Joy the Baker

Banana, Walnut & Chocolate Cookie Cake

August 1, 2012

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Sometimes I am a destroyer of myself.  It’s the strangest thing… aren’t we designed to self-preserve?  It feels like the most bonkers counter-intuitive part of me.  My destroyer-self  has tendencies.  Tendencies are so annoying.  Tendencies like, oh… I dunno… drinking way too much wine under stress or duress.  Tendencies like… telling lies that need not be told.  Tendencies like… believing the demon inside… the ones that say that I’m never ever good enough so why even try.

Gosh these tendencies.  Dang them!  They’re tough.  They travel in packs in me and I end up in a cycle where I’m not doing myself, or anyone around me any good at all.

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Is this too real?  Is this just me?  It can’t be.  I can’t be the only destroyer.

Thank goodness there are tools.  My tools of prevention include: brunch with a best friend, a super honest conversation with a stranger (taxi drivers are wonderful for this), words on the Lord, and the sharing of a cookie cake.

Let kindness prevail inside and out.

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This cake has a secret talent I have yet to tell you about.

We already know it’s a Cookie Cake… which is probably just a thing that I made up.  A delicious delicious thing.

What’s secretly amazing about this cake is that it’s made in one bowl… and by bowl I mean cast iron skillet.  It all goes in, gets stirred around, baked, and boom boom pow IT’S DONE!

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Butter is melted and whisked with brown sugar.  This part of the process can get a little funky, chunky and greasy.

It’s amazing what whisking in an egg will do to bind everything together.

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After the addition of the egg, whisk in mashed banana and cinnamon.

This is going to be a banana bread, cake, and chocolate chip cookie SMASHBANG!

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We’ll need some flour too.  In the pan!  Yep!  Just stir it up!

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The good stuff:  chocolate and walnuts.

If your instincts tell you to add a splash of bourbon… yes!

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Just before baking the batter is glossy sweet.  Smooth it out and bake it away.

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Golden brown delicious!

I like this cake best served slightly warm and slightly underdone.  Ohh yes good.

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This dessert!  It’s a bizarre and magical combination of cake and cookies.  The brown sugar and chocolate chips scream chocolate chip cookies, the tender crumb is somewhere in between cake and banana bread.  The bananas add extra moisture and the nuts and an earthy crunch.  This dish is best served fresh out of the oven, in big scoops with ice cream.  Coffee ice cream is totally the move!

Will this recipe work without a cast iron skillet?  Yes!  This recipe can be baked in a greased 8×8-inch square pan.  You’ll just need a pan to melt the butter in, and a medium bowl to bring together the ingredients.  Pour ingredients into your prepared pan and bake!  Simple as that… just requires a few more dishes.

Make and share.  Make and share.

Banana, Walnut & Chocolate Cookie Cake

makes 1 8-inch cookie cake

inspired by Tasty Kitchen

Print this Recipe!

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 ripe banana (mashed)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup dark chocolate chunks

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt butter in an 8-inch cast iron skillet over medium-low heat.  Stir in sugar  and vanilla extract and remove from heat.  Whisk until thoroughly combined.  Allow mixture to stand and cool for about 5 minutes.  The mixture should not be super hot when the eggs goes in, or the egg will cook.

When the sugar and butter mixture has cooled slightly it will look a bit clumpy, greasy, and broken.  That’s ok.  The egg will bring it all together.

Add the egg and whisk together until smooth.  The mixture will be glossy and no longer greasy.  Add banana and cinnamon and stir to combine.

Add the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Stir carefully until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated.  Add the chocolate and walnuts and fold together.

Spread mixture across the pan creating a somewhat smooth top.  Place in the oven.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until mixture is dry on top, but still slightly soft in the center.  I like to slightly under-bake this cake.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.  Top with ice cream and serve warm… with lots of spoons.  I like this dish served immediately, but it will last two days, well wrapped, at room temperature.  


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