Banana Split Cookies
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An ice cream-flavored cookie? Be still our heart. These banana split cookies are the well-loved creation of Los Angeles, California bakery Milk Jar Cookies…and now you can make them at home, thanks to the Milk Jar Cookies Bakebook (out Oct. 6, but you can preorder it now).
“Coming up with new cookie flavors is such a fun, creative outlet,” writes Milk Jar owner Courtney Cowan. “One period of experimentation found me inspired by ice cream, and I, of course, considered the banana split. Hmmm…could I make that into a cookie? I was sure going to try."
One tip when you make this one, according to Cowan: Dry the strawberry slices very well before placing them in and on top of the dough balls—this will keep them from sliding around.
For the full banana split experience, Cowan suggests pairing these with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Heaven awaits.
10 fresh strawberries, quartered
¾ cup chopped walnut pieces
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
11 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
11 tablespoons vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 extra-large eggs, cold
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons pure banana extract
⅔ cup (5 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
⅔ cup (5 ounces) butterscotch chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Wash the strawberries and dry thoroughly with a paper towel. Quarter each strawberry and place on a plate or tray lined with paper towels to absorb excess juice. Set aside.
2. Using a knife, finely chop the walnuts into pieces. (Chopping them into smaller pieces releases their oil and also guarantees that you get walnut bits in every bite.) Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, shortening, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and banana extract, and beat on medium-low speed until mixed with just small chunks of butter remaining, approximately 30 seconds. (Every time you mix, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to be sure everything is combined.) Add half of the dry ingredient mixture and mix on low speed until just incorporated and no flour is visible, about 30 seconds. Repeat with half of the remaining dry ingredients, and mix on low speed until the flour is incorporated and all butter chunks are gone, approximately 20 seconds. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is not sticky to the touch, about 20 seconds more. Be careful not to overmix. Stir in the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and walnuts.
5. Scoop the dough into ⅓-cup scoops. Place a strawberry slice in the middle of each scoop, making sure the berry is fully encased in dough. Firmly roll into round balls approximately 1½ inches in diameter. While the dough ball is still in your hands, top each cookie with a strawberry slice, gently pushing it in to keep it in position while they bake. Place 6 cookies on each prepared baking sheet, spacing them out well. Bake on the middle and lower racks of the oven until the tops are a light golden brown and you notice hairline cracks forming on the sides, 12 to 14 minutes, spinning each pan 180 degrees and swapping their positions halfway through.
6. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer them to a wire rack or parchment paper on the counter to cool completely. Let the baking sheets cool before repeating with the remaining cookies.
7. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or freeze for up to a month.