did you know you could make cookies with bananas? I always thought they were far too moist to make proper cookies – and I was right, sorta. cookie is a misnomer for the delicious rounds of banana whatchamacallit these are – they are deeply caramelized, crazy fragrant, not nearly as filling as a slice of dense banana cake – not there’s anything really wrong with that; and really, I think it’s best to imagine these as a browned muffin top.
I came across a lovely paragraph while going through the epicure asia magazine today – such lovely photos in this publication – about egg washes, and while I’ve known this sort-of-vaguely, I thought I’d share it with you guys in case you get down to some serious baking over the weekend – those cookies up there are a great start (photos rehashed from the archive!).
types of egg washes
whole eggs with salt create a shiny sheen – this is usually applied on breads whole eggs with a splash of milk give you a matte finish – usually for cookies whole eggs with a splash of water bring a golden hue – apparently usually for savouries plain egg yolks only for a shiny brown finish – especially for pastry (this is my favourite one!) yolks only with a splash of water will make for a warm golden finish yolks with a splash of cream or milk renders a darker brown shade on your goods egg whites only if you’re looking for a lightly-coloured and crisp surface
taken from epicure asia, april 2013, adapted from a quote by thierry delourneaux, executive pastry chef at the fairmont singapore and swissôtel the stamford.
I have a problem with peanut butter and chocolate spreads. I can eat it by the spoonful indiscriminately – to the horror of my boyfriend who does not share this same passion. but oh well.
in any case, I don’t ever buy the spreads because barely after opening it I would have managed to convince myself of the fact that bread really is unnecessary. but with an open jar at home and a deep craving to just eat some peanut butter, I decided the best way to negate the craving and also try to reduce any guilt on my part was to make cookies, and distribute them.
these cookies only use 4 ingredients: confectioner’s sugar, peanut butter, oil and flour. how simple is that? it really is just a crumbly sandy cookie barely held together by sheer optimism (and helped slightly by a yolk wash – which makes a fifth ingredient). recipe follows!
leftover egg whites usually mean a skinny omelette, but I was craving something completely opposite that embodiment of health. and so I settled on these cookies that had only five ingredients.
basically a variant on a chocolate meringue, these are made of powdered sugar, cocoa and egg whites with a dash of vanilla and salt. very easy to mix and do up, most of the complexity lies in gauging how long they need to spend in the oven. if there’s anything I don’t like about this recipe, it’s the fact that even Heidi says that you will find out after a batch or two how much time you need for them – I rather prefer the standard, almost scientific, outlook baking holds.
but onward and forward!
sift 335g powdered sugar with 45g regular cocoa and 1/3 table salt. stir in 3 egg whites with 2 teaspoons of good vanilla extract and mix until glossy and bubbly.
spoon onto your parchment-lined baking sheets, very far apart from each other. 5 cookies each sheet worked for me, and I used 50g of batter per cookie. bake at 160C for 17-20 minutes, until the tops are cracked and glossy.
I have a few notes: I didn’t add walnuts because I didn’t have them, and from what I have eaten, they would add some texture and bitterness to the meringue. Also, I baked them for her recommendation of 15 minutes, and they were underbaked and an abomination to remove from the parchment so I returned them straight on a rack into the oven for another 5 minutes.
try these though! beyond that chocolatey taste, they bring the satisfaction of baking – if you too, like me, find an immense pleasure from the simplicity of mixing up batter – with only 5 ingredients you usually have on hand.
update: it’s been 2 days now and I’ve been nibbling on the cookies as I head to the kitchen, and my favourite part is munching on the center of the cookie where it is truly fudgy. the sides are a bit thin and sticky – not too bad but the middle’s defo the best.
USE THE BEST VANILLA you have for this cookie – in a monotonous landscape of cocoa, the vanilla stands out.