Ten years ago, we might have scoffed at pastries made without milk and butter. But then we tried cupcakes from Babycakes, cookies from 'Snice and pancakes from Purely Elizabeth. And we realized that vegan need not mean anything short of delicious.

Our newest such dairy-free indulgences come courtesy of just-opened Blossom Bakery, an offshoot of the much-beloved Blossom vegan-restaurant chain.

The new Chelsea shop is small and inviting and--at least, when we stopped by--filled with the smell of freshly baked peanut-butter cookies. Plus, while all of head baker Quinn Ventura's offerings are free of cholesterol, trans fats and animal products, none have the dry or mealy taste you might associate with subpar vegan goods.

We treated ourselves to a savory, oniony eggless quiche ($5) and a black-and-white cookie ($4) that tasted like a lighter, slightly less sugary version of the dairy-made variety. Then (because we're nothing if not generous) we grabbed a super-fudgy mocha-walnut brownie ($4) to share with our coworkers.

The verdict? Be you strictly vegan, lactose-intolerant or proudly carnivorous, these treats are definitely worth a try.

Blossom Bakery, 174 Ninth Ave. (between 20th and 21st sts.); 212-242-3339 or blossombakerynyc.com

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