Like a Brownie in Cookie Form, but Better: Double Chocolate Banana Cookies

After a disappointing experience with Maida Heatter's Two-Tone Hazelnut Cookies from her Best Dessert Book Ever, I wanted to try another recipe from the cookbook. Because I had some ripe bananas on hand, I went with Heatter's "Double Chocolate Banana Cookies." The cookies have a chocolate-banana dough with white chocolate chips and walnuts mixed in.

Making the batter is straightforward. You beat butter until soft; add vanilla, granulated sugar, light brown sugar; and mashed bananas; add melted semisweet chocolate (I used Scharffen Berger 62%); beat in eggs; add the sifted dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt); and stir in white chocolate (I used Guittard 30% wafers, which I chopped into smaller pieces) and walnuts.

The process for actually baking the cookies is slightly more complicated. The instructions tell you to chill them for 20-25 minutes before baking, but for no longer -- or they will take too long to bake all the way through and could burn on the outside. And because the cookies are prone to burning, Heatter says you need to double up your cookie sheets and bake them on a rack in the center of your oven. So I set up a little assembly line. I portioned out one pan's worth of cookies (I used a #16 scoop and got 30 large cookies from a batch of dough; the recipe says it yields 20 "huge" cookies portioned with a standard ice cream scoop), put them on a foil-lined pan, and chilled them for the specified time. Then I put the cookies in the oven (on top of a second cookie sheet) and scooped out more cookies that I chilled while the prior batch was baking. And so on and so forth, always putting a new pan of cookies in the fridge when I put one in the oven. Because my cookies were smaller than the recipe envisioned, they also required a shorter baking time (only 19 minutes instead of 20-23 minutes specified).
The finished cookies were beautiful. They maintained a round shape and were puffy with attractive cracked tops and visible white chocolate chunks. The cookies tasted even better than they looked. They were on the cakey side, but that didn't bother me, even though I normally strongly prefer a chewy cookie. To me, the cookies tasted like a classic brownie in cookie form, especially because of the walnuts -- but with the added sweetness and distinct flavor of bananas added. I don't know that the white chocolate was necessary, but I think all of the components of the cookie went together incredibly well.

These cookies showcase the delicious combination of chocolate and banana perfectly. I would absolutely make them again.

Recipe: "Double Chocolate Banana Cookies" from Maida Heatter's Best Dessert Book Ever.