As I get ready to move to another unfamiliar part of the world, it reminds me of one of my first big trips abroad. For the first half of my sophomore year, I went abroad to Jordan.
I had only been to a few places in Western Europe before then, and my Arabic was not that good. To prepare, I bought a whole stack of books on the region (most of which I never read) and stalked kids on Facebook who had completed the same program before me. (hello, creeper!)
When I landed in Amman, I eventually figured out that I didn’t pack nearly enough fabulous shoes (a favorite among Jordanian college girls) to properly assimilate. I did, however, save some recipes on my laptop before leaving since I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to search for such necessities otherwise.
Because who knows if the internet had reached such an environment yet, right?
(uhh, turned out the internet had reached Jordan long before I got there)
Oh well. To make up for my lame footware, I baked cookies… a lot. I brought them to a cookie swap, I gave batches to my Arabic teachers (who had trouble pronouncing “cooo-keee”), and I helped my friend make some for her Jordanian/Iraqi host family. Hence the name diplomacy cookies; bringing cultures together over sugar and butter.
But, fostering positive diplomatic relations between two countries, whether through baked goods or other means (psh, politics), can be difficult. I didn’t have measuring cups, so everything was measured relative to something else. Like, this box says there is 2 1/4 cups of brown sugar inside, so I’ll mark a line 1/3 of the way down the box and assume that’s the amount a need. Then it’s just a handful of this, a smaller scoop of that. Easy!
My oven was also a bit of a fire hazard, and I lost a bit of the hair on my arm trying to light it once.
And do you know how to ask for baking soda in a foreign language?
But diplomacy prevailed. World peace through cookies.
– Chocolate Chip Cookies – origins long lost
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups (12-ounce package) chocolate chips
– Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
– Line baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking sheets or spray cookie sheets with cooking spray.
– Measure flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
– Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the butter until it is lighter in color. Add in sugars and beat until light and fluffy.
– Add the eggs one at a time and beat until they are incorporated. Stir in the vanilla.
– Add the flour mixture using low speed, then stir in the chocolate chips.
– Drop by heaping spoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges, about 12 to 15 minutes. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes and then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.