ANNOUNCING: Change is part of life, and apparently, it's part of blogging, too. As of September 5, 2013, I'm merging The Virtual Goody Plate with Disco Mom Takes on the World and whatever else may henceforth spill from my fingertips (and kitchen), into one great new blog. I hope you'll join me there in exclaiming, "THIS IS AWESOMELAND."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Banana-Walnut Chocolate-Chunk Cookies

So after almost, but not, buying Martha Stewart's Cookies TWICE in the bookstore, and reading rave reviews on various food blogs, I decided to get it from the library. That night I went through it page by page, noting the sticky corners where previous readers had placed their page markers, and had a preliminary list of 35 mouth-watering delights I wanted to try immediately. But it was late, so I went to bed.

The next morning my 2-year-old came to me and said, "Mommy, I want to make cookies with you." Which means, "Mommy, I want you to make cookies so I can lick the beaters." Whatever, I was anxious to delve in. I hadn't been to the store so I had to find a recipe I had everything for. I scanned the list waiting for inspiration. Oh, man. Banana-Walnut Chocolate-Chunk cookies - PERFECT!

I have a handful of recipes for ripe bananas I'm waiting to try; it's nice to have a few options to choose from rather than making the same banana muffins all the time, awesome as they are (I'll have to post those soon.) These gooey, chunky treats are honestly an exact cross of banana bread and chocolate chip cookies. The texture is all cookie, and of course there's the chocolate. But the banana flavor is strong and sweet, and while I don't usually prefer walnuts, they really are perfect in this setting.

The recipe calls for chopped dark chocolate. Honestly, one does not always have the time or desire for this extra step, so use chocolate chips if you want. But there is something so recklessly decadent about taking a good quality dark chocolate bar and a big knife, and breaking and chopping it all up into random pieces. And of course it's awesome when you bite into a big one.
Same with the coarse salt. One may not have it on hand, so use regular salt. But I happened to have coarse, and let me tell you, it was worth it. You can really tell the difference. It's small but profound details like these that take this cookie from being really, really good to absolutely gourmet. Not only that, but this recipe has also earned a new label - "healthy-ish." It'll go on things that have whole grains, lower fats, alternative sweeteners, fresh fruit, or are otherwise slightly healthier than your average goody. Bon appetit!

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (1 large)
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped into 1/4-inch chunks
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

1. Preheat oven to 375. Line baking sheets with parchment or silicone. Whisk together both flours, salt and baking soda in a bowl.

2. Beat butter and both sugars in an electric mixer on medium until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add egg and vanilla; mix until combined. Mix in banana. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in oats, chocolate chunks, and walnuts.

3. Using a 1 1/2-inch cookie scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies until golden brown and just set, about 12 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack; let cool completely.

Makes 3 1/2 dozen plus a big spoonful of dough for the hubby

Look at that big chunk in the front cookie - don't you just want to bite the screen?


Celeste Elaine said...

Holy amazing cookie.
Kari, I tried these out two nights ago, and they were food for three roommates, breakfast (I justified with the banana and oatmeal) and the day's math story problem for my fourth graders.
You should have seen them salivating.

These were delicious...with a capitol D, rhymes with T, stands for trouble...
I like this recipe a LOT.

Disco Mom said...

Celeste - I KNOW!! I keep thinking about these cookies as I watch my bananas go brown. They are SO good, there's almost no point in baking anything else.

Shanda said...

OK these might do the banana chocolate trick! but if you have any other ideas (banana, peanut butter and chocolate) I would love to hear them too!

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