This magic trick turns leftover hard-boiled eggs into absolutely addictive chocolate chunk cookies

A European baking secret unlocks the most tender cookies ever

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Senior Writer

Published April 16, 2022 4:30PM (EDT)

Hardboiled Egg Cookies (Mary Elizabeth Williams)
Hardboiled Egg Cookies (Mary Elizabeth Williams)

In "Quick & Dirty," Salon Food's Mary Elizabeth Williams serves up simplified recipes and shortcuts for exhausted cooks just like you — because quick and dirty should still be delicious.

I can confidently say that my family and I have never once finished off our Easter hard-boiled eggs. Maybe that's because hard-boiled eggs are kind of gross? Yet even now that my kids are too old to believe in the Bunny (if not to expect a basket of candy), we still annually cap off Lent with a batch of festively dyed eggs, which we remember to throw away sometime around Mother's Day.

I don't want to do that anymore.

If you also aren't an egg salad person, what's the solution to these pesky holiday leftovers? Fortunately, this year, I remembered an intriguing recipe from Claire Saffitz for toasted flour sablés that incorporates cooked egg yolks into the dough for an ultra-tender treat.

RELATED: Transform your leftover Easter candy into gourmet-inspired cookies

I love sablés, scones and shortbreads (basically, any baked good whose instructions call for the creation of dough that just barely holds together). I think a lot of us are just barely holding together of late — and I respect a cookie that reflects that vibe.

I can't really help with the hard-boiled egg whites situation this recipe still leaves behind (though I find shredding them with some kimchi makes an acceptable lunch!). However, I'm more than happy to help you repurpose your yolks into a crumbly treat that you actually want to eat. As James Schend explained for Taste of Home, "The little pieces of yolk intermix with the flour and once liquids are added, they act as a barrier stopping some of the gluten from forming." In other words, this is magic.

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Because no one wants to wait for cookies, I ditched the flour toasting aspect of Saffitz's recipe and cut down the chilling time. Inspired by Alison Roman's legendary chocolate chunk shortbread cookies, I also introduced chopped chocolate to the mix. You can use your favorite chocolate bar or chocolate chips, though I would applaud your resourcefulness if you dismembered a chocolate bunny or two in service of your baking.

These cookies are absolutely addictive — buttery, crumbly and just the right amount of sweet. I'm going to keep making them until we run out of hard-boiled eggs around here . . . then I may just have to boil some more.


Recipe: Barely Holding It Together Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Inspired by Claire Saffitz and Alison Roman

 12 servings
Prep Time
10 minutes, plus chilling
Cook Time
 10 minutes


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 hard-boiled egg yolks, pressed through a fine-mesh sieve
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 cup roughly chopped dark chocolate, chocolate chips or chocolate of your choice



  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, egg yolks and salt.

  2. Using a hand mixer, stand mixer or wooden spoon, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Add a tablespoon of water, if needed, then stir in the chocolate.

  3. Plop the dough on a piece of parchment or plastic wrap and roll it into a log. Chill for 30 minutes (or longer, if you wish). 

  4. Preheat the oven to 400°.

  5. Unwrap and slice the dough into 1/4-inch thick rounds. If you want, roll the scraps of the ends into an additional cookie.

  6. Place the rounds about 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. For more crunch, sprinkle a little sugar on top of each one.

  7. Bake the cookies, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until very lightly golden, about 10 minutes.

  8. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack (if you have one) eat warm. 

Cook's Notes

In addition to a fine sieve, you can also press the yolks through a tea strainer.

Nothing on earth beats a freshly baked cookie. You can slice and bake these to order like you would any roll of store-bought cookie dough. Store the remainder in the fridge 'til next time.


More easy cookie recipes we love: 

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By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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Cookies Desserts Easter Eggs Food Leftovers Quick & Dirty Recipe Sables