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Fluffy and Nutty Almond Layer Cake Recipe

Fluffy and Nutty Almond Layer Cake Recipe

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik] This recipe uses a blend of almond and all-purpose flour to strike a balance between a fluffy American cake and a hearty European torte, for a dessert that’s tender, moist, and light, but also substantial. Reach for the best-quality almond extract, made […]

BraveTart’s Almond Cake: Fluffy as a Butter Cake, Nutty Like a Torte

BraveTart’s Almond Cake: Fluffy as a Butter Cake, Nutty Like a Torte

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik] The easiest way to make an almond cake is to spike your favorite cake batter with almond extract. It’s a simple approach that any beginner can master, with results that can be customized to taste. Too almondy? Dial it back next time […]

15 Eggless Cookie Recipes, Because Everyone Deserves a Cookie

15 Eggless Cookie Recipes, Because Everyone Deserves a Cookie


Collage of photos of eggless cookies: olive oil chocolate chip cookies, homemade Oreos, holiday gingerbread cookies, homemade Chipwiches

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik]

Eggs are a staple ingredient in most of our favorite categories of sweets, but that doesn’t mean those who don’t consume eggs—whether for reasons of ethics, religion, environmental concerns, or allergies—have to miss out on dessert, especially if said dessert is cookies. The key is identifying the right recipe.

A universal egg substitute that will work in any cookie recipe is tough to come by, since eggs can play multiple roles—binding, tenderizing, and more—in a single formula. Instead, try seeking out one of the many types of cookies out there that are eggless by nature, and you may be pleasantly surprised by the number of options you have to experiment with. Keep reading for 15 egg-free cookie recipes, ranging from homemade Oreos to gingerbread to the best vegan chocolate chip cookies.

Vegan Cookies

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Given the wealth of excellent dairy-free chocolate available these days (check out our list of favorite supermarket dark-chocolate bars, which includes some vegan options), there’s no reason vegans should be excluded from enjoying a gloriously chewy, melty chocolate chip cookie. We took a methodical approach to creating the best vegan chocolate chip cookie possible, adding dry malt extract and nutmeg to replace some of the toastiness butter typically provides, and substituting the egg with an oat slurry. The slurry, a quick purée of rolled oats and water, provides water, protein, and emulsifying power, just like an egg, with none of the odd flavors that purpose-built egg replacers sometimes bring into the mix. Using chopped chocolate bars instead of commercial chips ensures better and more interesting flavor, but also does the crucial work of helping to thicken the dough.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe »

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Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

What if you want a vegan chocolate chip cookie without going to the trouble of sourcing specialty ingredients, like malt extract and refined coconut oil? If you have a bottle of good-quality extra-virgin olive oil, rolled oats, chocolate chips, and a handful of other pantry staples (chocolate chips are staples, right?), you can make a rich egg- and dairy-free chocolate chip cookie with a lovely golden color and distinctive aroma and flavor. We recommend commercial chips here to keep the chocolate flavor from becoming overwhelmingly assertive; see our guide to chocolate chips for advice on creating your own mix.

Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe »

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Vegan Lactation Cookies

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

For ages, nursing mothers have turned to certain ingredients said to promote the production of milk, and devised tasty ways to get a big dose of those ingredients in one swat. So-called “lactation cookies” are a popular solution, though not all recipes for them are created equal. Stella’s original lactation cookie recipe produces a hearty chocolate chip cookie, loaded with delicious-in-their-own-right ingredients like oats, barley malt syrup, macadamia nuts, chocolate, and warm spices; this vegan variation simply swaps in an oat slurry for the egg and refined coconut oil for butter. We can’t affirm that these or any other lactation cookies work as intended, but we can guarantee they’re darn tasty.

Vegan Lactation Cookies Recipe »

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Vegan Chocolate-Covered Digestive Biscuits

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Grainy, crunchy McVitie’s digestive biscuits, whether plain or chocolate-covered, are a beloved English treat, and making a copycat version at home is easy. Our original chocolate-covered digestive biscuits rely on a blend of all-purpose and whole wheat flours to nail that wholesome texture, while buttermilk lends the dough moisture. Since the original formula is already eggless, a vegan version is as straightforward as swapping coconut oil for butter, replacing buttermilk with toasted sugar and cream of tartar, and using a vegan dark chocolate for the topping.

