Makes about 3 dozen
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 whole banana, small dice
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
1. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes or until mixture is light and fluffy. Stop the mixer a few times and use a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl.
2. Add egg and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined, scraping the bowl again to make sure the eggs are thoroughly incorporated.
3. In a medium bowl, stir the flour, baking powder and salt until well mixed.
4. On low speed, slowly blend flour mixture into butter mixture until the flour has been incorporated and dough is evenly mixed.
5. Lay a large piece of plastic wrap flat. Form dough into a long cylinder; roll in plastic wrap to form an even round shape. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. (Note: The dough may be frozen at this point, if you wish.)
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove dough from plastic wrap. Slice cookies 1/4-inch thick; place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle cookies with the bananas, nuts and cranberries, mounding them on top of the dough. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown on the edges and pale to light brown in the centers. Cooled cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
(Recipe courtesy Matt Greco, executive chef, The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards)