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Well, I guess this is officially a website that only discusses the Academy Awards accompanied by recipes for chocolate chip cookie riffs.

Is that such a bad thing?

I’ll be honest, while I always get hype for awards shows, I’m slightly less enthused about this year’s awards. But given that last year featured the likes of Dunkirk, Call Me By Your Name, Mary J. Blige, Churchill, and THE Frances Ha, it’s really not fair to compare. And this year also has a sexual assaulter and icky racial optics, so…

Aside from pulling for all the Greeks and rooting for Black Panther in everything (but especially my girl Ruth E. Carter–go google her costume designs and fall down a gorgeous Afro-Futurist rabbit hole), the only category I’m truly invested in is Best Score. Because have you listened to Terence Blanchard’s score for BlacKkKlansman? Blut Und Boden is a veritable work of art. The way the electric guitar sears through, the haunting melody that just soars and soars and soars, the subtle kick of the military snare drums, the call-and-response, that key change. It’s as perfect as Ludwig Göransson’s hair.

I could listen to it on repeat for the rest of the year. And the year after that.

Also, related, my sweet prince John David Washington should have been nominated for a multitude of reasons, but primarily for the way he pronounces “white.”

Anyways, if you’re looking for a way to distract yourself during a three hour long host-less ceremony while all your friends desperately try to win their Oscars office pool, make these cookies! I won’t lie, they need to be chilled for a good long while so I’m not entirely sure you can actually eat them during the show…but if you get started right now and cheat a little on the chilling, you’ll be all set.

The below recipe is a riff on Ovenly’s famed vegan chocolate chip cookies. When I was living in New York over the summer, I often worked out of a very hipster coffeeshop in Williamsburg that served these cookies from Ovenly’s location down the street. I may or may not have developed a low-key addiction, but that’s neither here not there. In the end, they’re pretty much perfect, with means the only way to improve them is to add in some almond! Here is takes the form of almond flour and a splash of almond extract, which makes them a bit more tender and a touch more flavorful.

All in all, it’s a win.

(Which I hope Terrence Blanchard can also say after tonight)

* * *

Vegan Almond(ish) Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Ovenly’s Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients: 

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon baking power
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups dark or bittersweet chocolate chips/chunks
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon neutral oil (I used canola)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon water

Directions: 

Whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips/chunks in a medium bowl. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, almond extract, and water until smooth and homogenous (this will likely take a minute or two). Add the flour mixture to the sugar + oil mixture, and mix together just until combined, no more. Wrap bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 12 to 24 hours (though honestly…you can get away with less…shhhhh)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and scoop the cookie dough by rounded tablespoons, spacing 1 1/2 inches apart. Freeze the scooped dough for approximately 10 minutes. Then, bake for 12 minutes. Don’t over bake! They should be just golden around the edges and look somewhat underdone.

Let cool, then enjoy while you watch everyone freak out over Gaga and The Coops performing Shallow.

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I get obsessive about a lot of baking things every now and again. Like last December when I was all in on the gingerbread. Or the time I got really, really into making marshmallows. I thought it was just because I’m a baker, but I realized recently that that’s just an overarching and rather nerdy personality trait of mine.

For instance, I’ve been on a big queens kick lately. Probably because a woman in power is just a lovely little fantasy I want to live in right now.

It started when I visited my best friend in London (hi LK!) and went to the Tower of London while she was being a badass at work. And all I could think about while I was there was that one scene in the BBC miniseries about Queen Elizabeth I where she and Robert Dudley are both imprisoned in the Tower at the same time, and he blows her a kiss from behind his barred window. Which obviously led me to rewatch that whole series, fall down a Lady Jane Grey rabbit hole (my girl got screwed), then read a whole bunch of books about European queens including this one that is literally just about Elizabeth and Leicester because if you’re going to read about history, aren’t you going to read about one of the greatest and most intriguing love stories of all time?

Next up is Catherine the Great, because she was a boss who picked all her councilors based on their looks so that she could sleep with them for a little bit, then shuffle them off to the country with some land and money to keep ’em happy (I MEAN…) But for now there is this stellar Queens of Infamy series that happens to be LOL funny. Give it a read maybe, yeah?

Anyways, that’s my current obsession of the moment. What’s yours?

And as for the cookies, well…you’ve seen this recipe before. I’m not going to pretend that it’s original or I spent hours tinkering to get it just right or that it’s really all that groundbreaking. But it is really, really good, and really, really easy, so that seems reason enough to share here, yeah?

Also there’s the fact that I haven’t been around these parts in ages, plus I happened to like how these cookies looked on camera. So take what you can get.

Oh! And I once saw a version of these cookies that subbed half the peanut butter for NUTELLA so all I’m saying is that if you happen to have any of that crack lying around absolutely definitely try that out.

* * *

Three-ish Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients: 

1 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients until smooth (honestly, I find it helpful to use your hands for this.) Form dough into rounded balls, then drop onto the baking sheet about 1-2 inches apart.

Bake for 8 minutes. Let cool for just a few minutes on the baking sheet, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

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