Saturday, April 13, 2013

This sh-- is bananas....B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

I hate bananas and banana-flavored things, but I LOVE banana nut bread! So every time my roomie's bananas start to turn brown, I rescue them by chucking them (skin on, just as they are) right into the freezer. Then when I am ready to make banana bread, I thaw them in the sink or in a bowl for just a little bit (as they thaw, they release a lot of moisture), and then they peel easily to throw the fruity innards into the batter. Recently, every time I open the freezer door, a couple of frozen black bananas jump out at me and fall on the floor. I took this a sign that it was time to bake with them.

However, I decided to try to make banana cookies instead, and I don't know why this didn't occur to me before! These cookies are soft and cakey like banana bread (in fact, the batter is nearly identical to my favorite banana bread recipe), but they are browned and crispy all over, like the best part of banana nut bread--the edges! And they keep for a long time, staying soft and not going stale, if you can avoid gobbling them all up in the first day or two, that is!

Banana Nut Cookies
(Source: adapted from Simply Recipes and Vanilla Garlic)

1/2 cup (one stick) butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar (I used half white/half brown)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 1/2 large bananas)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
pinch of salt (1/4 teaspoon if using salted butter, 1/2 teaspoon if using unsalted)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped (walnuts and chocolate chips are fine alternatives--I used 1 1/2 cups toasted and chopped walnuts)

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.

In a bowl, mix the mashed bananas and baking soda. Let sit for two minutes. The baking soda will react with the acid in the bananas which in turn will give the cookies their lift and rise.

Mix the banana mixture into the butter mixture. Mix together the flour, salt, and cinnamon and sift into the butter and banana mixture and mix until just combined.

Fold into the batter the pecans, walnuts and/or chocolate chips. Drop in dollops onto parchment paper or Silpat-lined baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until nicely golden brown all over. Let cool on wire racks.

Yield: Makes about 30 cookies (I got 31 using a regular cookie scoop and having added an extra half cup of nuts)


Vicki said...

Ha! I just attempted Banana Blondies this weekend. Semi-fail. The texture came out like baked caramels (whaaaat?!) and they taste like Bananas Foster (I used rum flavoring instead of vanilla). So the flavor is awesome, but the texture is unusable. I'm thinking about cutting them up tiny and poking them into brownie batter? maybe?

All that to say, as soon as I have more nastified bananas, I'm ON THIS RECIPE! Gotta try it. :o)

Jenni said...

I made these tonight, they are delicious!
Not sure I'll have too many left to give away!

Vicki said...

I'm baking them right at this moment. Jack was so excited when I told him I was making Banana Bread Cookies for his school snack tomorrow. :o) Thanks for sharing the YUM!

Caroline said...

Elizabeth and I have the exact same banana relationship. I think it's key to a happy home! :) These look delish and I'm trying them this weekend!