Is there really always money in the banana stand? What am I doing with my life, and why isn’t there at least one banana stand in it?
If mushy bananas were an acceptable food to put in our mouths (ew), would we have invented banana bread?
These are the questions that keep me up at night.
We all know that the time window in a banana’s lifespan in which it is perfect and heavenly is, oh, about 10 minutes. It’s unfair. But, humans have been good to bananas and figured out all the ways to give ’em new life in their (over)ripe old age. Neat little inventions like frozen bananas, the botoxed beauties of the banana world, to avoid the situation altogether. For the ones who age gracefully and take advantage of their mushy, overly sweet nature: banana bread, of course. Things like this banana chai cake. Vegan cookies galore.
Then there are banana chips. Completely underrated as far as I’m concerned. Trader Joe’s makes my favorite kind: crunchy, a little sweet, with just a touch of coconut oil. I put them on a s’more once and heard angels sing. (Or maybe it was the people at the campsite next to ours. WHO KNOWS? Life is a beautiful mystery full of vocal drunks.)
Banana chips in a cookie isn’t so far off from the banana chip s’more. It’s the civilized, indoor version–equally good, in a different way.
While we’re at it, we’re going to add malt powder, because a malted banana milkshake is superior to any other kind of malted milkshake. (Sidenote: always add bourbon. OMFG.)
Camping… Milkshakes… I think you might be witnessing the very moment I realize I miss summer after all. The campfires! The hiking! The road trips with mandatory pit stops at Ikeda’s in Auburn for the BEST burgers and milkshakes*!
(*sorry but not really, every other roadside eatery ever)
Until summer, there’s always butter. Bubbling, soon-to-be-browned butter, for your soon-to-be-made cookie dough.
This recipe is based on my go-to chocolate chip cookie. It’s a chewy one–in fact, Alton Brown calls it “The Chewy” and it’s very fitting–but the malt powder changes the texture a little bit. It’s on the soft-chewy side of things, with crispy outside edges. If you’re a die-hard chewy cookie fan like me, and you’re thinking you can live with soft-chewy, I bet you are so very correct. If I can live with it, so can you.
I mean, it’s not difficult. Look at these things and tell me they’re not worthy of your love.
Let’s consciously couple ourselves (SORRY, SORRY, first and last joke about that) with a dozen of these bad boys and wait out the rest of this weather. Then, road trip time. I’ve got room for four–who’s in?
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- A generous pinch of salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup malt powder
- 1 scant cup roughly chopped banana chips (I like the ones at Trader Joe's)
- 1 dark chocolate bar (3.5 to 4 ounces, around 65-70% cacao), roughly chopped
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. If you'd like a deeper, nuttier flavor, you can certainly take it one step further and brown the butter (I did). Set aside until cool enough to touch (this takes significantly longer if you brown the butter).
- Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda. Whisk together the whole egg, the egg yolk, milk, and vanilla extract in a cup.
- Using a mixer, mix together brown sugar and melted butter in a large bowl on medium speed for 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed and slowly add the egg mixture, followed by malt powder. Mix until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.
- Gradually mix in the dry ingredients, stopping a couple of times to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once the flour is worked in, stir in banana chips and chocolate with a wooden spoon. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Scoop out walnut-sized balls of dough onto parchment-paper lined cookie sheets (6 cookies per half-sheet) and flatten slightly.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until puffed and slightly golden at the edges, rotating the pans halfway through for even baking. Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack.