The older I get, the more I turn into a Jewish mother. I dote on friends and family, doing everything in my power to give uncomfortable amounts of love to anyone who needs it. I bake cakes, cook meals, pinch cheeks, and offer words of encouragement. I won’t take “I’m fine” for an answer.
So when a friend was having a rough day last week, naturally I invited him over to bake some cookies. I played therapist while we measured and mixed. With the help of a little dark chocolate, he was able to unload and talk it out. Mission accomplished!
I’m a firm believer that there isn’t a problem in the world that can’t be solved by spending a little time in the kitchen. There’s something soothing in following the steps and awakening the senses that makes everything suddenly seem ok. If you clear your mind and simply focus on the tasty task at hand, the world gets a bit brighter. And if the task at hand involves peanut butter and dark chocolate…well then, how could anything be bad?
This recipe is easy and immensely satisfying. Plus it’s vegan and wheat free! And if you choose to skip the last step and just eat it out of the mixing bowl, it might just be the greatest oatmeal you’ve ever had. Enjoy with a friend in need, or simply indulge yourself.
And for a bit of hump day inspiration, here is one of my favorite quotes on cooking and life:
“If you are careful…if you use good ingredients, and you don’t take any shortcuts, then you can usually cook something very good. Sometimes it is the only worthwhile product you can salvage from a day; what you make to eat…Cooking, therefore, can keep a person who tries hard sane.” - John Irving, The World According to Garp
Suzannah Schneider is a junior at Tulane University majoring in Saving The World (Environmental Studies and International Development). When she’s not hugging trees or cooing at farm animals, she’s cooking up gourmet vegan fare. Read more…
Dark Chocolate Oatmeal-Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes about 24 cookies
Adapted from Vegan on the Cheap by Robin Roberston
1/3 cup margarine (I like Earth Balance)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vanilla soy milk
3/4 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups quick-cooking oats
2 heaping tablespoons dark chocolate cocoa powder
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the margarine in a microwave on high heat for 40 second. Stir in the sugar and soy milk.
Add the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt, stirring until well blended. Add the oats and cocoa powder and stir until well mixed.
Drop heaping tablespoons on the cookie mixture onto a baking sheet. Pop in the fridge until firm, about 30 minutes. Or…grab a spoon and enjoy the warm batter out of the bowl.