When I was a child, I used to put our store-bought cookies on the radiator in my bedroom to warm them up before eating. I don't know how I developed the habit. What it a cry for an Easy Bake oven? I only know that there is a specific and beautiful aroma that will fill your home, and then for the rest of your life your memory, when you leave a few Nilla wafers out on your family's heating unit. It's a heady perfume, one that I've recently become re-addicted to.
This past spring, New York City's Magnolia Bakery announced month that they were rolling out a cookie version of their legendary banana pudding. When I heard the news, I all but left a Road Runner style cloud of dust in my wake to get my hands on one. What I didn't yet know was how transformative a cookie baked inside a cookie can be.
The result of six months of meticulous development, the cookie is an almost magical manifestation of the silky flavor of the bakery's pudding in a crunchy, chewy form. "I wanted a real banana flavor to shine through," Bobbie Lloyd, chief executive officer and chief baking officer of Magnolia, recently told Delish.
Magnolia's creation features banana pudding mix and crushed vanilla wafers, two non-negotiable elements of anything that carries the name "banana pudding." But in this new incarnation, both elements become something different and special. Added to baked goods, pudding mix yields unbelievable texture and depth. But it's the crushed wafers that send everything completely over the top. There's something about the smell, the flavor of them inside of the cookie, like something you would have grabbed out of the cupboard after school but also something you would have had fresh from the oven at your best friend's slumber party, that makes for a veritable nesting doll of nostalgia. Tasting one of these cookies at Magnolia, I felt downright emotional. I had to make them, and I had to make them my own.
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The Magnolia cookie contains mashed bananas and white chocolate chips, and while those are fine in context, I'm not the biggest fan of either. For my home version, I found inspiration from a Taste of Home recipe to omit the fresh banana, and then I swapped dark chocolate for the white. It was like adding yet another layer of retro to the experience, a banana pudding that's also a Nilla wafer that's also a Toll House cookie. If an "Afterschool Special" had a flavor, it would be this.
You can, of course, use white chocolate here for a more banana-forward experience, but give these a try. A credible Magnolia knockoff? Absolutely not. But the pudding-cookie hybrid is somehow the best of all dessert worlds, a treat so good it might make you cry.
- 2 sticks softened butter
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 box instant banana cream pudding
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup crushed Nilla Wafers
In a big bowl, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs, vanilla extract and dry pudding mix until combined.
Beat in the flour, baking soda and salt until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and crushed cookies.
Drop tablespoon-sized scoops of cookie dough on the lined baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. (The cookies will turn out better if you do so, but it's not a tragedy if you don't have the time and need to skip straight to baking.)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, until the edges just begin to turn golden brown.
I believe fresh-baked cookies are the best cookies. Once you've portioned out and chilled the dough, you can store these cookies covered in the fridge and bake them to order. Pop a few in the oven right when you're sitting down to dinner so they're ready to enjoy for dessert.
More of our favorite cookies:
- Dorie Greenspan's magically caramel-y chocolate chip cookie
- My grandmom's potato chip cookies are just as quirky as she was
- These three-ingredient peanut butter cookies are hands-down the best cookies in the world
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