Vegan Chocolate-Covered Digestive Biscuits Recipe »

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Vegan Brownies

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

All right, so brownies are arguably a class unto themselves, not just another type of cookie—but can you blame us for wanting to bring more brownies into your life? Made with a combination of cocoa butter, chopped dark chocolate, and Dutch cocoa, these fudgy vegan brownies are loaded with chocolate aroma and flavor. Soy milk powder helps to emulsify the batter, ensuring that tantalizingly glossy top. The best part: Because all the ingredients in these brownies are highly shelf-stable, you can combine most of them ahead of time and keep your very own brownie mix on hand for months, allowing you to whip up a batch on short notice.

Vegan Brownies Recipe »

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Nonvegan Cookies

Homemade Oreos

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

High-quality Dutch cocoa, not specialty “black cocoa,” is the secret to making chocolate wafer sandwich cookies as inky-dark as true Oreos. The cookies are basically chocolate shortbread, snappy and crisp and buttery, while the filling is a simple mix of clarified butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. You’ll need an embossed rolling pin to produce Oreo-like designs on the surface of your cookies, but they’ll be just as good unadorned if you don’t want to expend the extra effort.

Homemade Oreos Recipe »

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No-Bake Cookies With Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Chewy Oats

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Once you realize that no-bake cookies are nothing more than a type of fudge, and arm yourself accordingly (read: with a thermometer appropriate for candy-making), they become a lot less intimidating. This eggless recipe uses creamy peanut butter, Dutch cocoa powder, a small amount of dark chocolate, and oats to create soft, rich, chewy little bites in just about 40 minutes, start to finish. We prefer two types of oats—instant oatmeal and old-fashioned rolled oats—for a good balance of thickness and chewiness, but using the same amount by weight of just one of these will work fine, too.

No-Bake Cookies With Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Chewy Oats Recipe »

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Homemade Biscoff (Belgian Speculoos) Cookies

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

These crisp, elegant speculoos cookies depend on the complex caramel flavor of Belgian candi sugar or deeply toasted white sugar; don’t try to substitute American brown sugar or any other kind and expect the same results. Ceylon cinnamon, too, is a necessity for producing these cookies’ delicately floral aroma. Make extra, and you might end up with enough left over for DIY Cookie Butter.

Homemade Biscoff (Belgian Speculoos) Cookies Recipe »

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Homemade Star Crunch

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Fans of the Little Debbie product line may fondly recall these chewy rounds of caramel- and chocolate-coated crunchy rice, which are essentially no-bake cookies in another form. Don’t let the homemade caramel scare you off—with a good-sized pot and clear instructions (ours!), it’s a simple matter requiring just four basic ingredients. Once the caramel is done, stir in chopped milk chocolate and Rice Krispies, then portion out the mixture into disks and wait for them to set.

Homemade Star Crunch Recipe »

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Brown Butter Shortbread Cookies

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Making a standout shortbread—a type of cookie that frequently contains no eggs by design—is easily done by upgrading some of the items on its (very short) ingredient list. In our case, that means browning the butter to give it extra nuttiness and toasting the sugar for added complexity of flavor; a bit of malted milk powder also contributes flavor and aids in browning.

Brown Butter Shortbread Cookies Recipe »

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Mexican Wedding Cookies

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Whether you call these Russian tea cakes, snowballs, or Mexican wedding cookies, they’re irresistible when served as part of a holiday cookie selection (or any time, really). A food processor makes quick work of combining the ingredients to make a lightly sweetened dough studded with toasted pecans. We save most of our sugar to dust the tops of the cookies, giving them their signature snowy look.

Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe »

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Gingerbread Cookies

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Speaking of holiday cookies, the most classic of them all, rolled gingerbread cutouts, are perfectly friendly to an egg-free diet as long as you omit the royal icing. We use a heavy hand with warm, aromatic spices in the dough, amplified by a bit of orange zest. Make sure the molasses you use here is plain, unsulfured molasses for baking, not blackstrap.

