January 16, 2013

Banana bread cookies

This is a cookie for all banana bread lovers out there.

In recent years, I've become very fond of banana bread and the like.  Bananas add so much moisture and natural sweet flavor and aroma to baked goods.  So when I found this recipe from America's Test Kitchen's Christmas Cookies magazine during the holidays, I wanted to try it.  I've never used banana in a cookie before so this is a first.  These are banana-walnut chocolate chip cookies, which I like to think of as just banana bread cookies.
Banana-walnut chocolate chip cookies (hence, the bananas in the background)
These look like your basic chocolate chip walnut cookies but they smell and taste just like banana bread!  Seriously, that sums them up exactly.  We got such a kick out of these because you look at them and expect chocolate chip cookie so the banana comes as a surprise (not literally, of course, since I did bake them myself).  I'm not sure about you but I don't expect to eat banana bread in a cookie form, which is essentially what's going on here.  In case you're wondering, the texture is fluffy, somewhat cake-like, clearly moist, with a teeny bit of crispness around the edges when they're first cooled out of the oven.  The flavor is full on banana bread!
Once I started toasting nuts before adding them to cookie dough and such, I didn't look back.  Taking the extra step of toasting the nuts really deepens their flavor.  My husband and I didn't need to share this batch with the little guy since he's not a fan of most nuts in his desserts (I must've mentioned that fifty times by now).  So even though I divided the recipe in half, there was plenty for us.  And because of the banana and brown sugar, the cookies stay pleasantly moist for a few days.  Just store the cookies between parchment or wax paper since they tend to stick together due to the moisture.  We loved popping open our cookie container and taking a whiff of the wonderful banana bread aroma.

I think these qualify as a breakfast treat (just ask my husband).  Afterall, they have banana and nuts in them, and we all know how good dark chocolate is for us.  This recipe is a keeper; if you like banana bread, check this one out for yourself!  Make sure you use very ripe bananas for maximum flavor. 

Baking Notes

Except for adding the mashed ripe banana, this cookie dough comes together very much like most other chocolate chip cookies.  

Start by creaming softened butter with a combination of brown and granulated sugar before adding the line-up of egg yolk (interestingly, not an egg but just the yolk), vanilla extract, and mashed banana, followed by the dry ingredients.  Using very ripe bananas is the key for that sweetness and  strong banana flavor and aroma.  The final step is simply folding in a combination of chocolate chips and toasted, chopped walnuts.  I used Callebaut semi-sweet chocolate callets.

This cookie dough is moister than regular chocolate chip cookies because of the banana.  Scoop rounds about 2 tablespoons full onto a baking sheet.  They take 10-12 minutes in a 375 degree oven.  The edges turn slightly golden brown while the middle is puffed and set.
These were the first batch of baked goods to come out of my new oven!  Sadly, the old one (whose door would no longer close tightly) had to be retired.  It's really nice to have a spotless oven and one where I can see clearly through the window...I wonder how long that'll last!

Time for some very flavorful banana bread cookies!  Do you ever find that some chocolate chip cookies, unless they're chock full of chocolate and nuts, just don't have enough flavor?  That's definitely not the case here as long as you use ripe bananas.  These are so flavorful that I was satisfied after savoring just one of these modest-sized cookies.


Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
From America's Test Kitchen Christmas Cookies 2012

- Makes about 3 dozen cookies -

2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed (5 1/4 ounces) light brown sugar
1/3 cup (2 1/3 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 very ripe large bananas, peeled and mashed
1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Adjust oven rack to the middle position and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mats. 

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together. 

Cream butter with the sugars in the stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, for about a minute on medium-high speed.  Add egg yolk and vanilla, beating another 2 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add mashed bananas and beat until combined, about 30 seconds.  Scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.  On low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix only until incorporated.  Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts until evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Scoop or spoon 2-tablespoon mounds of dough onto the baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart.  Bake, one sheet at a time, until edges are golden brown and centers are set, roughly 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through baking. 

Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  Repeat with remaining cookie dough.

Store cookies in an airtight container, at room temperature, with parchment or wax paper between layers to prevent cookies from sticking to each other.  They stay deliciously moist for a few days thanks in large part to the bananas.


  1. These look amazing! I love love love chocolate chip cookies, and the idea of adding in banana just sounds fantastic!

  2. Sara, these are so flavorful and moist...we really loved it! I'd never thought/heard of putting bananas in a cookie but it totally works. Those Test Kitchen folks know what they're doing! : )

  3. Be that as it may, the commitment of banana activity in worldwide banana creation brought bit by bit up in the most recent decades. banaan laxerend

  4. O!M!G! I just pulled a batch of these out of the oven about an hour ago and sat down to try one. These are amazing! Thanks for much for sharing this recipe.

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    1. I love these cookies and you've reminded me I haven't made them in too long. Thank you!



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