As usual, I am inspired by what is rotting on my counter. That sounds delicious, doesn’t it? But in the throws of summer, fruit seems to go from unripe to soft and mushy in a millisecond. I just bought my bunch of bananas two days ago, and by this afternoon they were looking brown and soft and needing to be loved immediately as in tout de suite! Sweet, soft and chewy banana chocolate chip cookies would be the ultimate way to honor my withering bananas.
Lucky me, I had two willing girls coming home from a school club this afternoon, and I had this sneaky suspicion they wouldn’t mind helping me with baking banana chocolate chip cookies. I was crossing my fingers that my daughter’s friend liked bananas. As I was waiting in front of the school, I was thinking, “Please like bananas, please like bananas.” Weird I know. I am an oddball on a good day and certifiable on a bad one. Ah well, sane people are boring I say (only the crazies say that, but that’s ok by me).
The girls hopped in my car, pushing the big, slap happy Golden Retriever off her seat and scooting her over to the next one. Sadie is sure she is a human and sits in the minivan like any other passenger. The first thing out of my mouth was, “Do you like bananas?” The friend first looked at the dog, taking up a human spot in the car, then looked a bit quizzically at me but ultimately answered yes. Yippee!
As we arrived home, we happily all washed up and got out ingredients and then proceeded to throw them in one by one. I am not a precise baker, nor a neat baker, so cooking with kids for me is a joy, not a hindrance. Kids tend to get talkative when they are wrapped up in a project like baking. I find baking to be a great conversation starter for any child or teen. Even for us adults as well. As our happy hands do the work, and our mind focuses on measuring and following a recipe, our words seem to flow from within and rather uninhibited as well. That’s where the loose lips come in!
If you have one of those quiet, roll your eyes kind of teenagers, offer to bake cookies together. A) Chocolate chip cookies are ALWAYS a hit. B)Even if they roll their eyes, they are secretly saying, “Awesome” in their head somewhere. Please ignore the text they have just sent to a friend that says, “Ugh, my mom is trying to DO SOMETHING with me!” C) They will have to PUT DOWN THE PHONE because it’s nearly impossible to text while your hands are busy with dough, measuring cups and spatulas, and D) I bet you one million dollars you will have a better conversation than you have had in days. See? All good things!
Oh, you just thought about the mess you will likely have to clean up ALONE afterward…but as my brilliant 17 yr. old son informed me yesterday after I had complained about my dirty kitchen,“Mom, just put away the ingredients as you use them…one by one…and WIPE the counters when you put the cookies in the oven. Then just wash what’s left. It would be a lot easier if you did that.” He said this very seriously…with a straight face if you can believe that.
I would have said “Heck NO!,” if he werent my son, but he is, so I just smiled blankly and said, “Mmhmm…great idea!” What? Normal people bake like that?!!! That is very disconcerting. Please DON’T TELL MY HUSBAND! Ah well, as mentioned many times previously, that is just not how I roll or bake…now, before or ever in the future.
So back to our little bet…will you take me up on it? Try it…and see if you get a good conversation going while baking cookies. In the end, you get to pour two big cups of milk, sit at the table together and dunk. So even if the conversation wasn’t everything you had hoped for, the cookies are still YUM, the milk is cold and there’s just nothing wrong with that at all.
Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) softened butter (just barely softened…not mushy)
2/3 c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. packed light brown sugar
1 t. Vanilla extract
1/2 c. thoroughly mashed bananas
1 c. good quality chocolate chips
Optional: 3/4 c. chopped walnuts
To make the cookies: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Make sure one of the oven racks is in the middle of your oven and either place sheets of parchment paper or Silpats (nonstick rubber mats) on two baking sheets.
Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl with a wire whisk. In a bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars. Add one egg at a time, beating in between each one. Scrape down the bowl. Add the vanilla and bananas and cream together on medium until everything is incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and mix again on medium. Mix in your chocolate chips and walnuts (optional).
Drop small icecream scoop fulls of dough onto the cookie sheets. I usually do three across and four down. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden and soft, but not mushy to the touch. Let cool and store in an airtight container. Pour a glass of milk, dunk, bite, repeat and enjoy!
July 5, 2012 at 10:55 am
LOL, you’re house has to be loads of fun! Those cookies look amazing. I usually do banana bread with the sad, ignored banana’s. I’ll have to try your recipe instead next time, and there’s always a next time when it comes to overripe banana’s!
July 5, 2012 at 11:12 am
These look so good – makes me hungry. Love the dog 🙂
July 5, 2012 at 11:27 am
Oh I don’t bake like that at all, when I finish cooking or baking it looks like a bomb hit the kitchen lol
Those cookies sound amazing Geni, If only I saw these last week when I had some bananas to save
July 5, 2012 at 1:51 pm
If rotten things inspire you like this then let then rot away my friend 😛
I am dying these cookies are gorgeous!
