Friday, 21 December 2012

The cookie jar meets darwin

One of the biggest frustrations for me as a cook/foodie in France is all the work that goes into converting, adapting, finding ingredients, and then having to figure out how to make my American recipe anyway with what I can find in France. After 15+ years in France, I've got a good handle on it all.

I call it darwinism for recipes...

Here, my chérs readers (if there are actually any besides my friend L in NJ and my parents...), is my first public and published darwinized American recipe. I am proud to share the article I wrote for My American Market on my blog. The article originally appeared here. So with no further ado, my first published darwinized recipe...

"My mother used to make these amazing teddy bear breads that she would give to my teachers for the holidays. But now that I’m a parent, I’m amazed that she found the time, patience and energy to bake bread, any kind of bread, for my teachers.

Giving a holiday gift to your teacher in France (or at least in Lille) is just as important as it was back in New Jersey. But after 2 years of baking cookies for 2 people at school plus the 10 people at my son’s crêche (about 4 dozen each of chocolate chip and spice crinkles), I needed to find an easier and less time consuming gift that still retained the personal, American touch.
DSCN5809 768x1024 DIY Cookies in a Jar: the Perfect Homemade Gift
(this is the actual jar I gave to my daughter's teacher)
Enter “the cookie jar”: the perfect homemade, easy, very American gift for teachers. You need only a few minutes, no major materials and it’s inexpensive. But, there are two problems with the recipes you find on the internet:
1) they are in English with American measurements and 2) they don’t take into account the differences in American French products like creamier butter or the difference in flour which can cause flat cookies. (I usually do a mix of T110 and 65T) .
All you need is a 1 liter glass Mason jar (like these from Ikea for a couple of euros), some pretty ribbon, recipe cards printed from the internet and the ingredients:
  • 1 3/4 cup (270g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3 g) baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3g) salt
  • 9 oz (250g) chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (95g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 1 ½ cup (160g) butter
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup oatmeal
I’ve done all the extra work for you as well as added my own touch (the cinnamon and oatmeal can be omitted). If you do use the original recipe (original Tollhouse recipe or chocolate chip oatmeal cookies), remember to add 2 extra tablespoons of flour to the mix to balance out the fat content of the French butter.
To make the cookie mix in a jar, layer the ingredients in the following order. Use the back of a spoon to flatten the layers out as much as possible before adding a new one.
  1. flour, baking soda, salt, vanilla sugar and cinnamon mixed well
  2. chocolate chips (or equal amount of chocolate pieces)
  3. brown sugar
  4. white sugar
You can use my recipe card (below) to attach to your jar or create your own with these instructions:
instruction cards 1024x791 DIY Cookies in a Jar: the Perfect Homemade Gift
And remember that in French, the plural cookies is always used even for a single cookie, attesting to the fact that you can’t eat just one.
The cookies-in-a-jar concept can be used with almost any kind of cookies, here are a few pictures ideas for you:



Tallulah@Bilingual Babes said...

What a fun idea, I've never seen it before. Lucky teachers!

Reb said...

they loved it! next year, I plan on making chcolate-chocolate cookie jars. yum!

Tamara Staton said...

This is a GREAT idea, I wish I had stumbled into it a bit earlier! (and simultaneously wish I'd had more time to make gifts this year!)

In addition to appreciating this post of yours, I wanted to let you know that I think your blog is great. Your writing style, your humor, the topics you pick...all very appealing and interesting to yours truly. THUS, I went and nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. Not sure you've heard of it, but either way, I've laid it all out in a post I wrote on the subject, and should you choose to participate or not, have a gander and see what ya think.
And thanks, so much, for helping to make this blogging community as strong and dynamic as it has become!!
Portland, OR

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