It's Another Banger: Banana Espresso Cacao Nib Cookies

After getting great results with Sarah Kieffer's pan-banging chocolate chip cookies, I was eager to try more of her pan-banging recipes. I decided to try her "Banana-Espresso-Cacao Nib Cookies" mostly because they seemed slightly wacky. I mean, they include ground freeze-dried bananas, which I don't think I've ever used in a baking project before. And almond flour. And cacao nibs. And ground espresso. I had trouble imagining what the end product would taste like.

Except for the slightly unusual list of ingredients, the method is pretty straightforward. You beat softened butter with granulated and brown sugar until light and fluffy; add an egg, vanilla, and water; incorporate the dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, almond flour, ground espresso, baking soda, and salt); and stir in cacao nibs and chocolate. The chocolate is listed as an optional ingredient and I used Cacao Barry Guayaquil 64% pistoles that I bashed into smaller pieces with a rolling pin. I used a #16 scoop to portion out the dough and got 14 cookies from a batch. I baked four cookies at a time on aluminum foil-lined baking sheets, using the pan-banging technique during the last half of the baking time. As you can see in the photo below, I got a recent amount of rippling around the edges of the cookies.
I loved these cookies so much. I've tried five pan-banging cookie recipes from 100 Cookies (my blog is currently running about six weeks behind my baking, but blog posts on the other pan-banging cookies I've baked will be forthcoming), and this one is my favorite. My first bite reminded me of Christina Tosi's compost cookies, because they also include ground coffee beans. The coffee flavor is quite distinct and wonderful in both cookies. The combination of the coffee with the banana and chocolate was surprisingly good and a good balance of sweet and bitter. I also loved the wonderful crunch from the cacao nibs, which I think are a genius addition to this cookie. 
The texture of the cookie was just as impressive as the flavor. Although the cookies were very thin, they were super chewy in the center, and chilling seemed to enhance the chewiness; I preferred eating these cookies straight from the fridge. I couldn't taste the almond flour but the recipe headnote says that the almond flour makes these cookies more chewy than crisp. I was immediately smitten by this creative combination of flavors that was novel to me, and the amazing chewy texture sealed the deal. This recipe is one I know I'll come back to again and again.

Recipe: "Banana-Espresso-Cacao Nib Cookies" from 100 Cookies by Sarah Kieffer.


Isla said…
Okay, so I know it would be a completely different animal, but... I would love a banged banana cookie. How do you think it would be without the espresso?
Pretty confident that it would still be delicious -- if a little sweeter without the bitterness from the coffee (and I wouldn't want to tweak the sugar amounts, because the batter is optimized for the pan-banging method). But the texture should be unaffected. I say go for it!