When I have a bunch of ripe bananas, I’m usually going to turn them into banana bread or some kind of banana cake. But one banana isn’t usually enough for one of those recipes, so I turn from cakes to cookies and bake up a batch of Big Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies instead. These cookies only need one banana to infuse them with some of the same delicious flavors that you find in banana bread. The cookie dough comes together quickly and easily for a snack that anyone who enjoys the combination of bananas and chocolate will love.
The bananas in these cookies do not replace the fat in the dough. The butter is still needed both to give the cookies a wonderfully buttery flavor, but also to help give the cookies a crisp outer edge. That being said, the cookies are a bit lower in fat than some other cookie recipes, so they’re not a bad option if you’re looking for a slightly lighter snack option. I make the cookies quite large because I think that bigger cookies offer the best combination of flavors and textures with this recipe.
I always finish these cookies off with a sprinkling of coarse salt before popping them into the oven. While there is some salt in the cookie dough, I find that having a few flakes on top really sets off the flavor of the banana in the finished cookies. Adding the salt is completely optional and, while I do highly recommend it, you can certainly skip it if you’re not a fan of salty-sweet desserts. The cookies are crisp on the edges and chewy in the center when the come out of the oven. After storage, they lose a little of that crispiness, becoming softer and chewier. The mashed banana in the cookies is what causes them to soften as time goes by, but it also means that the cookies remain fresh tasting longer. Store them in an airtight container if you plan to eat them with a couple of days, or stack them with parchment paper and freeze them for longer storage. They make great ice cream sandwich cookies, as well.
Big Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup mashed banana (1 medium)
2 cups oatmeal (pref. quick cooking)
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
coarse salt, for topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract and mashed banana. Stir in flour mixture and oatmeal, then mix in the chocolate chips until well-distributed in the batter
Shape dough into large 2 inch balls (approx 3 tbsp) and place on baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches between cookies to allow for spread.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, until cookies are golden brown around the edges and set in the center.-
Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 24 cookies.