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Have you ever been given a cookbook as a gift and several years goes by without making a single recipe?  This is the case with a cookbook my brother gave me a few years back called The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook by Elinor Klivans.  I’ve poured over this book on several occasions but just never baked anything from it.

You would think playing around with a cookbook that features chocolate chips, not to mention swoon-worthy photos throughout, that I’d have prepared at least half the recipes by now.  Well, I had to start somewhere.

And the recipe for banana-oatmeal chocolate chips cookies is what I picked.  The combination of bits of ripe banana mixed into a chocolate chip cookie batter sounded entirely too good to be true, especially for the banana bread fans in our home.

The finished cookie had a soft, cake-like texture and at one moment you felt as though you were enjoying a bite of banana bread and then the next moment it was like a rich, chocolate chip cookie with a touch of vanilla and cinnamon.  My husband gave an enthusiastic thumbs up.  And those don’t come too often.

First things first.  In a small bowl, stir together 1 1/4 cup of flour with 1 tsp of baking soda and a 1/4 tsp of salt.   In you stand mixer, beat 6 tbsp of unsalted butter f with 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and a 1/2 cup of brown sugar.

Next, add 1 large egg and 1 tsp of pure vanilla (no fake vanilla, please) extract and mix until blended, about 1 minute.  Mix in 1 cup of oatmeal and 2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips until evenly distributed.

Now you’re ready to add the cut up bananas (2 ripe ones) to the batter, mixing with a large spoon until they are evenly distributed.

You’ll want to incorporate the banana into the batter so that some of the pieces are mashed, but most are still visible (see my little arrow above).

Drop dough using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon (about 3 level tablespoons for each cookie) onto a Silpat-lined baking sheet or line your baking sheets with parchment paper and then butter the paper as suggested in the recipe.

I just know what you’re thinking right now.  Do I have any ripe bananas so I can make these cookie Sunday afternoon?  I sure hope you do.  Your taste buds will thank you.

Banana-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe taken from The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook by Elinor Klivans

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup oatmeal (not quick-cooking)

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

2 bananas, cut into 1/4 – to 1/3-inch pieces

Method

Position a rack in the middle of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and butter the paper. *

In a small bowl, stir the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together; set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until smoothly blended, about 1 minute.  Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix until blended, about 1 minute.  The mixture may look slightly curdled.  On low speed, add the flour mixture, mixing just until it is incorporated.  Mix in the oatmeal.  Mix in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed.  Use a large spoon to mix in the banana pieces, mixing just until they are evenly distributed and some of the pieces are mashed but most are still visible, about 20 seconds.

Use a tablespoon to drop heaping spoonfuls of dough (about 3 level tablespoons each) onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies 3 inches apart.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the edges are lightly browned and the tops look dry, about 18 minutes.  Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

The cookies can be store in a tightly covered container, layered between sheets of wax paper, at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Yield:  30 cookies

*Kitchen Note:  I used a Silpat to line my baking sheets as opposed to buttered parchment paper.

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