Thursday, July 15, 2010

By Popular Demand

Sometimes baking with favourite ingredients can breed dangerous things... especially when you make it public that those ingredients include peanut butter, honey, bananas and chocolate! But when I saw that very notion on Delightful Bitefuls the other day, I just had to do it! So that's exactly what went into these goodies, along with a handful of oatmeal and wheat germ that I tossed in to counteract the moisture from the roasted bananas. I had already taken the measure of "draining" the bananas of their liquid post-roasting before adding them in, but wasn't sure the batter was "tight" enough to give me the kind of "traditional" peanut butter cookie I was looking for. The extra ingredients had an added bonus, too - giving me enough dough to encapsulate boatloads of chocolatey goodness!

Since I can't leave a recipe with "just" chocolate chips well enough alone, especially with a bagful of mini peanut-butter cups hanging around, I had to play! I quartered a handful of them and stuck them into the freezer with some pure semisweets so that they wouldn't just "mush" when I folded them in. Eventually I got every little bit of decadence crammed into the dough and stashed it in the fridge while I fired up the oven (yeah, that whole "forethought" thing? Not happening). Although, as with most oatmeal cookie doughs I've worked with, the texture of this one improves as it chills and rests, allowing the oats to sop up the moisture and melt into the dough a bit more. Chilling this dough with the peanut butter cups also re-solidified them - probably an unnecessary measure in the winter months, but when it's 35C outside those things were melting as fast as I could unwrap them!

As the dough chilled, the oven heated and I was cleaning up, I realized that I hadn't added any salt to the batter - probably due in part to my thinking that the peanut butter was salted already, but when I was scratching out the ingredients I also hadn't accounted for the extra chocolate in the mix. I didn't really want to re-work the dough, so instead I went slightly along the "frou-frou" road and sprinkled the tops of the chunky cookies with a little flaked sea salt before squishing them down and baking them. I think it made for a unique "pop" to traditional peanut butter cookies, even though standard chippers, caramelly drops, and full-blown chocolate cookies have been doing it forever.

I swear, though, I made the biggest mistake upon putting the first tray of these in the oven... I popped onto Twitter and announced I was baking peanut butter, honey, banana, oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter cups. And that I had way more than I could deal with...  particularly since neither I nor my sister would eat them. Well the sweet teeth out there popped out of the woodwork on my feed, some of them demanding (nicely, by the way) cookie-age. And really, I didn't help matters much by posting the photos either! Joel lucked out, in the end... there are 6 cookies stashed in my freezer with his name on them come market-crawl time!

So yes. Make these cookies... trust me. Just don't tell anyone you're doing it, or be prepared to share them all!

"Gild the Lily" Cookies
Makes 30
3 ripe bananas, cut into chunks
2 tsp honey
1/2 tbsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup smooth peanut butter (not natural)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup chocolate chips
10 miniature peanut butter cups, quartered and frozen
Sea salt, for sprinkling

  1. Preheat oven to 400F, lightly grease a small baking dish.
  2. Place bananas into the dish and bake for 30 minutes.
  3. Drain the excess liquid from the baking dish, add honey and vanilla and mash completely. Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the flours, oats, wheat germ, cornstarch, flaxseed, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter, and sugars until smooth.
  6. Add the egg and mix well.
  7. Add the mashed banana mixture and blend in, then add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly.
  8. Stir in the chocolate chips and peanut butter cup pieces.
  9. Cover and refrigerate dough 1 hour.
  10. Preheat oven to 350F.
  11. Portion onto an ungreased sheet and sprinkle with sea salt.
  12. Bake one sheet at a time for 11 minutes (keep remaining dough in the fridge). Do not over bake!
  13. Cool completely on the sheets.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 197.4
Total Fat: 10.5 g
Cholesterol: 15.4 mg
Sodium: 82.6 mg
Total Carbs: 25.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.1 g
Protein: 4.6 g

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