F&W Pick: Chocolate, banana and pecan cookies
Photographer: Peden + Munk
Ebury Press, €32
Yotam Ottolenghi may be best known for his eclectic take on vegetarian food, but he was originally a pastry chef and, with his new book, has returned to his roots. Collaborating with Helen Goh, this book brings Ottolenghi’s hallmarks of fresh, evocative ingredients and exotic spices to bear on some of our favourite cakes, biscuits, tarts, puddings, cheesecakes and ice-cream. Although there’s something for everyone and stunning photography, this is ideal for bakers who already know a thing or two and want to step up their game.
Chocolate, banana and pecan cookies
Makes about 24
- 110g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed
- 110g caster sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 125g plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 20g cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 100g chocolate chips (70% cocoa solids), or 100g dark cooking chocolate, cut into 0.5cm pieces
- 50g mashed banana, about ½ small banana)
- 170g pecan halves, finely chopped
- 100g icing sugar, for dusting
1 Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place. Beat on a medium-high speed until light and fluffy, then gradually add the egg and continue to beat until incorporated.
2 Sift the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt into a bowl, then add to the butter and sugar. Mix on a low speed for about 15 seconds, then add the chocolate and banana. Beat until combined, then transfer to the fridge for two hours to firm up.
3 When firm, use your hands to form the dough into 3cm round balls, about 20g each: you might need to wash your hands once or twice when making them, if they get too sticky. Place the pecans in a medium bowl and drop the balls into the nuts as you form them, rolling them around so that they are completely coated and pressing the nuts in so that they stick.
4 Line a baking tray with baking parchment, place the cookies on the tray – there is no need to space them apart at this stage – and transfer to the fridge for at least an hour.
5 When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Line two baking trays with baking parchment.
6 Place the icing sugar in a bowl and roll the cookies in the icing sugar, pressing it in as you go so that it sticks well. Place on the lined baking trays, spaced 2-3cm apart, and flatten the cookies to 1cm thick.
7 Bake for 10 minutes. They will be soft to the touch when they come out of the oven, so allow them to cool on the tray for 10 minutes before gently transferring to a wire rack. These can be served warm, when they will be a little gooey in the centre, or set aside until completely cool.