cooked delicious meals. We usually go all out with a salad, main dish, bread, and dessert. For our final gathering we made a four star picnic with a spinach, beet, and goat cheese salad with blackberry vinaigrette, tandoori chicken burgers with yogurt mint sauce (recipe from Baked Bree), mango lassis, and dulce de leche brownies with sea salt (recipe from Bakerita). We enjoyed our picnic at an outdoor movie at the Parque Metropolitano.
Rain cloud: I saw this fantastic recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough stuffed pretzels by Halfbaked Harvest. Sounds amazing right? I’m sure they would have been amazing had I not been the one to make them. Some day I will get pretzels right, but until then I think I will take a break from them. They came out tough and the ones without the cookie dough were too sweet on their own for my taste. The inspiration behind making pretzels was a large bag of sea salt that I purchased (for 8.50MXN, around 60 american cents) that I needed to use. I’m going to keep looking for good sea salt recipes so I can put it to good use!
Places I went: Tapalpa
Tapalpa is a pueblo mágico an hour and half outside of Guadalajara (theoretically). I went with some fellow Fulbrighters to unplug (poor cell service pun) and enjoy some time in nature next to some large rocks and a tall waterfall.
Rainbows: empanadas de membrillo (quince) and nieve de zarzamora (blackberry ice cream) were the culinary standouts. Also, the feeling after completing a surprisingly intense hike back up from the canyon of the waterfall.
Rain clouds: the banda music concert that began promptly at 6am and continued until 8am. Why anyone needs to have this music on a full blast at 6am on a Friday is beyond me.
I only have two more weeks left until my grant period is over! I will be staying in Mexico a few days after to tie up some loose ends and hopefully travel a little more before I head back to the States. Until then, I have my bucket list with things I still want to eat and see in Guadalajara, as well as a half marathon around the streets of the the UAG and Providencia which I have gotten to know so well.
Now as promised: Cookies and Cups recipe for the Perfect Cookie Base
My notes: the brown sugar I found here in Mexico is a lot more granular and gave the cookies a sandy texture in my opinion (this didn’t deter people from eating them). I also didn’t want to buy a box of corn starch because it was huge and what am I going to do with so much corn starch in three weeks, so I bought a packet of vanilla flavored atole (corn starch based drink) mix instead and it gave the desired effect.
– 2 cups flour
– 1 Tbsp cornstarch (or atole mix)
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 3/4 tsp kosher salt
– 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
– 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
– 1/2 cup granulated sugar
– 1 egg
– 1 Tbsp vanilla
– 1 1/2 cups your favorite candy (I used m&ms and Kinder Delice chocolate bars)
How to Make
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Cream butter and the sugars together. Since I don’t have a stand mixer, I just beat them with a rubber spatula until they were well incorporated.
- Add in egg and vanilla to the butter sugar mixture. In the original recipe it says to cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, but the mixture didn’t get fluffy for me until I added the egg.
- Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. .
- Add the flour mixture until dough comes together.
- Stir in candy until evenly distributed.
- Place the cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 9-12 minutes, checking to make sure they aren’t getting brown on the edges and over baking.