• erin

    Dumplings with my family
    A recent graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, I found myself with no money, no kitchen equipment, and an exceptionally huge appetite. Ideas, improvisations, and yummy meal solutions were discovered in the kitchen of my very first apartment.
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Banana Walnut Chocolate Cookies

Matt has recently started working at a small bed and breakfast. It’s a good deal – he works three or four days a week in exchange for free rent in one of the inn’s rooms. It’s a good fit – Mr. Hospitality can continue doing what he loves outside of the fancy Escoffier dining room. And it’s a good fit for me too, as when Matt’s on duty he’s responsible for making a fresh baked item each day as well as breakfast for the guests.

We took over this weekend for our trial run – the owner was on vacation with his family and the current student doing the gig was going out of town for a wedding. She left me a few very ripe bananas, suggesting I make banana bread. I love banana bread – but I’m never interested in people’s suggestions. Instead, I choose this banana cookie recipe, which utilizes all of the favorite banana bread ingredients but results in a delicious and entirely portable finished product that bakes in 15 minutes instead of up to an hour as a loaf would. The guests gobbled them up in no time.

Banana Walnut Chocolate Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen medium cookies

Leftover Potential: These cookies will last for 3-4 days (though in humid weather, they get continuously softer). You can also refrigerate or freeze the finished cookie dough in case you ever need cookies in a flash.

Recipe adapted from www.marthastewart.com

1 cup flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 sticks butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup very ripe banana, mashed

1 cup semisweet chocolate

1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

1. Sift the dry ingredients together. In a mixer, cream the butter and sugars together. Add the egg, and scrape well. Add the vanilla and the banana, mixing to combine.

2. Slowly begin adding the flour mixture, mixing just to combine. When all the flour has been added, fold in the chocolate and walnuts.

3. Scoop the finished dough onto a cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees until firm and lightly browned around the edges. Let cool – this is a deliciously soft, chewy cookie.


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