Olive Oil Chocolate Cookies
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Recipe courtesy of Carolina Gelen

Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 min (includes chilling time)
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 9 to 12 cookies
These olive oil cookies are my take on everyone’s favorite ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookie. Instead of butter, good-quality extra-virgin olive oil is the base fat, adding moisture and richness and elevating the flavor profile of this dessert. While I can assure you the cookies won’t taste like salad dressing, they'll have a gentle floral, citrusy, nutty and herbaceous undertone that complements the chocolate. To enhance the natural citrus hint the olive oil brings, I use freshly grated orange zest to flavor the cookie dough, rubbing it with the granulated sugar until the sugar turns yellow and fragrant. It’s a small step that goes a long way, adding a touch of complexity that will make you go in for another bite. Every guest I have served these to has asked for the recipe. There’s something so simple, yet so unique about them. You’re going to love these cookies. 



  1. Add the granulated sugar, orange zest and kosher salt to a medium mixing bowl. Rub the zest, sugar and salt together using your fingers until the sugar turns pale yellow and is fragrant. Add the brown sugar, olive oil, whole egg and yolk, vanilla extract and vinegar or citrus juice. Whisk until smooth and incorporated.
  2. Add the flour, baking powder and baking soda to a separate bowl. Toss the dry ingredients using a whisk or your fingers to evenly distribute the rising agents throughout the flour. Combine with the wet ingredients using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until there are no more visible dry flour spots. Don’t overmix. Add the chocolate chips and mix to evenly distribute throughout the cookie dough. Place the cookie dough in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. While the cookie dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. The dough should have the texture of marzipan at this point; if it’s softer than that, chill for longer. Scoop 2-tablespoon portions of dough onto the baking sheet. Leave 1 1/2 to 2 inches in between each cookie. Dip a pastry brush in olive oil and lightly brush each cookie on top. (Don’t use too much; you don't want a pool of olive oil around the cookies, just enough to coat the exterior.) Bake until golden brown, 9 to 12 minutes (see Cook's Note). Sprinkle with flaky salt.
  5. Serve right away. Store in an airtight container or bag for up to 3 days or freeze the dough up to 3 months.

Cook’s Note

Whenever you zest an orange, make sure to avoid the pith--the soft, white part between the orange peel and flesh--which is really bitter. All the natural oils and flavor are compacted in the orange part of the peel. To get maximal flavor out of the orange zest, the recipe starts by rubbing together the zest and sugar. The abrasive texture of the sugar will help draw out the flavor and oils from the orange peel. The cookies are not too thin and not too cakey; they should come out of the oven looking perfectly crisp on the edges and soft in the middle.  I always recommend baking and serving cookies fresh, rather than preparing them days ahead. If you want to give yourself a head start, whip up a batch of the cookie dough, scoop it and freeze it, then bake straight from frozen when your guests have arrived. You’ll get the freshly baked cookie experience without any fuss.