My Cake Decorating Gallery

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Still The Ultimate Quiche



Today was my "bagel day" for the bagel club at work, and we have so many people in the club that the last time I brought in bagels was like February or something. I always like to do something a little special in addition to just bagels and donuts and coffee (Panera for bagels and coffee and Knapp's for the best donuts, in my opinion!) and I thought this time I would make a double batch of my Ultimate Quiche recipe that has turned out well in the past (Except for in Montana for whatever reason which caused me to believe my original post was in err but turns out it is correct!) I whipped up a batch of the recipe noted in my original Ultimate Quiche post here. I did make a few changes because of what I had on hand, so I just wanted to point that out:

* I only used 2 cups of heavy cream (actually slightly less and the rest was filled up with skim milk) and this didn't reduce the richness or deliciosity (haha not a word) at all

* I forgot to buy gruyere but luckily I had 6oz at home so I used monterrey jack cheese as the rest of the cheese and it turned out wonderfully, so any mix of swiss/white cheese is probably delightful.

I made the same changes to the original recipe as I did last time - used an 11x17 pan, doubled the recipe, used 1 lb bacon, probably extra fresh grated nutmeg, and it was done after the 45 minute mark. I also had no problem baking this the night before, letting it cool mostly and then suran-wrapping it to sit in the fridge overnight. Then when I woke up, I popped it in the oven at 350 while I got ready for work for 40-50 minutes, and even an hour and a half later, by the time I got to work, the quiche was still warm and just delicious. This is a great recipe for a make-ahead breakfast or brunch and it works very well reheated or being served at room temperature. My boss even said it was "divine" and I already gave the recipe out to another coworker. So if you are looking for a delicious alternative to doughnuts and bagels as a breakfast to bring into the office, try this quiche recipe and you won't disappoint. Thanks to Chris again for this recipe. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkin Gooey Bars

Okay. These are pretty killer. Paula Deen? You shouldn't have. Okay, well, maybe you should have... but these little delectable treats are borderline evil. Paula's original Gooey Butter Cake recipe is delicious on its own, and it is also delicious once you add in chocolate chips which I've done before. She notes on her website that the Pumpkin Gooey Bar version is her favorite of all Gooey Butter Cakes, and so when I was looking for a dessert to make for my work's Chili Cook-Off, I decided it was the perfect time to try out her Pumpkin Gooey Bars.

These are great because they are simple - you start with a yellow cake box and add a few ingredients and pat them into the bottom of a 9x13 pan. I made two batches at a time and it was great. Then you mix the pumpkin, cream cheese, egg, powdered sugar and such and spread that over top the cake bottom and then bake. Not too shabby!

And the result? These are sooo tasty. They are a gooey cakey chewy bottom with a sweet pumpkin pie topping, almost like a cheesecake. The topping blends perfectly into the cake bottom and there certainly were no leftovers when I unveiled these at the Chili Cook-Off. If you love pumpkin pie, you must try these - I'd be surprised if you didn't prefer these over the classic version of pumpkin pie! This might be a good recipe for some one who wants a pumpkin dessert but something a little different than your average boring pie. (Don't get me wrong, pumpkin pie is delicious.)

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Gooey Bars
From Paula Deen as found on FoodNetwork.com here.


Ingredients


Cake:
1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.

Serve with fresh whipped cream.


Variations: For a Pineapple Gooey Cake: Instead of the pumpkin, add a drained 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple to the cream cheese filling. Proceed as directed above.

For a Banana Gooey Cake: Prepare cream cheese filling as directed, beating in 2 ripe bananas instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.

For a Peanut Butter Gooey Cake: Use a chocolate cake mix. Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter to the cream cheese filling instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.

Try these, you'll like them!!!!!!!! Unless you're one of those people who doesn't like rich, deliciously decadent desserts. :)

Halloween Cupcakes Take 2


Just another set of Halloween cupcakes that I made a few weeks ago for The Husband's boss' birthday to share with the office. I am also planning on making some more this week for my work. Now that I have that handy cupcake carrying case, making cupcakes is perfect for office treats!


I made pumpkins, spiders on spider webs, ghosts, and mummies.


