House Beautiful (UK)

Brown butter, banana and tahini chocolate chunk cookies


It’s hard to think of a biscuit more universall­y adored than a chocolate chip cookie, or a recipe more fiercely debated. Chewy or crisp? Thick or thin? Chocolate chips or gooey chunks?

The inventor, Ruth Graves Wakefield, the owner of the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachuse­tts, came up with her Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookie recipe in the late 1930s. Requiring relatively basic ingredient­s, the cookies were simple to bake and deliciousl­y comforting served warm from the oven. Wakefield tweaked the recipe over the years and here’s my version: banana, tahini and chocolate are an outrageous­ly tasty combinatio­n. MAKES ABOUT 28

150g unsalted butter

120g plain flour

120g spelt flour

¾tsp baking powder

½tsp bicarbonat­e of soda ½tsp fine sea salt

280g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped, with some biggish chunks and some smaller bits

1 very ripe banana, about

100g without skin

1 large egg

220g soft light brown


40g granulated sugar

1tsp vanilla extract

80g tahini (must be smooth and runny enough to run off a spoon easily)

Flaked sea salt, for


1 Place the butter in a heavy, pale-coloured pan and melt over a medium-high heat, swirling frequently, until the butter smells gorgeously nutty and has turned dark brown. Remove from the heat and transfer to a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, making sure you scrape in all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan (this is flavour!). Leave to cool for at least 5min.

2 Meanwhile, using a fork or balloon whisk, whisk the flours, baking powder, bicarbonat­e of soda and salt together in a bowl to combine. Add the chopped chocolate and stir to evenly distribute.

3 In a small bowl, mash the banana until smooth, then add to the cooled butter, along with the egg, both sugars, vanilla and tahini. Whisk for 5min until creamy and much paler than when you started – this is a sign the mixture is aerated.

4 Fold in the flour and chocolate mixture in two additions. Don’t overmix – dough with an uneven consistenc­y delivers welcome texture to the baked cookies. Chill for at least 2hr.

5 Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas mark 3 and line a large baking sheet with baking paper

(you’ll need to cook these in batches). Scoop heaped tablespoon­s of dough onto the prepared baking sheet (about 40-45g per scoop), leaving at least 5cm between them. Bake for 6min, then turn the baking sheet round and bake for a further 6min or so until brown at the edges (the centre might look a little undercooke­d but it’s not). Repeat until all the mixture has been used.

6 Lightly sprinkle the cookies with the flaked salt while still warm. Leave on the baking sheet for 5min, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. HB

 ??  ?? Cocoa: An Exploratio­n of Chocolate by Sue Quinn (£25, Quadrille). Photograph­y by Yuki Sugiura
Cocoa: An Exploratio­n of Chocolate by Sue Quinn (£25, Quadrille). Photograph­y by Yuki Sugiura

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