Last week was difficult. The country was awash with discussions about sexual assault after the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the problematic “I Love You, Daddy” trailer (Google it) was released at a particularly unsuitable time and Vassar faced issues much closer to home last Wednesday.
The state of tension, anger and fear that dominated the campus last week reflected the sentiments of many Americans. Will anybody call CK out on his film? Will Trump help Puerto Rico and has the media already forgotten about the disaster? Will Weinstein be brought to justice? Will institutional sexism in Hollywood be at all undermined by the #MeToo campaign and countless testimonies?
Dear reader, I cannot answer these questions. I can offer you no solutions and little reassurance. I am, however, working hard to retain an optimistic streak in these trying times. Turning your mind to life’s simple pleasures is not only a distraction but a source of legitimate joy. Rome was not built in a day and neither was a society founded on the principles of equality, compassion and diversity.
So during our breaks from building a fairer world, LET US SNACK. Let us snack on cookies. No, scrap that, let us snack on VEGAN cookies. If you would like an explanation as to why these cookies should be vegan, please attract the nearest vegan to where you are sitting by holding up a lettuce leaf and shouting aggressive PETA slogans (one suggestion includes, “Not your Mom, not your milk!”). I am sure that the vegan, once they have come run- ning, will be more than happy to answer your questions.
Now, moving swiftly on. Time is of the (vanilla) essence, after all. With hands weary from holding protest signs, set your oven to 350°F. Line up your ingredients on the kitchen counter and make sure to have your mixing bowl at the ready.
These will be the easiest cookies you will ever make and the final products, once baked and cooled, will provide you with a deep-seated satisfaction in your own abilities to make and eat (and perhaps share) delicious sweets. Add the ingredients gradually to the bowl, stirring all the while.
Before you add the coconut oil, don’t forget to melt it. Spoon some out into a microwaveable bowl and give it a whirl for 30 seconds or so in the microwave before measuring it out more precisely.
Once you have the correct amount of melted oil, add it to the mixing bowl along with the granulated sugar and the brown sugar. After mixing these together, gradually stir in the almond milk and vanilla essence; then, once mixed, add the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Stir with the vigour of a social justice warrior. Stir like the Vassarian you are.
When the contents of the bowl resembles a dough, throw in the chocolate chips and blend them in until well-distributed throughout the mixture. Place your two ungreased cookie sheets to the side of the mixing bowl and drop equal-sized balls of dough into lines on the sheets. Flatten the balls slightly with your hand and remember to leave a space of two inches around each one so they don’t merge together in the oven.
It won’t be long now before those delicious cookies enter your gob, which is no doubt in need of a rest after challenging so many problematic opinions.
Bake the cookies for 11 to 14 minutes in the oven, and when the edges are slightly brown, take the cookie sheets out and leave them to cool for one minute before moving the cookies onto a rack for them to cool completely.
You don’t want the cookies to burn on the bottom, so you may find it better to take the cookies out before they are completely firm on top (they should still be a bit squidgy). Once cooled, transfer the cookies to a container in the fridge, where you can store them for convenient access to culinary pleasure.
Please feel free to eat all 60 straight away, or perhaps have a small gathering of friends and spread the love. Focus on the good things in life and you will have renewed strength to handle the bad.
2/3 cup refined coconut oil, melted
2/3 cup vegan granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed vegan brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bag (10 oz) vegan semisweet chocolate chips (1 1/2 cups)