Adapting to banana and Nutella shortbread cookies

Nothing pairs better with Nutella than bananas and shortbread. PHOTO CREDIT: Tribune News Service

Who doesn’t love Nutella?

This dreamy, finger-licking dessert recipe is from the Italian company’s cookbook, “Nutella: 60 Classic Recipes,” by French celebrity chef Gregory Cohen. Along with a history of the chocolate-hazelnut spread, it contains everything from simple cookies, quick breads and small cakes to fancy desserts involving choux pastry.

I adapted a recipe for a banana and Nutella pie into something a bit more snack friendly: A gooey, two-bite Nutella- and banana-topped shortbread cookie.

Be careful when you flambé the bananas because the flames will shoot up dramatically as the alcohol burns off; gently swirl the pan to reduce the flames.

Also, it’s best to wait until the cookies are completely cool before slathering on the Nutella, or it will melt over the sides and create a mess.

Banana and Nutella Shortbread Cookies

For shortbread pastry

Makes: 24 cookies.

• 2 egg yolks

• 7 tablespoons sugar

• 7 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

• 1 cup all-purpose flour

• 2 teaspoons baking powder

• ½ teaspoon salt

For topping

• 6 bananas

• 3½ tablespoons butter

• ½ cup brown sugar

• 2 tablespoons dark rum

• 7 tablespoons Nutella

• Dark chocolate shavings, for garnish

Prepare shortbread: In a bowl, beat together egg yolks and sugar until mixture becomes light and fluffy.

Add the butter in chunks and mix together. Add the flour, baking powder and salt, then mix with a spatula until all the ingredients are combined.

Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough between two sheets of baking parchment, to about ½-inch thick. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. From the dough cut out circles around 2 inches in diameter, then place onto a nonstick baking pan. Bake for 12 minutes, then leave to cool.

While cookies are baking, prepare topping.

Peel bananas and cut into thin slices. Melt the butter and brown sugar together until caramelized. Add bananas. Once browned, pour the rum into the hot pan. Let it heat up for a few moments then flambé the bananas with a match. Remove from heat when the flames die down.

Once cookies are cool, spread one side of each cookie with enough Nutella to coat. Spoon flambéed banana on top, then garnish with shaved chocolate.

Gretchen McKay writes for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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