Maida Heatter’s Chocolate Banana Cookies

Same story I’ve written here a thousand times: I had some overripe bananas I had to use up so I found this recipe to use them up. The cookies turned out great. They were like little cakes. Very moist, thick and soft.

Chocolate Banana Cookies
Makes 55 large cookies

6 oz. semisweet chocolate, cut into pieces
2 1/4 c. sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Scant 1/2 tsp. salt
3 small or 2 large ripe bananas (to make 1 c. mashed)
5 1/3 oz. (10 2/3 Tbsp.) unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
6 oz. (generous 1 1/2 c.) walnuts, cut or broken into medium-size pieces

Adjust two racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment. Place the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot water on moderate heat. Cover until partially melted. Then uncover and stir until completely melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set aside. In the small bowl of an electric mixer beat the bananas at low speed to mash them and make 1 cup of pulp. Set aside.

In the large bowl of the electric mixer (without washing the beaters), cream the butter. Add the vanilla and the sugar and beat well. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well. On low speed, gradually add half the sifted dry ingredients, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula and beating only until mixed. Add the cooled chocolate and the bananas and beat until smooth. Add the remaining half of the dry ingredients and beat only until smooth. Stir in the nuts.

Use a heaping teaspoonful (make these rather large) of the dough for each cookie. Place them 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. (Note: I used a standard cookie scoop and the recipe made 41 cookies.)

Bake the cookies 12 to 14 minutes, reversing the position of the cheets top to bottom and front to back once or twice to ensure even baking. The cookies are done if the tops spring back firmly when lightly pressed with a fingertip.

Let the cookies stand for a moment and then, with your fingers (or spatula if you prefer), transfer the cookies to racks to cool.

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