Choc Chip Uru
July 5, 2012 at 3:50 pm
I have no idea what you’re talking about…my kitchen is always pristine. Things walk back to the pantry as soon as I’m done with them and spills magically disappear. Oh, wait. That’s not me. That’s in a fairy tale. 🙂
July 5, 2012 at 4:57 pm
Yum! Cookies made with bananas, chocolate chips, and walnuts. They must’ve been so darn good! I just know your souschefs loved ’em. Better still, I bet you enjoyed even more the time spent baking with them. Sounds to me like a great afternoon!
July 5, 2012 at 5:34 pm
Thrifty, practical and tasty!
July 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm
haha.. I’d have to say I SOMEWHAT agree with your son. It’s only because my kitchen counter is really tiny and I barely have room to bake. So I’m usually forced to put away my ingredients to make room for other ingredients! haha.. But honestly if I had unlimited room then I’d rather do everything while the goodies are in the oven!
anyway!! I JUST made some banana cookies yesterday too!! I always thought they’d be a great idea instead of banana bread! hahaha..
July 5, 2012 at 6:06 pm
What yummy and humpy cookies!
July 5, 2012 at 7:40 pm
Somehow I’m starting to come around to bananas, but probably for the first time in my life this recipe sounds pretty damn good. 😉
July 6, 2012 at 3:15 am
What a lovely way of adding more conversation to our lives. And I love Sadie & her cute blue star.
July 6, 2012 at 10:03 am
Bonding with a teenager is a great way to double-dip your baking time… must keep this in mind for the future. 🙂 Though Hubs and I have a deal that I’m in charge of the boys until they’re twelve and then he gets them through the teenage years. (Teenage boys scare the crap out of me.) Lovely cookies, too!
July 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm
Aw Sadieeeee!! So cute. My friend’s boyfriend brought his family’s 6 month old golden doodle over on the 4th…oh my, way too cute. Makes us want a pup again! These cookies sound delicious, and what a great way to use up the bananas. 🙂
July 6, 2012 at 2:41 pm
Those look mighty tasty!
July 6, 2012 at 4:15 pm
I’ve only had banana cookies once in my life and they were awesome…I will def be saving this recipe =D
Have a great weekend!
July 6, 2012 at 4:52 pm
Geni, I like the idea of banana in these cookies as I always have “extra” bananas on the counter…
Sadie is so cute…
Have a wonderful weekend 🙂
July 6, 2012 at 8:25 pm
I think one day we should all post the aftermath in our kitchens after a day of experimenting in the kitchen. I think my photo may win… I love how thick and chewy these cookies look.
July 6, 2012 at 9:43 pm
I just love how you parent Geni. 🙂 And I love the idea of bananas in cookies. With all the over-ripe bananas we’ve had come through here you think we would have thought of that. You’re a genius. 🙂
July 7, 2012 at 3:04 am
As much as I try to clean as I go along while cooking or baking…it just never works out. I’ll just have to try your son’s method. 😛 These cookies sound delicious! I need to let some bananas rot on my countertop so I can make them!
July 7, 2012 at 12:21 pm
Sadie…such an elegant lady!
These banana cookies look divine.
July 7, 2012 at 4:12 pm
I love these cookies (and I haven’t even tried one yet)! They’re definitely worth the potential kitchen mess. And Sadie is just the cutest! 🙂
July 7, 2012 at 7:50 pm
My kitchen’s like yours, Geni.. flour and cups and measuring spoons everywhere.. but so is the great conversation. When I make cookies for my son when he’s studying, it really seems to calm him down. I love that your son teases you.. adorable! (I guess that’s not a manly term for a 17 year old.. how about “awesome” instead!) xo Smidge
July 8, 2012 at 1:56 am
Very nice cookies, I love dunking those on milk
July 9, 2012 at 11:28 am
Haha, would you hate me if I told you that I bake like that? I have a very limited space to bake, so I’m almost forced to put my ingredients away right after I use them.
These cookies look delicious! I love the banana and chocolate combination
July 9, 2012 at 5:47 pm
Geni, you are great! What a fun mom you are! They can’t help but want to be with you! You are so right, you get them talking when they least expect to! Who else can take rotten fruit and make deliciously thick cookies! I hope Sadie got a bite too! If she could only talk, I bet she’d have a few things to say about the family she lives with!!
July 9, 2012 at 7:06 pm
best mom ever! I love this and yes perfect for kids. I am thinking my son needs these- or wants them! lol
July 22, 2012 at 10:21 pm
aww shucks I wish I had discovered your blog a week earlier! I had a bunch of rotting bananas that I threw out because I was not in the mood to make banana bread with them… well, I guess the next time I’m stuck with a over-ripe bunch I know what to do 🙂