Saturday, 2 April 2011

Brown butter, banana and walnut cookies

This is an ode to a cookie. Sometimes all one ever wants is a chewy, succulent and juicy cookie. A cookie that’s large enough to satisfy such a craving and last an entire cup of coffee, but without sliding down a slippery slope to hedonism. A cookie that’s not too flat, nor too tall, that manages to strike a balance between the chewiest of cakes and the crispiest of cookies. I walked around the city last week in search for my morning coffee and a cookie to satisfy my lust, yet day after day I came back with nothing.

Why it is that the universe thinks I should be baking the cookie of my dreams instead of finding a cookie and then fall for it is beyond me, but I am not one to sit around and wait for a cookie to possibly be everything I want in a cookie. I was left with no choice and decided to bake the cookie of my dreams myself. What began by browning butter (like most good stories do) ended up as these cookies.

I shared the first batch and that was followed by a second batch, though I had to double the quantity. I shared some more, then I wrote about them in my column and now I’m posting them here. They are simply too good to keep from the world and I think the world should know. The second best thing to eating these cookies straight from the oven is having the recipe for how to make them.

Lets call it my humble attempt at making the world a better place. One cookie at a time.

Brown butter, banana, and walnut cookies

Makes 12 large and satisfying cookies.


100 g butter, diced

1 cup AP flour

½ tsp salt

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

¾ cup raw cane sugar

1 egg

1 ripe banana, pureed

1 tsp (real) vanilla extract

1 cup walnuts, chopped roughly

½ cup dark chocolate chips, optional

  1. Prepare the brown butter: Place the diced butter in a heavy skillet over a medium flame, stirring it frequently with a whisk. Once melted the butter will begin to bubble and it is at this point you need to watch it from burning. Brown butter turns to a dark, charred butter in seconds. Once the air fills with a nutty sweet the butter is ready. Transfer the brown butter to a small bow, in order to stop it from browning any further. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
  3. In a separate bowl, place the brown putter and the sugar. Using a hand or electric whisk, beat until you have a smooth and creamy mixture. Add the egg and beat well until the mixture is light and airy.
  4. Mix in the pureed banana and the vanilla extract to combine.
  5. Add half the flour mixture and mix for 15 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix just until combined.
  6. Fold the walnuts and chocolate chips, if using, into the batter. Cover with cling film and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours (and up to 5 days).
  7. Preheat the oven to 190C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  8. Using an ice cream scooper, scoop the cookie dough to balls and place on the tray, well spaced apart.
  9. Bake for 12-14 minutes, turning the baking tray halfway through. The cookies are done when the edges turn golden brown.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cool on a wire rack.
  11. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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