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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Shortbread Cookies with Nutella, Banana and Almonds

I’ve labored over this recipe for days.

Never mind that it’s just store-bought shortbread cookies + Nutella + bananas + almonds. Never mind that there’s no baking involved or that it only takes 10 minutes to assemble.

The recipe is about the technique of the beautiful, fluid Nutella swoop.

It’s a very technically technical technique.

And if you’re thinking about subbing out the Nutella for something stupid like fat-free no-calorie peanut butter….don’t. Just don’t.


Shortbread Cookies with Nutella, Bananas and Almonds

Servings: Makes 24 cookies Prep Time: 10 Cook Time: 0

This little cookie comes from my friend Cynthia Nim's "Gourmet Game Night" cookbook, which makes a perfect gift for friends who enjoy hosting game nights, from mah-jong, Poker, Scrabble to Wii, Guesstures and Spin the Bottle (okay, uhnevermind, if you're playing spin the bottle, you prob will be drinking instead of eating). Cynthia calls these cookies "Nutella & Banana Galettes" and she even has a recipe for home made shortbread.


24 shortbread cookies (I used Walker's Pure Butter Shortbread Cookie)
1/2 cup Nutella
2 bananas, sliced
1/4 cup chopped almonds


1. With your non-dominant hand, hold up your first three fingers. Slightly cup your hand and gently grasp a shortbread cookie by its edge. Position your hand so that your thumb is closest to your body, let's call this 6-o'clock position.

2. Get a butter knife and with the non-serrated edge, scoop out exactly 1 teaspoon of Nutella. Position your knife at a 45-degree angle, serrated edge side down (using the serrated edge will give you ugly "teeth" marks on your cookie) above the cookie, pointing at the 12-o'clock position. Your cookie hand should still have your thumb positioned at 6-o'clock.

3. Take a few calming breaths to relax and center your chi.

4. Everything in this next step happens in one motion, so you might want to read this a couple of times over and practice the motions before proceeding. Lower your knife and in one flowing motion, rotate the knife counter-clockwise until you reach the 8-o'clock position. At the precise moment that the knife reaches this point, slowly rotate your cookie hand so that your thumb is now at the 9-o'clock position. When the Nutella swoop is complete, lift your knife from the cookie and follow through with a graceful wrist twirl.

5. Top with bananas and almonds.

40 Responses to “Shortbread Cookies with Nutella, Banana and Almonds”

  1. CW — 10/5/10 @ 2:41 pm

    Lol @ your extremely precise directions on how to spread nutella :)

  2. Monica — 10/5/10 @ 2:41 pm

    I love the intricate instructions for this recipe and my favorite quote about the recipe is “And if you’re thinking about subbing out the Nutella for something stupid like fat-free no-calorie peanut butter….don’t. Just don’t.”

    Oh Nutella…how I love thee! Thanks for making me smile today (and for making me regret my lunch when I could have had this instead).

  3. SusieBee — 10/5/10 @ 2:41 pm

    Wow, so beautiful and so ??easy??

  4. Lora @cakeduchess — 10/5/10 @ 2:45 pm

    How great are these as a quick and yummy snack. I love Nutella!!

  5. Shawn — 10/5/10 @ 2:48 pm

    So pretty…So Easy…and I bet, so good!

  6. Got to love something SO easy and Nutellay! Love the swoop. I just made some zucchini bread with a cinnamon buttercream frosting to send back home for my Dad and my Aunt, both very elderly and always happy to have a home cooked treat.

    Despite years of using all sorts of tools to decorate cakes and cookies, I just had to do my ‘technique’ I used when I was a girl and baked for my family. It also involves some swooping on the top of that frosting; seems much more in keeping with a 50 yr old recipe and something that will mean more to my Dad than the fanciest piping around.

  7. Sasa — 10/5/10 @ 3:07 pm

    Maybe THESE should be called world peace cookies, I can’t imagine anyone disagreeing over them ;P

  8. These look amazing! Love them!

  9. Margaret — 10/5/10 @ 3:11 pm

    One word!!! YUM!!

