Category Archives: egg free

Crispy, Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Crispy, Crunchy Chocolate Chip CookiesTwo chocolate chip cookie recipes in four weeks? Don’t mind if I do.

If you like your chocolate chip cookies soft and chewy, I already have at least two recipes for you. But these? These are for the crispy, crunchy cookie people.Crispy, Crunchy Chocolate Chip CookiesYes, you. I know you’re out there. I see you, wading through a sea of soft, chewy chocolate chip cookie recipes, baking them extra long in hopes that they’ll be something they’re not. I’ve read your emails and direct messages, and I’ve been trying on-and-off for years to make a cookie base just for you.

It’s been more frustrating than you’d imagine—I mean, how difficult could it be to make a cookie that’s crunchy throughout?—but I finally, finally cracked the code a few weeks ago. The results are crispy (duh) but not overly hard, and very caramelly and chocolate-studded and delicious, as all chocolate chip cookies ought to be. Oh, and their crunch? Ridiculous. Ree-diculous.Crispy, Crunchy Chocolate Chip CookiesNow, I’m sure if you bake any cookie dough long enough, the results will be crispy, but this one is *specifically formulated* to be that way. It sounds a little pretentious when it’s written out like that, but it’s true. It’s taken at least 30 test batches, if not more, to make the perfect homemade Crispy, Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies. I don’t throw the word “perfect” around on here literally ever, so please believe me when I tell you how incredible these are because getting here has been a journey.Crispy, Crunchy Chocolate Chip CookiesWhen I started down this particular cookie road (really going with the journey metaphor), I knew I needed to bump up the granulated sugar and reduce the brown sugar for crisper results. It’s basic cookie science. Sugar is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture from the air. Brown sugar, which is what happens when you whirl molasses into granulated sugar, absorbs more moisture than plain white granulated sugar. Therefore, more brown sugar in a cookie recipe = more chew. I wanted less chew—no chew, even—but still needed that signature brown sugary chocolate chip cookie flavor, so I opted to use equal parts brown and granulated sugar. The results are all the flavor I expect in a chocolate chip cookie and none of the softness.Crispy, Crunchy Chocolate Chip CookiesNext, I reduced the flour to cause more spreading during baking. Yes, I wanted this dough to spread—no multi-hour chills here! I also decided to try a reverse creaming method after seeing Stella Parks’s homemade Tate’s cookies. This mixing method is unusual in cookies but popular for cakes. The flour, sugar and other dry ingredients are mixed together first, then coated in softened butter, creating a barrier of fat and a visibly sandy texture. This butter barrier keeps the flour from absorbing liquid, which would activate the gluten, which would create chewy texture. Lesson learned: for the crispest cookies and the softest cakes, reverse creaming is the way to go.Crispy, Crunchy Chocolate Chip CookiesNow, all of that is fine and good and very important in the whole crunchy cookie racket, but the real game changer came a few weeks ago. I was eating Hobnobs (crisp chocolate-dipped oat tea biscuits) at 1am on a Thursday and going down an internet rabbit hole about how to make them…because it was 1am on a Thursday. Like all the best love (and recipe development?) stories, I wasn’t even looking for this solution, but then there it was in a homemade Hobnob recipe: golden syrup. It bound together an otherwise crumbly dough, doing what an egg does in other cookie recipes, but since the syrup is sugar (read: it doesn’t have the fat and protein eggs do), it produced a crisp finish, rather than a chewy one.

Mind blown. MIND. BLOWN. Mind *freaking* blown.

