Banana Blondies with Chocolate Crust

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Banana Blondies with Chocolate Crust
Source: New York Times

Makes about: 9×13 pan, or about 35 cookies, depending on how you cut
Prep time: 10 mins
Bake time: 45-55 mins

These were very sweet, very rich, and very buttery. They were really delicious, likely from the fact that it contains a TON of butter. The banana topping is especially rich because it’s got 1.5 sticks of browned butter goodness. This is also very easy to make!

Ingredients
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (1 1/4 cups), more for greasing pan
200 grams chocolate wafer cookies (to make about 3 cups crumbs), crushed into crumbs
55 grams light brown sugar (about 1/4 cup)
3 grams fine sea salt (about 1/2 teaspoon), plus a pinch
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 large eggs
455 grams dark brown sugar (about 2 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons dark rum or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
130 grams all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
80 grams toasted walnuts, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375F and prepare 9×13’’ baking pan.
2. To make the crust: mix together the butter, chocolate cookie crumbs, brown sugar, and salt. Process in food processor until “damp sand.” Dump into pan, press to an even layer, and bake 7-10 minutes. Let cool.
3. Reduce oven to 350F.
4. Brown 12 tablespoons of butter (cook until foam subsides and butter turns a deep brown, 5 min). Let cool
5. Whisk together bananas, eggs, brown sugar, rum, and butter. Mix in flour, salt, walnuts. Pour over prepared crust
6. Bake 45-55 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

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Outrageous Brownies from Ina Garten

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Outrageous Brownies from Ina Garten
Source: Smitten Kitchen

Makes about: One 9×13’’ pan
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 20+15 minutes

I made 1/3 of the original recipe, since the original was too much, and this math was easier. I also used a 9×13 pan, so the original brownies were quite thick. The final result is very rich—strong flavors of hazelnut and coffee. I liked the strong coffee flavor, but depends on your taste.

Ingredients
1 stick + 3tbsp butter
5 oz semisweet chocolate chips
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 eggs
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3cup+ 1 tbsp sugar
1/3 cup+ 1tbsp flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp salt

add-ins:
1 tbsp + 1 tsp flour
1 cup chopped walnuts (I used hazelnuts)
4 oz semisweet chocolate chips

Directions
1) Melt together 5 oz of chocolate chips, the unsweetened chocolate, and butter
2) Mix in eggs, coffee, vanilla
3) Mix in 1/3 cup of flour, powder, and salt
4) Mix the rest of the chocolate chips and nuts with 1 tbsp+ 1tsp flour, then add.
5) Bake 20 minutes, rap to force air to escape.
6) Bake another 15 minutes until knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
7) Let brownies cool. Enjoy!

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David Leibovitz’s Robert’s Best Brownies

DL robert's best brownies

David Leibovitz’s Robert’s Best Brownies
Source: David Leibovitz

Makes about: one 8×8’’ pan
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 30 minutes.

I made a half recipe in a 9×5 loaf pan. It’s extremely chocolately, and definitely the most richly chocolately of the brownie recipes I’ve tried so far. Unfortunately, the texture was a bit loose/crumbly, although it was pretty fudgy.

Ingredients
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped.

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare 8×8’’ pan.
2. Melt butter and chocolate together.
3. Mix in sugar.
4. Beat in eggs.
5. Mix in flour, nuts, vanilla until glossy.
6. Bake 30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
Source: Ina Garten

Makes about: one 9×13 tray (half of original recipe)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 45 minutes.

These bar cookies were very sweet and full of familiar flavors (peanut butter and jelly!). They were crunchy on top, with sugar soft inner filling.

Ingredients
1 stick butter
¾ cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 cup peanut butter
1 ½ cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup jam (I used 18oz jar—25 tbsp jar)
1/3 cup peanuts, optional

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare 9×13’’ baking pan with parchment paper or greased foril.
2. Cream butter, peanut butter, and sugar together.
3. Mix in vanilla extract and egg.
4. Beat in flour, baking powder, salt.
5. Spread 2/3 of dough into prepared pan.
6. Spread jam over the cookie dough.
7. Sprinkle remaining 1/3 of dough over jam.
8. Bake 45 minutes or until top is golden brown.

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Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

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Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
Source: Amateur Gourmet

Makes about: 20 cookies, tbsp scoop
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 8-10 minutes

This cookie is very chocolatey and nicely spiced. The texture is like a brownie in a cookie form (well, fudgy in that way). The chocolate bits melt right into the cookie, so make sure to have small pieces. Also, you’ll need to flatten these cookies, because they don’t spread. Included below is the half recipe.

