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  • Writer's pictureMcKenna

the tahini + banana cookie

Prep time: 30 minutes - 24 hours

Bake time: 9-11 minutes

Makes about 12 cookies


Some people are true cookie connoisseurs. They know what tastes good in a cookie, the exact ingredients to execute a crispy edge yet chewy center, and they never fail to achieve the perfect "crinkle."


If you ask me, cookie baking is a true art form. And I am no expert in the subject matter. Nope, not even close. Sourdough, yes. Brownies, I like to think so. But cookies? A failed attempt nearly every time. More often than not, they flatten in the oven, molding with their nearby neighbor to form one beautiful sheet-pan cookie. It's quite the site, and maybe, you actually can call that art. At the very least though, they usually taste pretty good and are always edible, so hey, count your wins.


That aside, it frustrated me that every batch of cookies I made felt like they drastically missed the mark. Eventually, I started to accept that cookies and I just don't mesh - like a relationship you try to make work but for one reason or another, it's just not a good fit. And that's okay. So, life went on and I stuck to buying "the cookie" from Metropolitan Market, who, in my opinion, wrote the ultimate guidebook of cookie baking.


But, do you ever set something aside, intending to move on, later to find yourself thinking about it again? Over, and over... well, that happened, over Christmas (naturally), so I decided to devote more time to figuring this thing out. Fast forward 3 months and I'm still no expert, hah. However, I have learned a few things that I think are worth sharing in case you too, want to upgrade your cookie baking.

The Lessons:


First lesson: The pan-tapping technique. Apparently, bakers have been doing this for years to achieve the look of a classic, bakery-style cookie, the ones with pools of chocolate and a crinkled, chewy edge. Say you're baking cookies for 12 minutes, once the cookies have started to rise (just over halfway through) you'll open the oven door and gently tap the pan against the rack. The cookies should deflate, creating a ripple effect around the edge of the cookie. Close the oven door and bake for another 1-2 minutes. After the time has passed, tap the cookies again and place them back in the oven. Repeat one last time (a total of 3 taps, which can be more or less depending on the recipe), followed by a final bake until the time has elapsed. This technique helps to remove the air inside the cookie, pushing the dough towards the outside, and creating a cracked surface where chocolate can peek through (a real beauty).


Second lesson: The tapping technique is not meant for every cookie, go figure. If your goal is to have a thick, gooey cookie, I would skip this. The tapping creates a thinner, chewy, cookie.


Third lesson: Chocolate chips won't create the "pools of chocolate" like a bar will. If you're wanting to achieve this look, consider chopping up a bar of chocolate instead, topping each cookie with shavings of chocolate just before baking.


Fourth lesson: Let them chill. I think we could all use this lesson in life... Cookie dough that has rested overnight, or better yet, 24 hours, has an unmatched flavor. The ingredients have had time to sit and infuse together, creating a true masterpiece. Now I know, it requires more planning and a great deal of patience, so I get it if you'd rather scrap the idea altogether. But I encourage you to at least try it. If you make the dough the night before, let it rest in the fridge overnight, then bake them in the morning, it really can become an easy way to upgrade your cookies. And who doesn't want to start the day off in a home that smells like your own personal bakery...


Fifth lesson: Every cookie is like learning a new form of art. No two batches are the same. Different ingredients create different results and even the slightest change, like adding one extra tablespoon of flour, will drastically alter the recipe. So, give yourself some grace and use your intuition - it likely has some insight.


This is where the recipe comes in...

A few months ago, I made the Chocolate PB Hazelnut Cookie. If you haven't tried them, I hope you do soon. The recipe calls for a banana and to my surprise, this one ingredient completely changed my perspective of what a cookie could become. A conventional ingredient? No, but it worked, and really well too. Every bite was like transporting your taste buds to a world of chocolatey indulgence, with a subtle hint of banana in the background. So, I kept going with the banana theme and created The Tahini + Banana Cookie, or as I call it, the sister cookie.


I wanted a version without chocolate (for the few non-chocolate addicts out there) and one without peanut butter as I'm trying to break my dependence on it... it's a real problem.


The recipe didn't quite go as planned at first (as I said, no two batches are the same). In fact, it took me almost 6 batches to get this one here - many thanks to my sister who tested every batter until it was just right. After many attempts, this batch is equally a hit and sister-approved. So, the banana-themed cookies might keep on comin' while I still have a few more things to learn about the art of cooking baking.


C O N S I D E R A T I O N S

  1. If you choose not to rest the dough overnight, preheat the oven before any other step.

  2. You can sub the egg for flax egg, though I haven't personally tried this.

  3. You can sub the coconut flour for another: almond, brown rice, all-purpose, etc. But, I will note that the coconut flavor pairs really well with the tahini. I've tried it with brown rice flour and while it works fine, the lower fat content resulted in a flatter cookie with less gooeyness.

  4. The chocolate you use can make a world of difference. Choose a bar you've tried and like. I went with a 70% bar. For an extra pool of chocolate, place a small piece on top before baking.

  5. You don't have to use the pan-tapping technique! If you'd prefer a thicker cookie, just let them bake, untouched, for about 9 minutes. Keep in mind these won't spread too much. So up to you.

  6. Err on the underdone side when baking these. If after 10 minutes, they look slightly underdone, take them out and let them be. They'll firm up and be the perfect texture, in my opinion.


I N G R E D I E N T S


2 very ripe, medium bananas

1 c tahini (not too runny)

3/4 c coconut flour

1/2 c coconut sugar (+ 2 Tbsp for extra sweetness)

1/4 c maple syrup

1 egg

2 Tbsp tapioca flour

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp sea salt

handful of dark chocolate, chopped


S T E P S:

Mash the banana in a bowl. Add the tahini and mix again. Next, add the coconut sugar, maple syrup, egg, vanilla, cinnamon, & mix again.


Chop the dark chocolate & add all other ingredients, mix again. Place the bowl in the fridge to rest overnight - up to 24 hours. *If you don't want to wait this long, I recommend putting the dough in the freezer for 15 minutes so it'll be easier to shape.


In the morning, or whenever you're ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 375 F and line a pan with parchment paper. *play some music while you're at it, baking is better with music.


Once the oven is ready, take the dough out of the fridge and shape the cookies - each cookie was about 2 tbsp of dough. Top each cookie with flaky sea salt - you won't regret it.


Bake for 6 min, use the tapping technique and hit the pan on the bottom rack to let the cookies deflate. Place the cookies back in the oven for another minute. After the minute has passed, tap the pan again. Bake for another minute and tap the pan one final time (you should now be at minute 8). Let the cookies bake for another minute or two, depending on how gooey you want the center to be. *feel free to add another tap as they're coming out of the oven to really execute the crinkle effect.


Let them cool completely, otherwise, they WILL fall apart.


Kenn

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