Approximately ten more test batches later, these are the Crispy, Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies I’ve wanted all along.Crispy, Crunchy Chocolate Chip CookiesCrispy, Crunchy Chocolate Chip CookiesNow, If you’re scratching your head wondering what WTF golden syrup is, you’re not alone. It’s a cane sugar-based invert sweetener (invert = liquid) that’s popular in the UK, but a bit more niche here. I can find it in some really well-stocked grocery stores and online, of course, but I can’t expect you to go out of your way for one ingredient. No way. Cookies are an immediate need, as far as I’m concerned—we’re in a pandemic, dang it—so I use the USA’s easy-to-find, low-rent golden syrup substitute, light corn syrup. You can also use a mild honey if corn syrup isn’t your bag. And for those wondering, nope, it’s not the same as the dreaded high-fructose corn syrup.Crispy, Crunchy Chocolate Chip CookiesCrispy, Crunchy Chocolate Chip CookiesCrispy, Crunchy Chocolate Chip CookiesThe syrup is added after the butter is reverse-creamed in, and before the chocolate chips. The dough will hold together as well as any other chocolate chip cookie dough, and rolls easily into 24 tablespoon-sized balls.

They’re baked for 15-16 minutes, until they’re really, really done. Long baking time is key for crunchy cookie success. The cookies will puff as they bake, but should already be relaxing into their final shape when you pull them from the oven, and be fully crisp within a few minutes of cooling. You may be tempted to eat them warm, but I think their flavor is best at room temperature. All the flavors meld together after 30 minutes or so, resulting in super caramelly, crisp, surprisingly light-textured chocolate chip cookies. Prepare to fall in love with their satisfying crunch—don’t say I didn’t warn you.Crispy, Crunchy Chocolate Chip CookiesCrispy, Crunchy Chocolate Chip CookiesOne more reason to get on the crunchy cookie bandwagon? Crispy, Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies keep like a dream. A dream, I tell you! I am a huge snob about day-old cookies, so believe me when I tell you that these just get better with time. Where soft cookies get a little stale after a day, these crisp treats retain their texture and their flavors only deepen further. You should keep them covered as sugar’s hygroscopic nature means your cookies can be affected by humidity, but the batch pictured made it through some seriously gnarly NYC weather and were still near perfect. And by near perfect, I mean perfect-perfect.Crispy, Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Crispy, Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes 2 dozen cookies

1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed (not dark brown)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 tablespoon light corn syrup (or golden syrup or mild honey)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Arrange oven racks in central positions. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Cut softened butter into 8 pieces and add them to the mixing bowl. Starting at low speed and increasing as ingredients become incorporated, use an electric mixer to mix the butter into the flour/sugar mixture until powdery and wet-sandy. You may need to stop a time or two to break up larger pieces of butter.

Add corn syrup and vanilla and mix to combine. Dough will look crumbly, but should hold together well when pinched.

Add the chocolate chips to the dough and mix/knead them in with a clean hand (or a silicone spatula or wooden spoon) until evenly distributed and the dough is a cohesive unit.

Scoop the dough by the tablespoon, roll into balls and place them 2-3 inches apart on prepared pans (I fit 12 on each half-sheet pan). Bake for 8 minutes, then rotate the pans top-to-bottom and front-to-back. Bake another 7-8 minutes, until a bit puffy and deep golden.

Let cookies cool for 7 minutes on the pans. Remove to a rack to cool completely. Serve.

Leftover cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.Crispy, Crunchy Chocolate Chip CookiesCrispy, Crunchy Chocolate Chip CookiesCrispy, Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut MacaroonsDid you know that the world is still turning and Easter is happening next weekend? How is that even possible?

Ash Wednesday seems like it was five years ago, but it was at the end of February, back when when eggs were not a hyper-precious commodity. It was a time I would have gladly posted a recipe requiring two egg whites and maybe—big maybe—given you an idea of something to do with the yolks. But that was then. Now, the idea of asking you to separate eggs for a non-essential recipe and then leaving you to find something to do with egg yolks is just…well, I’m not going to do it. Not today.Coconut MacaroonsIn keeping with my stay-at-home, work with what you have, waste not/want not approach to baking (and literally everything) right now, I’m taking a note from a recipe I posted last Easter: Chocolate Macaroon Tart. In case you missed it, it’s basically a giant coconut macaroon filled with chocolate ganache…except that it’s not a macaroon at all! Or not the way most people think of a macaroon, anyway. I mean, it’s coconutty and all, but where macaroons are traditionally made with egg whites and sugar, this tart crust is made with sweetened condensed milk. And, since that mixture worked so unbelievably well pressed into a pan, why not mound it like regular macaroons and bake until golden?