Since I was already making the 6 batches ginger brownies and a butternut squash soup, I didn't have time for 6 kinds like I did last year. I sure do sign myself up for a lot of cooking activities. :)

These aren't very difficult to make, it just takes a lot of time to make all the different colors and different frosting bags and then switch all the tips and squeeze out all the details. My hands were definitely sore by the end of the night but it was fun. :)


Happy Halloween!

Another Daring Baker Challenge: French Macaroons


The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S from Baking Without Fear. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe. Before joining the Daring Bakers, I would think of a sweet, chewy coconut cookies when I hear "Macaroons" but in reality this is a classic dessert - the French Macaron - and it has nothing to do with coconut.

French macarons/macaroons are meringue "cookies" that are sandwiched with a filling - like a chocolate ganache or jam or something. I've never seen one of these in a bakery before (or maybe just never knew what they were if I had) and have never had a real macaroon, but I was excited to try this recipe because I loooove meringues and especially with chocolate. Yum!

The recipe is relatively simple. Unfortunately I had to purchase a $12 bag of almond flour (I guess I could have ground my own but almonds are pricey anyway) but after that the ingredients were easy to find - room temperature eggwhites (5) and a little sugar, plus powdered sugar and any flavoring for the meringue and fillings that you can think of. I started out by whipping the eggwhites to soft peaks and then adding the sugar. Then they were whipped to stiff peaks and I wisked the almond flour and powdered sugar together.

I think the next step must have been where I went wrong - I must have folded the flour mixture into the too roughly even though I was trying to be gentle, or maybe I took too long. I noticed the eggwhites had lots a lot of their fluffyness and this was obvious once I piped the cookies onto the parchment and silpat.

Needless to say, I sorta botched this challenge - my macaroons were flat as little chewy pancakes. However they were still tasty and I made up a quick ganache out of cream and semi-sweet chocolate chips, and peeled the flat macaroons off the parchment and made a few sandwiches. I found the silpat was worse at releasing the meringues than the parchment paper was. The Husband liked them too so at least I had one happy customer but now I will have to try the recipe again or try to find a real macaroon somewhere in the area. Thanks to Ami for a great challenge, and I'll try and do better next time! :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger


I must admit right off the bat that the photo above is not actually the ginger squash soup but it is a picture of my other favorite, curried butternut squash soup. I ended up not getting a photo of the ginger squash soup but - it looks pretty much the same, a beautiful warm velvety orange color which looked spectacular with the chopped fresh flatleaf parsley garnish (also not pictured). This recipe was recommended to me by Chris who said it was one of Karen's favorite soups and I regard both of their foodie opinions highly so I was really looking forward to trying it. I love pumpkin pies and acorn squash with butter and brown sugar so I thought this recipe which combined fresh ginger and a cinnamon stick would be right up my alley and not too unusual.


I followed the recipe exactly except I didn't measure my two giant squashes so I think they were way more than called for and maybe my chicken stock was not salty so I did end up adding some salt and also a few splenda packets to sweeten it up a bit.


The purpose of making this soup was for the Michigan Lady Food Bloggers soup exchange/Oktoberfest beer tasting night. I have been part of the Michigan Lady Food Bloggers (a band of ladies who reside in Michigan and blog about food related topics) for a few months but this was my first chance to participate in a gathering, yay! I made the soup (and ginger brownies which I was also bringing) on Thursday night and packed everything up to go to work on Friday. I work in Milford and this event was in Ann Arbor so I was going to head over right after work before making the long trek home. Well, Friday just wasn't my best day. I started out running late (no surprise for a Cookies for a Cause morning) ... but then I realized about 40 minutes into my commute that I was missing one important item.... soup? no, that was here,.. crockpot? nope, had that,... spoon, extra bowls and parsley garnish? check,... 6 batches of ginger brownies? check... purse? check. Stupid laptop so I can do some work at work? Argh! No laptop! Unbelievable. I had to turn around, drive 40 minutes, and then drive another hour back to work. I would have considered just working from home but that would waste all those cookies and I needed to be in A^2 that night anyway.


That wasn't the end of my bad luck however! The soup exchange was at 7 so I worked until 6 and made up some time there, and walked out to my car with enough time to stop and get some of my favorite beer, Weihenstephaner hefeweissbier and head over to partay..... I started to drive away and then realized my car wasn't handling very well. DAMNIT. I knew it was another flat tire. Totally flat by the feel of it. I pulled off into the lobby parking lot and sure enough, my stupid tire was completely flat. This is incredibly infuriating because this is my 4th flat tire in three years, plus that was my 1 new tire.

