Banana Cookies

Baking is by far the best way to use overripe bananas, especially because they mash so well. I always use them to make my tried and true banana bread, but this time I wanted something different, and I thought of banana cookies. I’d never heard of them before, but I was sure that’s what I wanted to make. Then I found a great recipe here. The writer says the recipe came from her grandmother and is more than 70 years old. Here is her recipe, slightly tweaked based on my baking this morning.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 1/2 bananas)
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup pecans, finely chopped (walnuts and chocolate chips are fine alternatives), plus extra whole pecans for topping

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.

In a bowl, mix the mashed bananas and baking soda. Let sit for 2 minutes. The baking soda will react with the acid in the bananas which in turn will give the cookies their lift and rise.

Mix the banana mixture into the butter mixture. Mix together the flour, salt, and spices and sift into the butter and banana mixture and mix until just combined.

Fold into the batter the pecans or chocolate chips if using. Drop in dollops onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Try to make the dollops as evenly round as possible. Press a pecan piece into the top of each one.

Bake for 11 minutes or until nicely golden brown. Let cool on wire racks.

Makes about 30 cookies.