  10. Beautiful and, since I LOVE Nutella, I’m sure absolutely delicious!

  11. Emily @ Petite & Polished — 10/5/10 @ 3:27 pm

    Love, love, love this “recipe”. I’m a huge nutella fan, so I definitely need to try this. Of course, I’ll have to practice the swoop quite a few times and I just can’t let the testers go to waste!

  12. sara — 10/5/10 @ 3:32 pm

    Muahahaha, I will henceforth refer to these as Chi Centered Cookies ;)

  13. These look heavenly!! I love that you used store bought cookies too! These be the dessert at my next dinner party :)

  14. You had me at Nutella! Well, and shortbread, too… ;)

  15. Patricia Holm — 10/5/10 @ 5:18 pm

    Wow! Easy, delicious and fun to make. I’ll get the grandkids involved here!

  16. kitchenhag — 10/5/10 @ 6:14 pm

    Briliant instructions…I actually understand what to do and I’m lefthanded. Love your e-mails Jaden

  17. Eva — 10/5/10 @ 6:43 pm

    Trader Joe’s used to have this cereal that looked like life cereal but was filled with nutella what tasted like inside. I used to chop up bananas and have it in with the cereal in a bowl, then they discontinued it and I was very very sad. But this sounds like the perfect substitution! And even better because of the shortbread cookies, yum!!

  18. Carlos — 10/5/10 @ 7:43 pm

    I just love nutella. Growing up used to stop at the bakery and buy a loaf of french baguette. rushed home to slice it and load it with nutella! mmmm…. best snack in the world.

  19. Jen da Purse Ho — 10/5/10 @ 9:18 pm

    nom nom nom!! i love nutella!! :) have you seen this?


  20. I love recipes like this! I’m sure they received just as many rave reviews as something you would have slaved over!

  21. Karen Abir — 10/5/10 @ 10:13 pm

    Simplicity never looked so good! I would like to visit the Nutella factory for my birthday, it is one of my favorite ways to indulge in chocolate and hazelnuts in one bite.

    Thanks for a new variation. Your site is such an inspiration.

  22. Asianmommy — 10/5/10 @ 10:48 pm

    Can’t wait to try this–yum!

  23. delicieux — 10/6/10 @ 1:48 am

    These cookies look fantastic. I love the combination of nutella and banana. My mouth is watering looking at the photo.

  24. the lacquer spoon — 10/6/10 @ 9:48 am

    Nutella, Banana and Almonds… What a beautiful trio! If only I could pick up some :)

  25. I’ve been putting nutella on cookies ever since I discovered that nutella is awesome on everything. I was probably about 5 years old when I discovered that.

    Know what else nutella is good on? Ice cream.

  26. Katrina — 10/6/10 @ 4:21 pm

    I love these little guys! I agree, keep the nutella and forget the low calorie non-sense!

  27. Kiran — 10/9/10 @ 2:24 pm

    This recipe is so simple yet elegant for tea-party! I am a sucker for anything “Nutella”.. YUMMYLICIOUS :D

  28. Candace — 10/10/10 @ 12:01 pm

    I’ve made these twice now and everyone has loved them. They are so simple, but have a great presentation and taste wonderful!

  29. Your Nutella swoop is dynamite!

  30. I’ve been seeing alot of nutella recipes and ideas lately. I have an amazing shortbread recipe and have a jar of nutella in my pantry. Plus bananas and walnuts; YUMM! Its calling my name!

  31. Oh. My God.


  32. I love how you presented this technical technique so technically correct.. :)) No matter that these are storebought cookies; it still looks delicious!

  33. I agree CW and the DELICIOUS Chocolaty photos!

  34. Pat — 2/12/12 @ 12:24 am

    This is perfect. My husband bought 2 boxes of girl scout shortbread cookies. I’ve known him for 18 years and he should know by now that I only eat cookies involving chocolate. Your recipe will make those 2 boxes very edible!

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  38. I love your “favorite recipes” section! My mom would love these! She loves bananas and chocolate.

  39. Helga — 7/18/13 @ 12:00 am

    Creating well-thought recipe ideas can be a chore, but this one has indeed been made with a great effort. I was recommended to this website by a friend, and I found this interesting. I am not yet sure whether this would be good for our party this week, but I’m sure this will be good to share among my colleagues. You’re amazing! Thanks!

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