This picture is from my Instagram feed where I wrote,
Almond meal chocolate chip cookies for my girls and their neighbor friend. #sharethetable is not being fancy, but quickly mixing up some chocolate chip cookies to provide a sense of "home" for my children and the children who enter our home. This is hospitality to me, allowing the other to leave my house feeling they are no longer an "other." Chocolate chip cookies help build the bridge.
It was my junior year of high school. A year I wished I could hurry and scoot by, or at least to not live at home. Surrounded by instability and a broken family, it was by the grace of God I didn't fall off the deep end and jump full swing into drugs and alcohol.
You see, I was a broken, alone, scared girl who put on this tough exterior at school. I leaned on punk rock and ska shows, times in the desert and trying desperately to find Jesus within the church. Abandoned not only by my parents care; but, my youth pastor wouldn't deny when asked if he had said he didn't want me to return to be apart of the youth group.
I felt crushed. I felt not wanted.
It would be through the love of double stuff Oreo cookies (and nopales con carne, orange juice and warm tortillas slathered in butter) of the Carrillo home, where I would find myself always welcomed to the table.
When I wanted to run away, and cry out to God why he had forsaken me, it would be Mrs. Carrillo calling out, "Kamille, I bought you the Oreos you like."
I never felt alone there.
I loathed Sunday evenings, as it meant the return to home for school's arrival come Monday. And still, every Friday would arrive and I would return to my second home for the weekend.
And every weekend, I never felt like a burden.
I always knew I had a home there. I knew then and there, that hospitality had nothing to do with a clean house, or fancy furniture; rather, it meant you were part of the family. I didn't have to do or say the right thing for fear of being ousted.
It's why chocolate chip cookies can change the world. They let that person know when they enter your home, that everything out there can be crap. But, in here, right at this moment...it's warm, sweet, and good.
As a 16 year old girl, that's all I wanted. And every weekend, I found there was nothing I could do to earn love. At first I felt awkward receiving; but, I knew those Oreos were God's grace on my life. Let your chocolate chip cookies be that grace too.
Chocolate Chip Cookies Which Change the World (printable recipe)
These were made with Bob's Red Mill Natural Almond Meal, which I prefer more than blanched almond flour for a chocolate chip cookie. I love how they have a bite to them and aren't too sweet, but loaded with chocolate. As it should be.
3 cups Bob's Red Mill Natural Almond Meal
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla sea salt, or regular sea salt
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 1/4 cup chocolate chips (I used 70% cacao)
Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Combine almond meal, baking soda, salt, and coconut sugar in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Add the liquids, eggs, melted coconut oil, vanilla and almond extract and mix until completely combined and dry ingredients are wet. Add the chocolate chips and mix. Ensure they are distributed thoroughly.
Using a spoon, make dough into 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoon mounds and then roll into balls. Place onto parchment paper, slightly press down on them. Bake for 11-13 minutes. They should slightly give in the middle when you lightly press.
Cool on tray for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and serve them as grace on a plate.