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.

Yum

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.

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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.