Wow, I just said “macaroon” like 478 times.Coconut MacaroonsCoconut MacaroonsAnyway, here is a pantry-friendly version of Coconut Macaroons, a springtime classic. You’d never know these aren’t made with the usual egg whites and sugar—they’re just as toasty-edged, soft-centered and delightfully chewy as their traditional counterparts.Coconut MacaroonsCoconut MacaroonsCoconut MacaroonsCoconut MacaroonsThe ingredient list is short: a bag of sweetened shredded coconut, about half a can of sweetened condensed milk, some vanilla and salt. No vanilla? Leave it out. Wish they had a little lime or orange to offset the sweetness? Zest some into the sweetened condensed milk before mixing. Like your macaroons dipped in chocolate? Cool them and then dip away!Coconut MacaroonsAnd if you, perhaps, have egg whites leftover from—I don’t know—making Lazy Lemon Curd, and are looking for traditional macaroons, you can double this recipe and swap the potato chips for 3 cups of coconut.Coconut MacaroonsAs for this recipe, all you’ll have leftover is a half a can of sweetened condensed milk, and if you’re not already drizzling that into your weekend coffee…well, you’re in a pandemic and this is the time to start.Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons
makes about 1.5 dozen

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 14-ounce bag (5 cups) sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, use a fork to whisk together sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and salt.

Place coconut in a medium mixing bowl. Pour in sweetened condensed milk mixture and stir together with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon.

Wet your hands. Scoop coconut mixture in 1 1/2 tablespoon increments (I used a medium cookie scoop) and form into balls. Place 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Bake 15 minutes, or until light golden and slightly puffed. Let cool on pans for 10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Coconut Macaroons will keep covered at room temperature for a few days.

Small Batch Banana Muffins

Small Batch Banana MuffinsJust in case you were wondering, if you decide to take my One-Banana Banana Bread recipe and make it into Small Batch Banana Muffins, it will work. It will work well.Small Batch Banana MuffinsSmall Batch Banana MuffinsIt will work if you use non-dairy milk or whole milk. It will work if you use lemon juice or white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar.Small Batch Banana MuffinsIt will work if you use dark brown sugar instead of light brown. It will work if all you have is granulated sugar.Small Batch Banana MuffinsIt will work if you use canola oil or coconut oil or melted butter.Small Batch Banana MuffinsIt will work even when you get distracted by a Zoom call with friends and forget the (flax or regular) egg. In fact, your muffins will actually be better *because* you skipped the egg. I swear.

That never happens. It’s a quarantine miracle.Small Batch Banana MuffinsEr, *six* quarantine miracles.Small Batch Banana Muffins

Small Batch Banana Muffins
makes 6 standard muffins

1/3 cup milk of choice (non-dairy for vegan muffins)
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large very ripe banana, mashed

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease or use muffin liners in 6 cups of a standard muffin tin. Fill the remaining cups 1/3-1/2 of the way with water (to keep the pan from warping in the oven). Set aside.

In a measuring cup or small bowl, use a fork to whisk together milk and apple cider vinegar.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

Whisk oil into milk mixture, followed by mashed banana. Add dry ingredients. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold ingredients together (20 strokes maximum). Batter will be thick.

Divide batter among prepared muffin cups. Bake 5 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350F and bake another 14-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let muffins cool in the pan for at least five minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Serve. Leftovers will keep covered at room temperature for a couple of days, but may be refrigerated for up to 5.Small Batch Banana MuffinsSmall Batch Banana MuffinsSmall Batch Banana Muffins

One Big Snickerdoodle

One Big Snickerdoodle There is a time for large-batch, super-shareable baking, and then there is the time for a cookie for one (or two, if you’re feeling generous) that can be measured in tablespoons instead of cups, mixed with a fork, and baked to crisp-chewy perfection all in the span of 25 minutes.

