Recipe for oatmeal cookies, just with a banana twist.
Long-time cooks know that the first rule of baking with banana is ‘Think Ahead’. The unavoidable fact is that it takes a couple of weeks for bananas to ripen enough (think near-black, not yellow, skins) to imbue heady banana flavor into quick breads, banana cakes, banana pancakes and here, the best oatmeal cookies, bar none, I’ve ever made – or eaten.
The freezer helps. Just wash the bananas, then let ripen naturally on the counter or in a paper bag. Once the skins turn dark, tuck the bananas into a freezer bag, right in their black jackets, and freeze. When you’re ready to bake, just thaw as many as needed in a container for an hour before using.
BANANA MANGO SMOOTHIE For a quick after-school snack, toss a frozen banana (skin removed, silly!) and frozen mangoes into a blender with a couple of ice cubes and skim milk. Delicious – and refreshing!
BANANA OATMEAL COOKIES
Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 1 hour
Makes about 30 cookies, easily doubled
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 very very ripe banana
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1-1/2 cups oatmeal (old-fashioned or quick, not instant)
- 1 cup coconut, preferably unsweetened
Preheat oven to 350F.
Melt butter in a small dish in microwave, 10 seconds at a time. Transfer to mixing bowl. With an electric mixer, thoroughly mix in sugars, banana, egg and vanilla.
(Caution: Incoming unorthodox shortcut. See ALANNA’s TIPS.) Scoop the flour, baking power, baking soda and salt onto the butter mixture without mixing in. With a fork, lightly combine the dry ingredients on top, still without mixing in. Now use the mixer to combine the flour mixture and the butter mixture. Stir in oatmeal and coconut.
Drop dough by tablespoons onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 11 – 14 minutes until set and golden. Cool 5 minutes before removing from tray but do remove or will stick.
Great news for dieters and diabetics, these cookies turn out beautifully when made with 'alternate' ingredients. Substitute Smart Balance for butter, Splenda for the white sugar and white whole wheat flour for the flour.
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