I wanted to bake my own cookies with lots of almonds (as Sergey loves them a lot) and after going through lots of different recipes, I finally based my creation on a recipe I recently tried from Smitten Kitchen. We found the original blondies a bit gooey and chewy but after modifying the recipe and the method, whoa . . . what a result! Crunchy and slightly chewy from the outside, but soft inside, with a deep almond banana flavor, and not too sweet.
I prepared a rather large batch of these almond-banana cookies for the Valentine’s morning, but I think they’ll also be a good afternoon snack or even evening sweet.
Makes 36 cookies
Preparation and baking time: 40 minutes
110g/8 tbsp butter, melted
200g/1 cup brown sugar
1/2 to ¾ cup mashed very ripe bananas*
1/2 tsp almond extract (or vanilla extract)
A splash of amaretto (I used Disaronno)**
200g/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
100g/ 1 cup chopped almonds, lightly toasted
*That is 1 large or two small bananas. I used ½ cup, but the next time I bake these cookies I’ll definitely increase the quantity – this way the dough will be a bit more spreadable.
**It was a perfect addition to my cookies, but if you’re going to offer them to kids, it’s better to skip over the liquor.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl mix melted butter and brown sugar. Beat until smooth and then beat in the egg. Add the mashed bananas, almond extract and a splash of Amaretto.
In a small bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt and add to the sugar mixture. Mix until just combined. Stir the chopped almonds into the mixture.
Using a tablespoon as a measure, start dropping equal amounts of the sticky dough onto the parchment-lined baking sheets. With the back of another (wet) spoon try to spread the dough a little bit. Don’t worry if the shape is not perfectly round – the cookies will spread and flatten, just leave some space in between them (around 2 cm/1 inch).
Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until firm and golden brown. Depending on your oven, you may need to shift the two baking sheet in the middle of the process. Let them cool completely on a rack.
You can store these cookies in an air-tight container for few days, and if you’re going to do so, make sure you separate the layers with waxed paper, to avoid sticking.