Mid-January is that time. I’m still not fully over the holiday food, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to skip dessert. And not some “healthy” dessert either, because I am firmly in the camp that believes a cookie should be…a cookie.One Big SnickerdoodleI started making these One Big Cookies about a year ago; you can find the chocolate chip and chocolate M&Ms versions in the archives. Those recipes are great, but find me someone who can resist the allure of this giant Snickerdoodle with its craggy top and cinnamon-sugar edges.One Big SnickerdoodleThis is a cookie designed to be made on the fly. Yes, you’ll need baking basics (sugar, butter, flour), but you likely have all of them and even if you don’t, swaps can be made in the moment. Trust me. I did nine test rounds of this recipe, so I know all the ins and outs.One Big Snickerdoodle
• Don’t have light brown sugar? Just swap it for granulated. Your cookie will be paler and slightly crisper, but it’s not a bad thing.
• If you want to make this cookie vegan, exchange the butter for an equal volume of a plant-based substitute. That’s it! All of my One Big Cookies are egg-free as water does the job just fine in small amounts, so veganizing really is that simple.One Big Snickerdoodle
• Snickerdoodles are traditionally leavened with a mix of cream of tartar (an acid) and baking soda (a base). Now, I always have a tiny jar of cream of tartar in my arsenal, but I understand that I’m unusual in that regard. If you don’t have this leavening agent around, this is one special case where you can use baking powder instead. This swap almost never works otherwise, so please don’t make a habit of it, but these One Big Cookie recipes are surprisingly resilient.One Big Snickerdoodle
• If you don’t press the dough down with the heel of your hand, nothing terrible will happen. This is purely for aesthetics, as it seems to mitigate having a giant crack in the middle.
• Yes, you can split the dough in half and make two cookies. I’m not sure on the exact bake time, but I’d start checking around 9 minutes.One Big SnickerdoodleAs you can see, adaptability is the name of the game! It’s such a rarity in baking, but this Snickerdoodle allows for it in spades. Who doesn’t need that sort of cinnamon-sugar-coated positivity in their life?

Have a great weekend, y’all!One Big Snickerdoodle

One Big Snickerdoodle
makes 1 large cookie

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tablespoons (4 1/2 teaspoons) granulated sugar
1/2 tablespoon (1 1/2 teaspoons) light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon water (not cold)
1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar*
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of Kosher or sea salt

Coating:
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.

Make the dough. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together melted butter, granulated and light brown sugars. Mix in water and vanilla. Add flour, cinnamon, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt, and whisk until a dough forms; a silicone spatula may be helpful here.

Make the coating. In a small bowl, use a fork to mix together granulated sugar and cinnamon.

Use your hands to form dough into a ball. Carefully roll ball in cinnamon-sugar coating so that all sides are covered. Place on parchment and use the heel of your hand to press down gently, just so that the dough is more of a disk and less of a ball.

Bake for 13-14 minutes or until the top is craggy and appears just slightly underdone.

Let cookie cool on the pan for 5-7 minutes before using a spatula to remove it to a plate. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Note:

An equal volume of baking powder will work in place of cream of tartar. I do not recommend swapping cream of tartar and baking powder in any other recipes.One Big SnickerdoodleOne Big Snickerdoodle

Fluffy Dinner Rolls

Fluffy Dinner RollsUntil recently, I’ve eaten (baked) frozen dinner rolls at every holiday dinner of my life and had exactly zero idea that I was missing anything. Warm bread is warm bread, right?

