As you may know my most recent Lunes Latinos posts haven been inspired by my recent trip to the Dominican Republic. I was born and raised in the DR. It is a gorgeous and amazing country. Many times people, even myself, may refer to the DR as an island, but the truth is that it is not. We are not an island, we are a country that shares part of an island with the neighboring country Haiti. For some reason Haiti seems to be forgotten more often than not, and it should not be that way. Haiti is also a beautiful country that has been hurt a lot. There is a lot of history behind why Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere and to make matters worse, they have been affected, in recent years by horrible natural disasters. It is hard on their people and as much as they would like to thrive, they can’t do it alone. You all may know I have big dreams about helping my own country, which has its own issues. But my heart aches for those in need and there is no reason to limit the time and place where we get to contribute our little grain of sand.
Something you may not know is that my mom’s side of the family is from a town near the border between Haiti and the DR. We don’t always cross the border but during this trip we did and I was not prepared for what I saw with my own eyes, mud cookies. I’ve heard that Haitians eat mud to survive but seeing them being sold in their market was heart wrenching.
These mud cookies are made of dirt, butter and bouillon. They hold very little nutritional value but it keeps their stomachs feeling fuller. When I asked how much they sold for, the answer was $2 Dominican pesos, which equals about 5 US cents and even at that price, not many can afford them.
Besides the mud cookies, the scene below also was also shocking to see. The dry side where all you can see is dirt, is Haiti. The green, luscious mountains behind, just 5 minutes away, are part of the DR. This is something I can’t quite understand.
Looking into the eyes of these Haitian kids was also very, very hard.
Leaving was even harder. Dozens of barefoot kids run for miles begging for anything you can give them. In the picture below only a few were still running by our side because we were at that moment approaching the border.
So, what can we do to help? Well, I have an idea! Let’s pretend I am having a bake sale. Pretend, you make ask? Well, if you and I were in the same place, and I were selling cookies to benefit Haiti, wouldn’t you buy a dozen from me? I think you would, and I thank you for that. Unfortunately I can’t make that bake sale happen where I would have you all close by. So the idea I have, is for you to buy a piece from the Heart of Haiti collection instead of the cookies. By doing so, half of the whole sale price will go to the Haitian artisans that made them. Are you in?
What is Heart of Haiti, you wonder? Heart of Haiti, is a project which helps sell art, through Macy’s, made in Haiti by Haitian artisans. Right now, you can go online or to certain Macy’s stores and by buying any piece from the Heart of Haiti collection and you will get to help the Haitian artisans and their families. It may be a little, but I bought earrings and a tray set as a way to help out. Below are my favorite pieces from the collection, all under $50. Check them out and pretty, pretty please buy a piece and pretend you are getting a dozen of these mud pie cookies instead.
If you can’t buy a piece today, then please help spread the word. Other bloggers are already supporting this initiative through a program called Bloggers for Haiti. Follow them online, be informed and tell others about it. Share this post and use the hashtag #Bloggers4Haiti so that everyone can learn more about what is going on in Haiti and how they can easily help.
Now, take a look at these cookies. They are incredibly delicious. I made them in honor of Haiti. Why don’t you pretend to buy a dozen of them here.
What I like about these cookies is that does not require flour. Yes! Flourless. Somewhat it reminds me of the Haiti mud cookies as Haitians don’t use flour due to lack of resources. That is why I am making these cookies in their honor.
The marshmallows make them gooey and perfect after just 12 minutes of baking.
You almost need a fork to eat them as this time I made huge size cookies. But you can make them any size you would like.
These cookies are certainly a treat. Please remember to “pretend” to buy a dozen to help Haiti out. Just click here. Thank you very, very much!
Disclaimer: I was not compensated to share this information. I am not part of the Bloggers for Haiti program. I just truly have a giving heart and wanted to share a wonderful recipe with you in hopes that you could give back and help Haiti out.
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 cups walnut, chopped
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- Mini marshmallows
- Preheat oven to 325 F.
- Sift together sugar and cocoa powder.
- Stir in the sea salt and walnuts.
- Add the egg whites and vanilla.
- Stir with a fork until well combined.
- Spoon the batter onto greased baking sheets or covered with parchment paper.
- Spoon dollops of about 2 tablespoons each if you would like big cookies, about 4 inches in diameter.
- Or spoon dollops of about a bit less than a tablespoons each if you would like smaller cookies, about 2 inches in diameter.
- Place mini marshmallows on top of each cookie.
- Allow for plenty of room between cookies.
- Bake for 12 minutes at 325 F.
- Remove from baking sheet when they completely cool.