Thursday, September 10, 2015

Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies


Have a ripe banana lying around? Not enough browning bananas to make banana bread, which typically uses about 3 of them? Don't worry. This cookie recipe is the perfect way to use up a ripe banana when you don't have quite enough bananas to actually make banana bread.


It's also a delicious twist on banana bread flavors crossed with a chocolate chip cookie. Adding oats and toasted walnuts adds great texture and more depth of flavor. One of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes actually uses oats as well as dried cranberries to really elevate the cookies into something special. This recipe does the same, but with banana and walnuts.


This also uses some whole wheat flour, so it's just slightly less guilt-inducing than your typical chocolate chip cookies.


The texture of these cookies is on the cakey side, so it's not chewy or crispy as some other chocolate chip cookie variations. I think the cakey texture is perfect for the flavors at hand. The cookies really are reminiscent of banana bread not only because of the subtle but delicious banana flavor and crunchy walnuts, but from the soft texture that walks the line between cake and cookie.


And of course anything with ooey, gooey chocolate chips is a winner in my book! These cookies are a revelation. They really do encompass the best of both words, yet they bake in a fraction of the time that banana bread would spend in the oven.


Whether you bake these for your family or to impress guests with the unusual take on chocolate chip cookies, these cookies are delicious and a wonderful addition to your baking repertoire.


Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen
(Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon 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 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 large)
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
8 ounces chocolate chips (or chocolate chunks)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (about 2 ounces), toasted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Whisk together both flours, salt, and baking soda in a bowl.

Put butter and both sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed 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 chips, and walnuts.

Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing about 2 inches apart (you'll need 3 half sheet pans). Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown and just set, 12 to 13 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 days.

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