Gingerbread Cookies Recipe »

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Lacy Brown Butter and Ricotta Cookies

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

These aren’t the traditional Italian ricotta cookies Stella originally intended to make, but they might be the happiest accident we’ve ever tried. Brown butter loads them up with nutty richness, while the ricotta helps them spread out into thin, lacy, bubbly disks. Once they’ve cooled, they turn crisp around the edges, with a soft and chewy center.

Lacy Brown Butter and Ricotta Cookies Recipe »

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E.L. Fudge–Style Chocolate and Vanilla Sandwich Cookies

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

You don’t need a magical elf or three to enjoy E.L. Fudge–like sandwich cookies whenever you want—just some basic baking ingredients and Dutch cocoa to flavor the piped filling between the wafers. Using nearly equal parts sugar and butter produces a crisp-tender cookie, while a little milk encourages gluten development for crunch.

E.L. Fudge–Style Chocolate and Vanilla Sandwich Cookies Recipe »

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Homemade Chipwiches

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Chipwiches aren’t made just by packing any old ice cream between any old chocolate chip cookies—the best DIY version of these ice cream truck classics starts with a cookie that’s soft and tender enough to be bite-able at freezing temperatures. The right combination of brown sugar, milk, and malted milk powder gets the job done. As for the filling, you can use any vanilla or sweet cream–flavored ice cream you like—our fior di latte gelato just happens to be eggless.

Homemade Chipwiches Recipe »

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All products linked here have been independently selected by our editors. We may earn a commission on purchases, as described in our affiliate policy.



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The Best New England Clam Chowder in Boston

The Best New England Clam Chowder in Boston

It’s the middle of a sunny early-fall afternoon, and the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Downtown Boston is packed with folks walking to and from Chinatown, Faneuil Hall, the North End, and the Seaport. My fiancé and I are wading through the crowded greenway toward a […]

Your Friday Moment of Zen

Your Friday Moment of Zen

[Illustration: Biodiversity Heritage Library] You did it! Another week down! We’re putting up a post very much like this one every Friday afternoon, to celebrate the fact that the week is done. Down with the lame week days! Up with not-lame weekend days! We think […]

22 Mexican Recipes for Pozole, Chile Verde, Tacos, and More

22 Mexican Recipes for Pozole, Chile Verde, Tacos, and More


Collage of photos of Mexican recipes: tacos al pastor, chiles rellenos, cochinita pibil, and carne asada

[Collage photographs: J. Kenji López-Alt]

When I was growing up in the Midwest, “Mexican food” meant neon-hued nacho cheese sauce, cheese-packed enchiladas, and crunchy tacos. It wasn’t until college that my horizons were broadened beyond the world of Tex-Mex. Since then, I’ve worked hard to play catch-up, eating more than my fair share of much more traditional Mexican food.

It’s impossible to condense all of the country’s food into one list, but these 22 Mexican recipes are a good start. Keep reading for Mexican favorites like pozole verde, Mexican-style shrimp cocktail, and tender cochinita pibil.

Quick and Easy Huevos Rancheros With Tomato-Chili Salsa

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Huevos rancheros is a simple breakfast of tortillas topped with fried eggs and salsa. With a good-quality jarred salsa, it could be made in just minutes, but even if you opt to make your own salsa, you can put the whole dish together in less than half an hour. The smoky, wickedly spicy salsa gets its flavor from dried chilies and canned crushed tomatoes. If you want to go all out, serve with homemade refried beans.

Quick and Easy Huevos Rancheros With Tomato-Chili Salsa Recipe »

Chilaquiles Verdes With Fried Eggs

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

“Chilaquiles” sounds a lot more appetizing than “soggy breakfast nachos,” but that’s basically what this dish is. All you have to do to make it is fold together tortilla chips and salsa verde in a pan; top with Mexican crema, crumbled cheese, sliced onions, and chopped cilantro; and finish with a fried egg. Crunchy homemade tortilla chips retain their texture better than store-bought, and the quick salsa verde you’ll make to go with them will be better than anything that comes out of a jar.

Chilaquiles Verdes With Fried Eggs Recipe »

Chorizo and Egg Chilaquiles With Salsa Verde

[Photograph: Emily and Matt Clifton]

This colorful take on chilaquiles also combines home-fried chips and salsa verde, but adds spicy Mexican chorizo along with the fried eggs. We save a portion of the freshly fried chips to add at the end of cooking, ensuring a nice bit of crunch in every bite. A garnish of quick-pickled red onion and thinly sliced radishes provides sharp, vibrant contrast with the rest of the dish.

