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Making Over Martha Month: Banana Walnut Cookies

Posted Sep 09 2009 10:35pm
From September 2009 photos

Last month, my friend Tanya (the lovely hand model and professional massage therapist above) came to visit and we baked all day long, using up all the black bananas in my freezer. We made banana bread, banana muffins, and these amazing banana-walnut cookies that were originally Martha Stewart's Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies from her Sept. 2006 issue of Living.

I'm sorry to say to my vegan friends that I did not veganize this recipe, but you can easily do it with margarine or oil (but cut the amount by 1/3, if you use oil). And, the egg is easily disposed of with either 1/2 teaspoon baking powder or the flaxmeal trick.

My substitutions were:

1. Agave nectar (amber variety) for the granulated and brown sugars. This gave it a very molasses-y flavor.
2. Whole wheat pastry flour for the whole wheat flour. It lightened up the cookies tremendously.
3. Dried dark sweet cherries for the chocolate chunks, softened first in hot water and drained.
4. The addition of two tablespoons of coconut flour to compensate for the moisture in the agave nectar.

The results of our hard work were wonderful. They were definitely my favorite out of all the banana recipes we made that day. They weren't too sweet or dry at all. In fact, these cookies come out rather cakey in texture and very banana-y in flavor. None of the flavors overpowered the others. And, soaking the dried cherries first is key. Tanya captured that best when she said, "The cherries aren't overly chewey. I'm not trying to chew them down."

What you really can't tell from the photo is that these cookies have oats in them. I love the richness of the walnuts against the oats and the banana in these cookies. I also think that you could definitely use carob or chocolate and they would be winners.

Since I've linked to the original recipe, I'll just include the two exact measurements that are missing:

1. 3/4 cup agave nectar
2. 2 tablespoons sifted coconut flour

I'll have to make them again soon because I'm starting to collect bananas in my freezer again! Any other banana recipe suggestions?
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