Sunday, March 6, 2011

Peanuts, banana and chocolate
meet in a chunky, delicious cookie

Peanuts, banana and lots o’ chocolate -- sounds like a dreamy combination, doesn’t it?
   It’s realized in Peanut Banana Chocolate Chunk Cookies (click for the recipe) from pastry chef Danielle Keene.
   The bananas are present courtesy of freeze-dried banana or banana chips, which can be found at bulk and health food stores.
   The chocolate finds its way in with a pound of bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped. To save time, I used bittersweet chocolate chips instead, which can also be found at bulk foods stores.
   The last bit of the heavenly trio is peanuts, which are of the unsalted roasted variety.
   Thanks to the banana chips, chocolate bits and peanuts, the cookies are studded with chunks of goodness in every scrumptious bite.
   I found the cookies kept well for about three days at room temperature.
   They are a cinch to make, a terrific project for an afternoon off.
   Butter and chopped bittersweet chocolate (or bittersweet chocolate chips) are melted together in a bowl set over simmering water, then left to cool.
   Eggs, light brown sugar and vanilla are whisked together with an electric mixer (I used a hand mixer.) The cooled melted chocolate mixture, flour and baking powder are added to the egg mixture and the ingredients are beaten until combined.
   More chopped chocolate or chips, peanuts and the banana chips are stirred in by hand.
   The dough is dropped by the spoonful or ice cream scoop on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. The cookies are baked 12 to 15 minutes, or until the tops are cracked and shiny.

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