Chorizo and Egg Chilaquiles With Salsa Verde Recipe »

Easy Pressure Cooker Pork Chile Verde

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

This chile verde tastes like it took hours to make, but with the help of a pressure cooker, you’ll need only 15 minutes of active time and a little bit of sitting-around time. Essentially, all you have to do is dump cubed pork shoulder and roughly chopped vegetables into the pot, then let the pressure do all the work—you don’t even need stock, because the veggies will release plenty of their own liquid. This recipe works well with chicken for a chicken chile verde, too.

Easy Pressure Cooker Pork Chile Verde Recipe »

Pozole Verde de Pollo (Green Mexican Hominy and Chicken Soup)

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Traditional pozole verde is sometimes made over the course of days, but thanks to a few shortcuts, ours can be prepared on a weeknight. We cook everything in batches and sear the soup after blending, which gives it a remarkably complex flavor in no time at all. Canned hominy is another key to cutting down on prep time here—while purists may scoff, we like its toothsome bite.

Pozole Verde de Pollo (Green Mexican Hominy and Chicken Soup) Recipe »

Sopa de Lima (Yucatán-Style Lime Soup)

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Making a truly traditional sopa de lima requires Yucatecan lima ágria, a very sour lime that’s basically impossible to find in the States. Our recipe mimics the fruit’s acidity and bitterness by using a mixture of lime and grapefruit juices. Turkey is the most authentic protein here, but if you don’t mind one more nontraditional twist, feel free to use chicken in its place.

Sopa de Lima (Yucatán-Style Lime Soup) Recipe »

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail (Coctel de Camarones)

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

I love Mexican shrimp cocktail—poached shrimp in a sauce made with ketchup, onion, cilantro, and citrus juice—but I find some versions to be a little too sweet. Replacing some of the ketchup with tomato purée, as we do here, gives the sauce a more balanced flavor. Dry-brining the shrimp, starting them in cold water, and not heating them past 170°F (77°C)—as we recommend in our tips for making better shrimp—ensures they’ll come out plump and juicy.

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail (Coctel de Camarones) Recipe »

Classic Shrimp Aguachile With Lime, Cucumber, and Red Onion

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Aguachile is a Sinaloan dish made with raw shrimp, lime juice, chilies, cucumber, and onion. That ingredient list might make it sound just like ceviche, and it is in fact similar—the difference is that aguachile is served immediately after the shrimp is added to the marinade, before the acid has a chance to “cook” the fish. Once you’ve tried this classic version, check out our aguachile variations made with scallops and arctic char.

Classic Shrimp Aguachile With Lime, Cucumber, and Red Onion Recipe »

Charcoal-Grilled Al Pastor Skewers

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Making tacos al pastor the traditional way requires some serious gear—it involves skewering a huge stack of marinated pork shoulder slices vertically on a rotisserie, then cooking it for hours. But not all of us are lucky enough to have access to that kind of time or equipment. This recipe trades out a large rotisserie for individual skewers, transforming the typical al pastor into handheld portions of marinated pork and juicy pineapple. We grill the skewers over hot coals until the meat is tender and charred and the pineapple’s sugars have concentrated.

Charcoal-Grilled Al Pastor Skewers Recipe »

Real Tacos Al Pastor

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Even if you’re making al pastor for tacos, as is more traditional, you don’t need a trompo in your backyard to get great results—you can nail the flavor by slow-roasting the pork in a loaf pan, slicing it, and crisping it up in a skillet. The pork will release plenty of fat as it cooks, some of which we brush onto the roasted pineapple to infuse it with extra flavor.

Real Tacos Al Pastor Recipe »

Easy One-Pot Chicken Tinga (Spicy Mexican Shredded Chicken)

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Chicken tinga is most often made with fresh Mexican chorizo, which can be a little tough to find in the States (though, as you’ll learn below, you can also make it yourself!). This easy version captures most of the same flavors by using browned tomatoes, tomatillos, and garlic; chipotles in adobo; and dried Mexican oregano. The resulting saucy, smoky, and spicy chicken is just begging to be folded into homemade corn tortillas for tacos.