Ingredients
½ cup + 2tbsp flour
¼ cup almond butter
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
¼ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp almond extract (I substituted vanilla here)
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup Dutch cocoa (I used natural, and it seemed fine)
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
¼ cup mini chocolate chips (or, regular chips, chopped)
1/8 cup sugar for rolling

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare baking sheet with silicone/parchment paper.
2. Cream together butter, almond butter, butter.
3. Mix in sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, pepper.
4. Mix in cocoa and flour.
5. Mix in chocolate chips.
6. Roll into balls and roll in sugar.
7. Place on prepared pan and flatten.
8. Chill cookies until firm (I froze them for later use)
9. Bake 8-10 minutes. Enjoy!

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Gluten-Free Belgian Brownie Bites

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Gluten-Free Belgian Brownie Bites
Source: Smitten Kitchen

Makes about: 12 mini ones (for 1/5 of the recipe; used a mini muffin pan. )
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 20 minutes

I made 1/5 of the original recipe. I also used almond meal and made them gluten free. They are crispy on outside and full of rich chocolate gooiness on the inside.

Ingredients
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60 – 64% cacao) (1.8oz)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces (3.6 tbsp butter)
5 eggs, beaten lightly with a fork (1 egg)
1 1/3 cups superfine sugar (4 tbsp sugar)
3 tablespoons pastry flour (~2 tsp flour or almond meal)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Melt butter and chocolate together.
3. Mix in sugar.
4. Beat in egg.
5. Mix in flour (or almond meal).
6. Spoon into mini-muffin pan.
7. Bake 15-20 minutes until shiny on top and knife comes out clean.

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Cookie Butter Cookies

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Cookie Butter Cookies
Source: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Peanut Butter Cookies

Recently, I was at Trader Joe’s and overheard the following conversation:

Clerk: “I’m sorry, we limit this item to 3 per person.”
Customer: “Why?”
Clerk: “Because people are selling it on the internet.”

Looking over, I saw that the man’s basket was filled with approximately 12 jars of Cookie Butter. My interest was piqued—if this item was good enough to be rationed, I’d better give it a try. A quick internet search later, I learned that Cookie Butter was selling for about $10 on Amazon (compared to $3.70 in stores) in part because of a national shortage.

I also learned that cookie butter is basically crushed cookies with sugar and fat, so I thought it would be ridiculous to make cookies out of cookie butter…a bit like those Russian dolls, perhaps? This recipe is based off Smitten Kitchen’s peanut butter cookie recipe. I only added ½ cup of sugar since Cookie Butter is already so sweet.

This cookie tastes just like cookie butter, and a milder, softer version of the Biscoff Cookies Delta Airlines serves on flights. It is truly a cookie within a cookie.

Makes about: 38, tbsp scoop
Prep time: 10-15 mins
Bake time: 8-10 minutes

Ingredients
1 ¼ c flour
¾ tsp soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup butter
1 cup cookie butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare baking pan by lining with parchment paper.
2. Cream together butter and cookie butter.
3. Mix in brown sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla.
4. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
5. Scoop by tablespoons onto prepared pan.
6. Bake 8-10 minutes.

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Toasted Coconut Shortbread

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Toasted Coconut Shortbread

Source: Smitten Kitchen

Makes about: 20 small (2’’) cookies
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Bake time: 15-20 minutes

I made a half of the original recipe (half recipe listed below). These cookies are very crispy and buttery with just a hint of coconut. I’d suggest rolling the dough out, then chilling it. Chilled dough is easier to cut with cookie cutter but it’s hard to roll out!

Ingredients

¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut
6 tbsp butter
3 tbsp sugar
3/8 tsp salt
¼ tsp vanilla
2/3 cup flour

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare baking skeet.
2. Toast coconut for about 8 minutes. Grind until smooth or use your fingers to break them up
3. Cream together butter and sugar.
4. Add in salt, vanilla.
5. Add in flour. Mix until combined.
6. Roll dough out until ¼’’ thick. Chill the dough.
7. Using your favorite cookie cutter, cut the dough.
8. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes or until cookies are golden brown.

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Tropical Oatstacks

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Tropical Oatstacks
Source: The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman

Makes about: about 20 cookies, tablespoon scoop
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Bake time: 12-15 minutes

These cookies are crunchy and slightly crispy with a nice banana flavor. I enjoyed the difference in textures. There’s no added sugar in this cookie, so I’m not sure we can actually call it a cookie ☺ I imagine you could make it vegan by not using butter, and it’s already gluten-free!

Ingredients
4 tbsp unsalted butter
3 large ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 c rolled oats
½ c chopped cashews or macadamias
1 c shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare baking pan by lining with parchment.
2. Melt butter.
3. Mash bananas in a large bowl (use your hands!). Mix in butter and vanilla.
4. Mix in oats, cashews, coconut, baking powder, and salt.
5. Scoop by tablespoons onto prepared pan.
6. Bake 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy!

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