Monday, July 7, 2014

Chunky Monkeys

Sometimes when you don't spend a lot of a money on a cookbook, you luck out.  I picked up "The Cookie Bible" a while ago for only $6 when one of my favourite bookstores was closing for, based on how cute the cookies looked.  As it turned out, this recipe was delish too!

In addition to blueberries and lemon, the other flavour combo that's always a hit in my family is bananas with chocolate chips.  Add some walnuts and you can't go wrong in a cookie!  After making over 3 dozen, by late afternoon and family visiting during the day and send some home with my daughter and son-in-law, there were only TEN cookies left!  So much for my plan to share them with my co-workers. ;)

As usual, since it was the first time baking these, I followed the instructions exactly, even though I found the 300 degree setting for the oven very low.  The cookies took longer to bake than instructed, but they did turn out perfectly - soft and tender!

2-2/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup mashed bananas - use ripe, but *not* brown bananas for better cookie structure
1 egg
1/2 tsp banana extract, if you have it.  I don't so I used pure vanilla extract instead.
1-1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Whisk flour, baking soda and salt in bowl and set aside.  In a stand mixer, combine butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.  Add banana, egg and vanilla extract (or banana) and beat until just blended.  As usual, take time to scrape the bowl completely to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.

Add flour mixture until just blended.  Slowly mix in chocolate chips and walnut pieces.  This will be a rather wet dough, so I used my tablespoon scoop with a glass of hot water to dip the scoop into between measures.  Space evenly on parchment lined baking sheets.  I was worried that the cookies would run together while baking, but they held their shapes nicely.

The recipe called for baking them for 20 minutes or until the edges were lightly browned.  At 20 minutes, I tapped a cookie from the first batch lightly and could tell it wasn't baked yet.  I gave them another 4 minutes and they were perfect.  My second batch was perfect at 12 minutes per rotation (i.e., switch the pans for even baking through the process).

For once, I didn't count exactly how many this cookie dough yielded.  I'm going to guess at least 4 dozen, but boy did they go fast!  My daughter commented that "these are dangerous because they're not that sweet, so you could eat 20 of them before you realized how many you had."  I'll take that as an endorsement to make them again.

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