Easy One-Pot Chicken Tinga (Spicy Mexican Shredded Chicken) Recipe »

Easy Fresh Mexican Chorizo

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Remember how I said fresh Mexican chorizo is hard to find? That just means that if you want it, you’ll need to take matters into your own hands. To make chorizo at home, we grind up pork shoulder with an assortment of spices, including Mexican oregano, cumin, and cloves. The toughest spice to find here is the ground achiote—because it’s there mainly for color, you can feel free to leave it out.

Easy Fresh Mexican Chorizo Recipe »

Sous Vide Carnitas for Tacos (Crispy Mexican-Style Pulled Pork)

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Making carnitas the old-fashioned way isn’t necessarily difficult, but it does require a bucket of lard, which you may not tend to keep on hand at all times. Our oven-based method cuts down on the waste, but using a sous vide circulator makes it even easier: Sealed in vacuum bags and held at a stable, precise temperature for between eight and 36 hours, the pork will tenderize in its own juices and turn especially moist. Once it’s cooked, simply shred and crisp it up in a pan on the stovetop or under the broiler.

Sous Vide Carnitas for Tacos (Crispy Mexican-Style Pulled Pork) Recipe »

Cochinita Pibil (Yucatán-Style Barbecued Pork)

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Order cochinita pibil in a Mexican-American restaurant, and you’ll likely be confronted with bland, dry roast pork. The real deal, though, is incredibly tender, with a uniquely sweet, earthy aroma imparted by bitter Seville oranges, achiote, and charred garlic. Luckily, you don’t need a traditional pib to get a comparable dish. Like lima ágria, Seville oranges are pretty hard to find in the States—a combination of lime, navel orange, and grapefruit juices works as a substitute.

Cochinita Pibil (Yucatán-Style Barbecued Pork) Recipe »

The Best Carne Asada

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

There are a million ways to make carne asada; this one, admittedly, teeters on the edge of Tex-Mex, but it’s absolutely delicious just the same. Our secret is adding a bit of soy sauce and fish sauce to the marinade, which doesn’t make the skirt steak taste like fish but does give it a little umami boost. Using whole dried chilies and canned chipotles in adobo for the marinade provides much better flavor than ground chili powder.

The Best Carne Asada Recipe »

Yucatecan Pork Belly and Cheese Tacos (Tacos de Castacán Con Queso)

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Most traditional Mexican tacos don’t contain any cheese, but every rule has exceptions. At Wayan’e, a bustling taco stand in the Yucatecan city of Mérida, cooks sprinkle cheese onto meat while it’s still on the flattop so that it melts and crisps. You could apply this technique to any meat filling; here, we use a Yucatecan slow-cooked pork belly preparation called castacán.

Yucatecan Pork Belly and Cheese Tacos (Tacos de Castacán Con Queso) Recipe »

Tacos Árabes (Pita-Wrapped, Cumin-Marinated-Pork Tacos)

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Pita bread in Mexico? No, this isn’t some forced attempt at fusion—Arab immigrants brought lamb shawarma with them to Mexico from the Middle East, and thus tacos árabes were born. The lamb gave way to pork, but flavors like cumin, oregano, and onions remained, perfectly in sync with both the tacos’ Middle Eastern origins and its new Mexican home. Since the pork filling is wrapped in soft pita bread, tacos árabes are a particularly good choice if you live in a place where good tortillas are hard to find (i.e., most of the US).

Tacos Árabes (Pita-Wrapped, Cumin-Marinated-Pork Tacos) Recipe »

Tacos de Canasta (Basket Tacos for a Party or Potluck)

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Most tacos are served and eaten à la minute—immediately after assembly. Tacos de canasta, on the other hand, are layered in a basket to steam first; because they’re made in advance by definition, and get better as they sit, they’re ideal for a taco party. Technically, you can use whatever fillings you want, but anything high-moisture will make the tortillas too soggy. Stick with drier choices, like refried beans, potatoes, or braised meats that have been drained of excess liquid.

Tacos de Canasta (Basket Tacos for a Party or Potluck) Recipe »

Tamales With Red Chili and Chicken Filling

[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

The best tamale dough is made by whipping lard, salt, and baking powder together, then mixing in chicken stock and fresh masa. It’s easy to find fresh masa in my neighborhood, but many of you might find it harder to come by—luckily, masa harina is widely available and works fine for this purpose. Here, we fill the dough with chicken thigh meat and red chili sauce, but try our variations with Poblano peppers and Oaxacan cheese or green chili and pork, too.

