Friday, September 01, 2006

Banana Chocolate Cookies

If you were as unadventurous as me, you will probably be cynical about adding banana to cookies. Chocolate chips with any nuts will probably be more appropriate. Or with cranberries and cherry.

I first came across the banana chocolate cookies from Nancy Baggett's Cookies book. And I was torned between making a hazelnut chocolate chips cookies or the banana chocolate cookies for this Friday. Fate had it when I saw a similar recipe in the Sept issue of Martha Stewart Living. It was on the last page. Like a sign that I MUST give it a try. The magazine described it as a cross between banana bread and chocolate chips cookies. And further asserted that if you like both, you will like this cookies. So cast away your cynicism and give it a try. (alright, the last sentense was my sentiment). Since I saw this recipe while browsing in bookstore, I quickly memorise the ingredients list and baking temperature.

When I came back and compared the Martha Stewart's version and Nancy Baguett version, they were almost the same in the proportions of dry and wet ingredients. In the end, I decided to try Martha Stewart's version, which she used half a cup of whole wheat flour.

While the cookies were baking in the oven, the whole apartment smells of banana bread. I can't help but worry that the cookies will turn out tasting like banana bread- texture wise.Not that I don't like banana bread, but I just think that a cookie should behaves like a cookie. Of course by this I mean the texture. I suddenly remembered what my mum told me while I was young : "A girl should behave like a girl". In case you wonder, I am never a girly girl since young. Except the fact that I cried a lot. Thanks to the good genes from mom, people can still distinguish me from boys.

It proved that my worry was not unfounded. When I pull the first batch out from oven, they didn't spread as much as the other cookies I baked. On the contrary, they rose a bit like how a muffin behaved. They were soft, on the tender side and not crispy. If you can get over the texture issue, they actually taste quite good. They were unlike cookies nor muffins. Maybe they should belong to their own class. Like Pluto, the poor planet; that has been demoted and classified under a new class as dwarf planet.

Whatever. OCT brought a batch to school and we shall wait for the verdict.

They tasted nicer and firmer when I refrigerated them for 2 days. Maybe they were meant to be made ahead.....

Banana Chocolate Cookies

1 cup all-purpose white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup thoroughly mashed or pureed overripe banana (1 medium banana)
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup (8 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease several baking sheets or coat with nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until very well blended, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until evenly incorporated. Beat in the banana, then the flour mixture, until evenly incorporated. Stir in the oats and chocolate until evenly incorporated.

Using an ice cream scoop or spoons, drop the dough onto the baking sheets in scant golf-ball-sized mounds, spacing about 2-1/2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, in the upper third of the oven for 10 to 14 minutes, or until lightly tinged with brown all over and almost firm when pressed in the centers. Reverse the sheet from front to back halfway through baking to ensure even browning. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack and let stand until the cookies firm up slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks. Let stand until completely cooled.

These cookies are best when fresh but may be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

For the best flavor and texture, be sure to use an extremely ripe banana. One that is too soft and brown to eat fresh is ideal for this recipe.

Note: Nancy Baggett used milk chocolate, while Martha's recipe recommended semi sweet chocolate. I prefer bittersweet chocolate, and hence used the 72% chocolate in this recipe.

1 comment:

Tracy said...

Nice Blog!
I agree with you about banana cookies. They always come out too cake-y.

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