There’s a “no eating” rule in my first period class. Even so, everyone brings food. One girl who sits near me always has banana bread from some off-brand bakery, dressed to impress in a pretty paper bag. That smell drifts over to my desk and gets me reminiscing about my childhood days, when Grandma would pull a fresh loaf of chocolate-chip banana bread out of the oven and we’d all stab the tender, warm creation with forks and knives until no melty chocolate morsel or crunchy walnut had escaped our ravenousness… I really shouldn’t be thinking about banana bread during class.
How to deal with this distraction? Do I insist that the teacher enforce the “no eating” rule? Nah, I don’t want to be a goody-good. Maybe if I go home and make the goody for myself, it’ll stop tempting me in class.
But I didn’t want to settle for the same old boring banana bread I’ve had a million times. I wanted to infuse the recipe with my own twist, as usual. So I decided on banana bread cookies, to capture the softness and the wonderful crispy baked edges of the best banana bread in a few succinct bites. When I found this recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction, I decided to make them oatmeal cookies. And that’s how this recipe was born.
It’s pretty simple, not too many ingredients – just throw it together, chill the dough, and bake! You can feel good about every bite of these soft and chewy cookies: creamy peanut butter and crunchy chopped walnuts provide all healthy fats, while potassium-rich banana and a touch of pure maple syrup are the sole sweeteners. Since the recipe is flourless, it can easily be made gluten free with the use of gluten free oats. So this recipe is sure to be an all-around winner for the health-conscious crowd.
If I were to make these again, the only thing I might change is to add a bit more sweetener, perhaps from brown sugar or Truvia. My mom liked that the cookies weren’t too sweet, and said they were just right, but my opinion differed, so I guess it’s a matter of personal taste. Overall, though, they were lovely and I totally recommend them for a holiday table treat or just an anytime indulgence you can feel good about!
Banana Bread Oatmeal Cookies
based on recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction
makes about 17 cookies
- 2/3 cup quick cooking or old fashioned oats (if making gluten free, use certified gluten free oats!)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- dash each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger
- 1 egg
- 1 medium banana
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tbs pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup Sun Maid brand Natural California Zante Currants
- 2 tbs chopped walnuts
- 1/2 bar Endangered Species brand Natural Dark Chocolate with 88% Cocoa
In a medium bowl, combine oats, baking soda and spices. Mix.
In another medium bowl, beat the egg. Add banana and mash into the egg. Add peanut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla, and mix well.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add currants and walnuts. Stir.
Chop chocolate bar into chunks. Pour into cookie dough. Stir.
Chill dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Spray generously with nonstick spray.
Drop small balls of cookie dough onto aluminum, spaced out from each other as much as possible. Do not flatten balls.
Bake at 350 Fahrenheit for 9-12 minutes.