Tamales With Red Chili and Chicken Filling Recipe »

Chiles Rellenos (Mexican-Style Cheese-Stuffed Chilies)

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

A typical order of chiles rellenos at a Tex-Mex restaurant consists of a canned pepper stuffed with cheese, smothered in sauce, and blanketed with even more cheese. This more traditional version of the dish is made with roasted fresh Poblanos, which we stuff with homemade chorizo and cheese, fry, and serve with homemade salsa that gets seared for extra flavor.

Chiles Rellenos (Mexican-Style Cheese-Stuffed Chilies) Recipe »

Pueblan-Style Cemita Sandwiches

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Unlike a Roosevelt Avenue–style cemita, which is stuffed with all the same fixings you’d find at a Mexican-American taco cart, a Pueblan-style cemita is a more restrained affair, featuring fried cutlets, avocado, onion, queso oaxaca, and canned hot peppers. For the true Pueblo experience, you’ll need to seek out papalo, a Mexican herb with a floral, cilantro-like flavor—look for it in a well-stocked Mexican grocery.

Pueblan-Style Cemita Sandwiches Recipe »

Spinach, Black Bean, and Chipotle Quesadillas

[Video: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Okay, this particular quesadilla recipe isn’t all that traditional, but quesadillas are a part of Mexican cuisine, and the technique for making a great one doesn’t really change all that much based on the combination of fillings. We’ve found that mixing the cheese with the other fillings, instead of layering them, distributes them more evenly, while cooking the quesadilla in plenty of oil over medium heat, moving and swirling it often, leaves it delightfully golden brown and puffy. For more variations, try our quesadillas with spicy chicken or corn and zucchini.

Spinach, Black Bean, and Chipotle Quesadillas Recipe »

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Special Sauce: Introducing Special Sauce 2.0

Special Sauce: Introducing Special Sauce 2.0

[Nicholas Morgenstern photograph: Pete Deevakul. Ice cream photograph: Vicky Wasik] This week Serious Eaters get to see the all-new Special Sauce format we’ve cooked up for the new season. Every episode of Special Sauce 2.0 will start off with “Ask Kenji,” a brief section in […]

Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

2. For the Dough: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In a large bowl, whisk brown sugar, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon until very well combined and free of any major lumps, about 1 minute. Add olive […]

Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies: Just Pantry Staples, Totally Vegan

Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies: Just Pantry Staples, Totally Vegan


Breaking a cookie in half to reveal the open structure and melted chocolate pockets of its interior crumb

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik]

I may have tackled vegan chocolate chip cookies in the past, but I’m not one to settle on a single approach to anything. Different ingredients and techniques suit different occasions and needs, so I recently set out to explore my options for a vegan chocolate chip cookie made from pantry staples alone, without any special-order ingredients, like refined coconut oil or dry malt extract.

Replacing the buttery backbone of a chocolate chip cookie is no small feat, but what serious food lover doesn’t keep a nice bottle of extra-virgin olive oil on hand? It may not be an obvious choice for cookies, but hear me out. If you hit up Italian-American restaurants with any sort of frequency, you’ll no doubt spot olive oil–themed desserts aplenty, from olive oil cake and scoops of olive oil gelato to chocolate truffles spiked with olive oil as mignardises.

These examples only go to show that a great olive oil has enough aroma and complexity to stand on its own in sweets, along with a grassy freshness that makes it an excellent supporting player as well.

Particularly for those of us on the lookout for a vegan or dairy-free approach to chocolate chip cookies, these traits make extra-virgin olive oil a strong contender—especially if you choose a brand that aims for a soft and mellow profile, with a buttery richness and an aroma that isn’t too peppery or sharp.

If you don’t have a favorite brand already, our guide to buying olive oil can help you find a bottle you’ll love. I’ve been happy with a wide range of olive oils for this recipe, but find Cobram Estate to be a safe bet.

If olive oil isn’t your jam, regardless of how mild it may be, this recipe works equally well with hazelnut oil—which you might have left over from making our homemade Nutella.

Like my OG vegan chocolate chip cookies, this recipe relies on an oat slurry to act as a binder in lieu of an egg. Unlike many egg alternatives, oats don’t bring any wonky flavors to the table, just a neutral cereal flavor that blends seamlessly into the dough. And this option makes use of things you likely already have in your kitchen right now: rolled oats and water.

combining rolled oats and water, then using an immersion blender to puree

These two ingredients are blitzed into an almost gelatinous slurry using the power of an immersion blender. Due to the small volume of the oat slurry, this technique is not likely to succeed with a food processor or countertop blender, or with some rickety plastic immersion blender from 1976. (See our review of the best immersion blenders if you’re in the market for a new one.)

straining the pureed oats and water to create an egg slurry for the dough

The mixture is then strained through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the oat solids, leaving behind an extremely thick but satiny-smooth slurry. It’s important to achieve the right texture here; the technique can fail if you use the wrong equipment, or if the oats aren’t puréed long enough.

But it’s the only even remotely tricky step in the recipe. The rest is embarrassingly simple—so simple, you won’t even need a stand mixer.

All it takes is a bowl and a whisk, and a bit of patience to thoroughly combine the light brown sugar, salt, leavening agents, and a pinch of cinnamon (to lend the dough a soft note of warm spice).

whisking the sugar, leavening, and spice together until homogenize and lump-free

When the mixture is well combined, add your olive oil of choice, along with vanilla extract and the prepared oat slurry.

pouring the olive oil, vanilla, and oat slurry into the dry mix for the cookie dough

Whisk until smooth, then stir in the all-purpose flour.

Incorporating the flour into the cookie dough by hand, using a flexible spatula

Finally, finish by kneading in an assortment of chocolate chips by hand. Here, I prefer to use a blend of chunks, morsels, and commercial chips, in a few different cacao percentages to add a greater depth of flavor to the cookies. Use whatever sort of blend you like, or check out our guide to buying chocolate chips for some of my favorite brands and styles.

Chopped chocolate bars can also be used in place of commercial chips, a swap that gives the chocolate a more assertive presence in the dough; I recommend using a similar assortment of cacao percentages and styles. For more information, see our top picks for supermarket chocolate bars.

Kneading the chocolate chips into the cookie dough by hand

At this stage, the dough will seem oily and strange, and the chocolate will glisten weirdly under a sheen of olive oil. But that’s okay! The flour will absorb the oil as it bakes, and that odd slickness will disappear.

Portioning the cookie dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet, using a stainless steel cookie scoop, and garnishing each piece with a few extra chocolate chips

Portion the cookies out using a two-tablespoon scoop, and arrange them on a parchment-lined half-sheet pan. If you find that any of the chips have ejected themselves from the dough, poke them back in wherever you spot a bare patch, or grab some extra chocolate chips to garnish the dough.

overhead shot of twelve chocolate chip cookies on a parchment lined half sheet pan

Bake at 350°F (180°C) until the cookies are nicely puffed, golden from edge to center, and firm to the touch around the edges. For me, this generally works out to be about 15 minutes, but (as with any recipe) this will vary from kitchen to kitchen depending on a host of factors, such as the specifics of the equipment involved, dough temperature, the exact size and evenness of the portions, and so on. Not to mention your own taste in cookie texture!

two golden yellow chocolate chip cookies on a plate

Any cookie can be made softer with less baking, and any cookie can be made crisper with more baking. It can take a little experimentation to find your personal sweet spot, so, with this or any recipe, it may help to bake off a few trial cookies before you commit to a bake time for the whole batch.

Let the cookies cool on the tray long enough to set, then enjoy them soft and warm, or continue cooling to room temperature so the cookies can crisp around the edges (or throughout, if they were baked longer).

close up of two chocolate chip cookies on a plate, one with a bite missing

The result is a delicious variation on chocolate chip cookies, with the fragrance and richness of olive oil and pops of gooey chocolate throughout. I like them best when they’re crisp around the edges, yet soft and chewy in the middle. But with some adjustments to the bake time, they can be whatever your heart desires.

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Get to Know Sunchokes, a.k.a. Jerusalem Artichokes

Get to Know Sunchokes, a.k.a. Jerusalem Artichokes

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