Tips: The number of cookbooks I have approaches
the “frightening” threshold, but there are occasions
when that proves useful. I was looking around for inspiration for
another banana recipe when I came across the idea for cookies based
on them. Thumbing through several other cookbooks, I came across
two other recipes for banana-based cookies that were remarkably
similar. While none of the recipes I found used chocolate, I think
it fits in extremely well here.
These are cake-like cookies, not thin and crisp ones. The bananas
you use must be very ripe in order to give a good flavor, but they
should still be firm, not mushy. For variety, change the type of
nuts (walnuts or almonds would be good choices), use different spices
(try a smaller quantity of nutmeg instead of the cinnamon, and use
a pinch of ground cloves in place of ginger), or add a bit of grated
lemon or orange zest. A friend has suggested using dried cranberries
rather than raisins; this might work (I haven’t tried it),
but I’m not sure that either bananas or cinnamon really go
with dried cranberries.
If baking in the lower third of your oven tends to brown the bottoms
of your cookies excessively, place an empty baking sheet under the
cookie-filled sheet. These cookies keep nicely for a couple of days
at room temperature, and they freeze very well.
Yield: About 3-1/2 dozen
- 1-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips OR chunks
- 1 cup dark raisins
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 egg, graded “large”
- 2 to 3 bananas, very ripe but still firm (to make 1 cup pureed)
- 1-3/4 cups old-fashioned OR quick-cooking oats
Adjust racks to divide oven into thirds; preheat oven to
375 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with aluminum foil and set aside.
Sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, and salt; set
aside briefly. In medium bowl, combine chocolate chips, raisins
(break up any clumps of raisins with your fingers), and chopped
pecans. With a large spoon, stir to evenly distribute ingredients.
Take about a tablespoon of the sifted dry ingredients (no need to
measure) and stir into the chip-raisin-nut mixture thoroughly, until
all pieces are coated. Set aside.
In large bowl with large spoon, cream butter and sugar until well-mixed,
about one minute. Beat in egg. Now prepare bananas: peel, discard
any bruised spots, and slice into workbowl of food processor fitted
with steel blade. Process briefly at high speed until smooth and
“liquidy”; measure out one cup of pureed banana and
immediately add it to the brown sugar mixture in the large bowl,
beating in well (mixture will appear curdled—OK). (Alternatively,
mash peeled bananas vigorously with a potato masher or other implement
until smooth; measure out one cup and add as above.)
Stir in sifted dry ingredients, then oats. Finally, add chip-raisin-nut
mixture (and any extra sifted dry ingredients at the bottom of the
bowl); stir in until evenly distributed.
Drop heaping teaspoons of the batter onto the foiled-lined cookie
sheets, placing 12 mounds of batter on each 10-1/2 by 15-1/2 inch
sheet (these spread somewhat while baking). Do not flatten the mounds.
Bake two sheets at a time in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes,
switching pans from back to front AND upper rack to lower rack about
every 5 minutes. Cookies will brown only lightly on tops and lose
their “raw” look. Do not overbake!
Remove baked cookies from oven; allow to stand 2 to 3 minutes on
baking sheet before carefully transferring to cooling rack with
a broad-bladed metal spatula. Cool completely before storing. To
store, place in airtight container with a sheet of plastic wrap
or wax paper between each layer (these sometimes get a bit sticky
on top after they sit for some hours). Freeze for longer storage.
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