WRONG. So wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrongwrongwrong.Fluffy Dinner RollsI mean, I’m sure I will eat a (baked) frozen dinner roll in the future because warm bread, but now I know the magic and ease of buttery, homemade Fluffy Dinner Rolls and I can never fully go back. In the story of my life, time will be defined as “Before Fluffy Dinner Rolls” and “After Fluffy Dinner Rolls.” Fluffy Dinner RollsOkay, maybe not. But I am changed, and I have a sneaking suspicion that some of you are in the same boat I once was—out there living your lives, blissfully unconcerned that your holiday table is missing something or that you have been denied anything—and I am here to mess all that up by giving you an easy six-ingredient dinner roll recipe that will blow your freaking minds with its buttery, golden wonderfulness and ruin freezer aisle rolls for you forever. #sorrynotsorryFluffy Dinner RollsThese Fluffy Dinner Rolls, y’all. They are fluffy. So fluffy. And they are slightly sweet and buttery as all get-out (whatever that means). There’s butter in the dough, and more is brushed on both before and after baking!Fluffy Dinner RollsFluffy Dinner RollsDid I mention their softness? When I was testing this recipe, I spent a lot of time poking the golden tops of these rolls and watching them bounce back, just because I could. So soft! So dang fluffy!Fluffy Dinner RollsFluffy Dinner RollsFluffy Dinner RollsAs I said, these beautiful dinner rolls require just six ingredients: flour, yeast, sugar, salt, butter and buttermilk. These rolls are egg-free, but lack nothing in the flavor or texture departments.Fluffy Dinner RollsFluffy Dinner RollsFluffy Dinner RollsThey are super simple to make, too. Don’t let the length of the recipe fool you—I just wanted to ensure that you have all the information you need for Fluffy Dinner Roll success. I’ve included instructions for a stand mixer and mixing by hand, and for using both active dry and instant yeasts. I tried my best to describe how to shape them, but it’s surprisingly difficult to explain with words alone, so here are some pictures of what I did:Fluffy Dinner RollsFluffy Dinner RollsFluffy Dinner RollsFluffy Dinner RollsDon’t worry, they don’t have to be shaped perfectly to be delicious. It took me three batches to get a consistent shaping method. Those other four batches? They were for quality control. Or maybe just making up for lost time.Fluffy Dinner Rolls

Fluffy Dinner Rolls
makes 16 rolls

1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast*
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes

For brushing:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided

Read the recipe all the way through before beginning. Instructions for using instant yeast and mixing by-hand are in the notes at the end of the recipe.

Heat buttermilk until it’s between 90-110F (warm to the touch, but not so hot that you can’t comfortably hold a finger in it).

Stir together buttermilk and granulated sugar in a liquid measuring cup or small bowl. Sprinkle yeast over the top and allow to sit for 5 minutes or until it is a bit bubbly or foamy (sometimes a light stir can help this be more visible). If it doesn’t bubble, your yeast is dead. Discard the mixture, get new yeast, and try again.

In the bowl of a stand mixer* fitted with a dough hook, combine 2 cups of flour and salt. Add butter and buttermilk mixture and mix to combine. Mix in remaining 3/4 cup flour. Knead dough in mixer* for 5 minutes or until smooth and slightly sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free environment for 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in bulk.

Meanwhile, butter (or otherwise grease) an 8- or 9-inch square pan. Line the bottom with parchment and grease again. Set aside.

Flour a surface. Uncover risen dough and gently punch it down. Place dough on floured surface and pat out into a 1-inch thick disk. Flour a large, sharp chef’s knife and slice the disk into 16 thin wedges.

Shape the rolls. Working with one wedge at a time, roll the point (from the center of the disk, where the long sides meet) toward the short end. Then use your fingers to pull edges or creases underneath, creating a smooth ball-like appearance. Place in pan. Repeat until all rolls have been shaped.

Loosely cover the pan of rolls and place in a warm, draft-free environment for 60 minutes or until they have doubled in size and/or fill the pan.

Meanwhile, place an oven rack in the central or lower position (either will work). Preheat your oven to 400F. Melt the butter for brushing.

Uncover risen rolls. Use a pastry brush to gently brush the tops with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Bake rolls for 20 minutes, or until deep golden on top. Brush with remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter when you remove them from the oven.

Let rolls cool 10-15 minutes before serving.

Rolls are best the day they are baked, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or so.

Notes:

1. You may use an equal volume of instant yeast. Add it (and the sugar) directly to the dry ingredients, skipping the blooming step. Add warmed buttermilk and butter directly to the dry ingredients and mix as written above in the paragraph beginning “In the bowl of a stand mixer.” The rises may take about 15 minutes longer than with active dry yeast.
2. You may mix this dough in a large mixing bowl with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon.
3. You may knead this dough by hand on a floured surface.

Fluffy Dinner RollsFluffy Dinner RollsFluffy Dinner Rolls