What a drag..... I called AAA and they offered to come within an hour but luckily, the nice security men at the proving grounds hooked me up and found the metal shard in my stupid tire and put the spare on for me. I wonder which of my three times between work and home had given me the gift of the metal shard.. oh well at least I didn't get a blowout on the expressway.


This story is getting long so I'll hurry it up as best I can... I got the beer and headed out on my way about 40 minutes behind schedule, and totally ended up getting lost probably due to talking on the phone and it being dark and apparently I was looking for a dirt road - but didn't know it. I ended up in downtown AA (not correct) and that's when my out-of-gas "ding" went off. Awesome. No time for getting gas and there were no gas stations anyway so I had my dad help me over the phone find the house (on an empty tank). Cindy and Alison nicely helped me adjust my directions after the party so that I would hit a gas station before heading home, but that was only after I was lost in their subdivision and went around Loch Alpine circle a few times. Awesome, gotta love being lost twice on an empty tank in the middle of nowhere! My dad helped me over the phone again and I eventually made it to said gas station..... to find that it was closed. Awesome again! It took me 40 minutes to get a few miles to this closed gas station so this night was really turning out awesome. I luckily didn't get on the expressway and found a Meijer gas station a little bit down the way... then it was the long trek home on my stupid spare tire so that I could only go 60mph. Luckily my mom talked to me on the phone so I had no trouble staying awake (it had been a loooong week.. and AA-Troy sure is a boring drive).


Anyway the actual soup exchange and beer/oktoberfest party went great and it was nice to meet some other MLFB ladies. We all brought portions of different soups and food home with us and everything was delicious. I can't wait to get all of the recipes. I look forward to the next event.. sounds like a holiday cookie exchange! At least I got all my bad luck out of my system, the next party should go swimmingly. :)


Here's the recipe, try the soup, it's tasty! And join the MLFB if you're a Michigan Lady Food Blogger. :)


Butternutsquash Soup with Ginger
As seen on Epicurious.com here!

Yield: Serves 6


2 butternut squash (about 4 3/4 pounds total), halved lengthwise, seeded
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups thinly sliced onion
1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cinnamon stick
5 cups (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth
Chopped fresh parsley


Preheat oven to 375°F. Oil baking sheet. Place squash, cut side down, on baking sheet. Bake until squash is very soft, about 50 minutes. Using paring knife, remove peel from squash; discard peel. Cut squash into 2-inch pieces. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-low heat. Mix in onion, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cinnamon. Cover pot and cook until onion is tender, about 15 minutes. Add squash and 5 cups chicken broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Discard cinnamon.


Working in batches, purée soup in blender. - Or just use your submersible blender if you have one, which makes this incredibly easy and no need to dirty another dish. :) I added a little salt and splenda to taste.

(Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate.) Return soup to pot. Season soup with salt and pepper. Bring to simmer, thinning soup with more broth if necessary. Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Cookies For A Cause: Ginger Brownies



I had a busy day of cooking/baking last night with the Michigan Lady Food Bloggers soup swap/Oktoberfest tonight and my husband needing a batch of Halloween Cupcakes for his boss' birthday plus there are hungry coworkers expecting cookies! The charity cookie recipe I chose this week was one that I felt originally sounded on the verge of gross. Ginger Brownies! Doesn't that sound somewhat odd... a peculiar combination? I can't say I've had chocolate and ginger before but these had good reviews and Martha's claim of them being easy to put together also sounded good. This is another recipe from Martha Stewart's Cookies book, which is where most of my Cookies for a Cause recipes are coming from since there are so many delicious looking cookies inside that book! I haven't found a recipe in that book that wasn't also on her website for free so don't worry if you don't have the book.

Most of Martha's brownie recipes call for an 8x8 pan. I guess I like generous portions but that sounds like 4 or 6 brownies to me, so I figured I should double that just to fill a 9x13, and then double it again to make the normal amount I bring in for Cookies for a Cause at work. Then with the Michigan Lady Food Bloggers event, I thought "all that soup and beer, maybe we'll also want something sweet?" and these are ladies with sophisticated palettes, so I felt they deserved another double batch at least. So, I was "sextupling" the recipe!

I calculated out all of the "6 x" ingredient amounts and then thought "having to break this into thirds sounds like a pain plus I'm not sure I have anything that will hold this much" so I decided to do two stages of Ginger Brownies and do a quadruple batch followed by another double batch. I recalculated the quadruple amounts for all ingredients and made a stupid mistake.... Instead of 2/3 * 4 = 8/3, I calculated this to be 4/3 so we were missing some flour. Of course I didn't realize this until I was making batch #2 and low-flour batch #1 was already baking in the oven! Argh!! Oh well, too late. At least the third batch would be right, and I decided to keep it for the MLFBers since they likely have more discerning taste buds compared to my ever-hungry-eat-anything stinky-fish-microwaving coworkers.

Once both batches were out and cooled down, I tried one from the Evil-Not-Enough-Flour Batch.. hmm.. pretty darned fudgy, moist and delicious. I then tried a bite from the normal batch.. they were slightly taller and had a smoother consistency and held together better but pretty much the same flavor, so the first batch was still going to go for charity cookies and it wasn't a total waste, yay! 

Now about the strange chocolate/ginger combo - try it, it is delightful! My husband and 2 coworkers hated it but about 25 other people loved it. I just told The Husband he had a simple unsophisticated palette.. I mean.. he doesn't even like peanut butter so I'm not too worried about his opinion. hehe In all seriousness, this is a delicious recipe with a deep dark fudgy chocolate brownie flavor that is highlighted with fresh ginger and wonderful spices. They are quite delicious and if you aren't totally turned off by the idea of ginger/chocolate, I think you will love them like I did.

As far as the charity goes, as usual, 100% of the money collected went to a charity of my choice. Today we raised $31.35 for Forgotten Harvest which is a wonderful charity that collects unused foods from grocery stores and restaurants to donate to food shelters and those in need in Metro Detroit. That brings the amount of money I've raised for charity to a fabulous new total: $353.95! Woo hoo, we're over $350. I also had a few "IOUs" so I know a few more bucks are coming our way.

My coworkers probably never knew they were this generous and I've tried many new wonderful recipes in the mean time so it's a win-win situation. I'll keep baking if they keep donating and I look forward to seeing the progress we'll have made by the end of the year. Thanks for looking!


Chocolate Ginger Brownies
As seen on Martha Stewart's website here.
Makes 16 (or like 6 for a decent size)


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
 
Directions


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Line bottom with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over 2 sides. Butter parchment; set aside. Melt butter and chocolate together in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in remaining ingredients.

Pour batter into prepared dish. Smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Lift out, and let cool completely on rack. Cut into sixteen 2-inch squares. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 4 days.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Daring Cooks' Challenge: Vietnamese Chicken Pho


The October 2009 Daring Cooks’ challenge was brought to us by Jaden of the blog Steamy Kitchen. The recipes are from her new cookbook, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook. I have never actually had real pho (we found out from Jaden that it is really pronounced fuh? - yes you pronounce it like a question.. I still always think "faux" when I see "pho" but I'm working on it). I've been to vietnamese restaurants twice (and I really want to try the new place in Clawson!) - once in Honolulu and once in Maui. Both times I ordered.. well I'm not sure what it is called... but it was awesome.. some kind of big platter with beef and all sorts of veggies and noodles and herbs, plus rice papers which you make little "summer rolls" out of. I just love the vietnamese food that I've tried. I also loved the fried spring rolls served with lettuce-wrap sides and dipping sauce, and also I absolutely loved the iced coffee which came out in a french press to which you add sweetened condensed milk to. How could that not be delicious????

So I was really excited to try pho. I've seen it on all the menus and I never really knew much about it. It turns out that pho is all about the rich broth. Jaden gave us two recipes that we could choose from - one long version for making your own chicken broth, and one short version with store-bought broth. Unfortunately I was already making a penne rustica and chicken chili that night so it was the store-bought broth version for me!

I had to buy some interesting ingredients - fish sauce, which I've purchased before but didn't use much of - whole coriander seeds, and whole star anise. I couldn't find that at Kroger and eventually found a great cheap package in the asian section of Ninos for $1.99. Way better than the $7.00 bottle I saw this morning at VG's. Yay for me! Toasting whole coriander seeds (maybe I will use these again in indian cooking), star anise, and cloves starts you off with this recipe. Then you add the broth, fish sauce, sugar, ginger, and simmer a chicken breast and onion in all of this flavorful goodness. Later, the chicken is shredded and the broth is served at the table with an assortment of embellishments - rice noodles, bean sprouts, cilantro, hoisin, lime, chili sauce, sliced red onion, and peppers.

I hope to make the lengthy version of pho sometime but I was pleasantly surprised by the mixture of spices in the flavorful broth and with the bean sprouts, lime, onions and cilantro, etc. Delicious and thanks to Jaden for helping us with this recipe! I probably would have never tried it and now I know how to at least pronounce it if I were to order it at a restaurant too!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Cookies for a Cause: Brown Butter Toffee Blondies


We're back with another edition of my one-woman charity bake sale! The recipe I brought in for my coworkers this week was Martha Stewart's Brown Butter Toffee Blondies from her "Cookie" recipe book. Holy moly, these are delicious and rich and well worth trying. I am a huge fan of brown butter and it works perfectly in this blondie recipe. The result was a moist and chewy bar and while some of my coworkers may have scoffed at the "brown butter" (which they had never heard of), it only took one bite to be totally hooked. This is a fabulous recipe!

I am pleased to report that I collected another large amount for my double batch of these cookies - $30.50. The charity I chose was one that is improtant to me as well as one of my coworkers, the United Mitochondrial Diesease Foundation, which is a wonderful cause. My donation was just to make the cookies and 100% of the money I collected from my coworkers went directly to this charity!

So if you are looking for a rich and decadent bar cookie that is relatively easy but not "run-of-the-mill", definitely give this recipe a try. You won't be disappointed!!

Brown Butter Toffee Blondies
From martha stewart's website and her book "Cookies"

Ingredients


Makes about 1 dozen

1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts (about 4 ounces)
1 cup toffee bits

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter and flour parchment paper.

In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter until it turns golden brown; remove from heat, and let cool. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine browned butter and both sugars; stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Attach bowl to mixer; add eggs. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla, and beat to combine. Add flour mixture, walnuts, and toffee bits. Mix until thoroughly combined, and pour into prepared pan.

Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes (do not overbake). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before turning out of pan onto a cutting board. Peel off parchment paper; cut blondies into 3-inch squares. Blondies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days

Friday, October 2, 2009

Cookies for a Cause: Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies



We're back with more cookies for charity! For September 11th, I chose the recipe "Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies" from Martha Stewart's "Cookies" cookbook as the cookies I brought in to raise funds for charity from my coworkers. In honor of the heroes of September 11th, I chose the charity of Tuesday's Children, an organization providing services and programs to the families of 9/11 victims. 

Also, I am happy to report that these little sweet cookies raised our highest donation amount yet! For my double batch, I collected $35.42 for Tuesday's Children, which puts our grand total raised at $241.32! As I've said before, 100% of donations for the cookies go directly to the charity of my choice. My donation is the batch of cookies and I'm very excited about the wonderful progress my coworkers and I have made in just a few months! I now have a "Cookie Following" and people stop by throughout the week in attempt to snatch a cookie early or see what I'll be baking for Friday. And heaven forbid I am busy on a Thursday night, as I found bakery-made donuts were "no replacement for homebaked cookies!" While the expectations are high, thanks to Martha Stewart's delicious recipes, I am very excited to be trying a new recipe every week!

As always, I'll keep baking if you keep donating! So far so good! One of my coworkers, Marco, said these banana cookies were the best cookie he's ever had and he has begged me about baking another batch ever since I brought these in. He even called his wife and tried to make me tell her how to make them, so I just forwarded them Martha's link! Anyway, they are quite delicious. I thought "banana bread meets chocolate chip cookie" sounded strange but they are totally yummy and you will love them. Give this recipe a try for something different and delicious. Enjoy!

Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies
From the Martha Stewart Cookie book and her website


Ingredients


Makes about 3 dozen

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar

1 large egg

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 large)

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped into 1/4-inch chunks

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (about 2 ounces), toasted

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together flours, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside. Put butter and sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add egg and vanilla; mix until combined. Mix in banana. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in oats, chocolate chunks, and walnuts.

Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown and just set, 12 to 13 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers up to 2 days.