Two months ago when I set out to find my perfect chewy banana cookie recipe I never stopped tinkering. The version I came up with then got good reviews from family and friends and I liked the flavor and texture. They were no muffin tops in disguise. No, they were chewy and indulgent tasting, exactly what I look for texture and flavor-wise in a cookie. But visually, I thought they could be better. I blame that on blogging. Before my blog I didn’t spend nearly as much time as I do now thinking about how I can make something visually appealing.
In the time since I wrote that post I’ve completely fallen in love with the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook, the same one that served as the inspiration for my Cinnamon Toast Crunch Ice Cream. The cookies from this book are probably most known for their imaginative flavor combinations – cornflake-marshamallow, blueberries and cream, and compost cookies. But underneath all those crazy flavors are also (nearly) foolproof ratios and techniques for the most perfect cookies I’ve ever created. They yield thin cookies that have a nice crunch on the outside with a chewy, almost toffee-like center.
I spent some time studying the book’s cookie recipes to see if I might be able to marry the flavors of my existing cookie with the look of a Momofuku Milk Bar Cookie. I ended up adding more butter and creaming it for longer, one of the secrets of the Milk Bar cookies. Yes, in total the butter gets beaten for about 12 minutes, which seems like an incredibly long time but leads to texturally light cookies. I also used glucose instead of corn syrup. You could replace it with corn syrup in a pinch, but I will admit I haven’t tried that substitution yet. They’re not entirely equal in consistency as glucose is MUCH thicker and stickier than corn syrup. Thankfully though it sounds intimidating, glucose isn’t as difficult to find as you might think. I bought mine at a baking supply store, but have since seen it at Jo Ann and Michaels, so a craft shop that has a cake supply section is your best bet.
This updated chewy banana cookie recipe is the result – prominent banana flavor in a thin, beautiful bakery-style cookie with crackle top, a cookie that doesn’t sacrifice taste for beauty or vice versa. At the moment they seem like perfection (Though knowing myself I’ll probably tinker some more. I did make my goat cheese brownies four different times, four different ways. So if banana cookies are not your thing I apologize in advance.) and part of that is due to the fact I switched up the chocolate in these as well. The original version had dark chocolate mini chunks, but this time it was all about chunks of coarsely chopped Tolberone. I used the classic milk chocolate version with its honey and almond nugget and it was positively addictive inside these cookies. It’s a nice touch of something different and took me back to being a child when my father would return from business trips to Europe with Playmobil toys and sweet bars of Tolberone. But if Tolberone isn’t your thing a generous amount of dark chocolate chunks, semi-sweet chocolate chips, or even cinnamon chips would work equally well I think.
Loosely based on the Confetti Cookie recipe in Momofuku Milk Bar
Yields 36 cookies
-1 cup unsalted butter, softened
-2/3 cup light brown sugar
-2/3 cup granulated sugar
-2 tablespoons glucose
-1 large egg
-1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-2 1/2 cups flour
-2 teaspoons cream of tartar
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
-One 2.5 ounce package freeze dried bananas, processed into a fine powder in the food processor
-2 3.52 ounce bars Toblerone, chopped
Combine the butter, sugars, and glucose in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, mashed banana and vanilla, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes until very light and fluffy.
Stir together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and powdered freeze dried bananas in a separate bowl until well combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Still on low spread, add the chopped Tolberone and mix until just combined
Using a small scoop, portion out the dough onto parchment lined baking sheets, keeping the cookies well spaced (about 2 inches apart). Pat the tops of the cookie domes flat. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. Don’t try to bake the cookies from room temperature because they will not hold their shape properly.
Heat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake the cookies for 18 minutes. Cookies should be faintly browned on the the edges, but still light in the centers. They might seem soft, but they will firm up after they cool.
Cool the cookies completely on sheet pans before transferring to a plate or airtight container for storage.