Banana, Cashew and Saffron Cookies

One of the highlights of my yearly Italy trip is the fresh (almond) mandorle cookies. They are popular trough the many different regions- If you pop into almost any of the local bakeries, or pastry shops you are likely to find them. Soft and still slightly doughy, when fresh out of the oven, they defy the standard large and flat tea dunkers with their golden exterior and cloud-like texture.

Also the addition of the sticky banana, meant I could make these egg free, so its a recipe win for anyone vegan too. , tess ward, cookies, cookie, vegan, recipe, sugar free, gluten free, dairy free, healthy, cashew, nut, light, easy, simple, make, cook, bake

Having baked them with ground almonds/ almond flour for years I wanted to mix it up and try something new, but with a similar effect texture wise. I also was in need of a home for a rather overripe banana, so thought a revamped version of these cookies were the way forward. With the addition of a hint of cardamom and a pinch of sea salt, they didn’t disappoint.

Instead of egg, I used the sticky banana as a binding agent for the cookies, to hold them together whilst they baked. This worked well and also made it a recipe win for anyone vegan. It just so happened these cookies also ended up being righteously dairy and gluten free too.

Banana, Cashew and Saffron Cookies

Banana, Cashew and Saffron Cookies

For these cookies I would recommend using a muffin case to ensure they cook evenly and are all equal sizes. You are looking for a smaller round cookie, rather than a large flat one

Makes 12 small cookies

  • 2 large bananas
  • 60g ground cashew / cashew flour
  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter
  • 4 heaped tablespoons chopped cashews, plus extra for topping
  • 4 tablespoons jaggery, or light brown sugar
  • a big pinch of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 pinches of saffron

For the frosting

  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2-3 tsp water, to loosen
  • chopped cashews, to top


Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C / 375 degrees F

Add the saffron to a ramekin with 1 tablespoon hot water, to extract the colour and flavour from the stamens

In another large bowl, use the back of a fork to mash the bananas to a pulp. Once the banana begins to break down add the chopped cashews, a pinch of salt, the cardamon, jaggery (or sugar) cashew flour and finally cashew butter. Add the soaked saffron and the water it was soaking in and mix well. It is important here to make sure the batter is fully mixed

Divide the mixture between 10 cookie moulds and cook for 15 minutes, or until the exterior is golden. Leave them to cool for 10 minutes before removing from their casing and frosting. Once they are cool enough to touch, top each with half a teaspoon of the frosting and a scattering of nuts.

They are certainly at their best when eaten warm


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