This post was of course supposed to go up yesterday, but sometimes life gets in the way. Anyhoo, bananas in cooking. I know some people can't stand it, but me, I'm quite a fan. But it has to be real and good bananas, banana flavored stuff (ice cream, candy etc) is usually vile. Not to mention banana liqueur, yuck! But give me banana nut bread, or home made banana ice cream with a good chocolate sauce, and I'm a happy camper.
I do hate over ripe bananas though. Actually, I guess I don't like ripe bananas. If I am to eat them as is, then they have to be a little on the green side. However, when I lived in Venezuela, I had really ripe bananas, the tiny kind, right of the stem, and they were lovely! So maybe it has to do with how they ripen: on the banana stem in the sun, versus in the grocery store or my kitchen.
We got bananas in our organic fruit and veggie box that I told you about the other day, and yesterday I realized the two ones left were too ripe to eat. When I started browsing websites and cookbooks for a recipe for the fifth day of seven cookies week, I came across a recipe for banana spice cookies. Perfect timing! The recipe is from Winnie the Pooh's Cookie Book, another gift from my wonderful American host family who knew that I don't only love baking, I also love Winnie the Pooh. The original, not the fake Disney version.
Although there are plenty of cakes out there with bananas as an ingredient, I had never come across them in a cookie before, so I was intrigued. These cookies were a breeze to make, and they do taste very nice. The flavor is similar to banana nut bread, but much more delicate, and the consistency is very light and moist. Next time I will probably up the spices though, cause I think they would be even better with a little more punch from the cloves and cinnamon. The book says to decorate with powdered sugar or cream cheese frosting but I don't know about that, it would probably be too sweet for my taste. I could, however, see these drizzled with just a little bit of melted good dark chocolate. Hm, maybe something to try...
I've made a few very minor changes to the recipe. If you need to converse the cups into deciliters and the like, look here.
Banana spice cookies
Makes about 35 cookies
100 grams butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used the seeds from about 2 cm of a vanilla pod)
2 1/4 cups flour
½ tsp cinnamon
3 ground cloves (I grounded them myself; if you use already ground ones, take 1/8 tsp)
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 big bananas
70 grams chopped walnuts
Set the oven to 175 degrees C. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix the flour, spices and baking soda and add that to the butter mixture. Mash the bananas. Add them and the walnuts, and mix well. Using a spoon, drop the batter onto parchment covered cookie sheets. Bake for 8-12 minutes until the edges are lightly brown (note: these cookies are very pale). The cookies will set when they cool.