Friday, 16 August 2013

Chocolate Banana Bread Cookies

As you can tell I have taken a detour from my Chocolate Chip Cookie Journey but let's face it, anyone who has read any of my previous posts could guess it was going to happen. I haven't abandoned it though, more taken a detour. I like the scenic route. You never know what you'll find and on this particular detour I found these cakey bites. On one of my many Pinterest sessions I found these Banana Cookies at Love.Peace.Happiness.Cooking which I thought were particularly interesting because I had not seen a cookie recipe before that used very ripe bananas. They are described as being super fluffy because of them so I thought brilliant, saves me making banana milkshakes to use them up and having to clean the blender out every day. That isn't a job I relish believe me. (Plus this way I got to use my measuring cups for the first time!) Now me being me I had to make some sort of adaptation and chose adding pecans over the chocolate chips and during the mixing I thought I'd give the chocolateyness a boost by doubling the cocoa. I'm glad I did, you get extra flavour from the nuts but still a lovely chocolate flavour while feeling healthy because there are no chips. 

Now here's the thing. These aren't cookies. That kind of disappointed me when I took them out of the oven and then I thought I'd done somehting wrond. I got the impression that they were going to have a little bit of crispness on the outside with the super fluffiness maintaing the majority but nope, not one bit of crispness was present. It was only when I read this post from the Recipe Critic that I realised I hadn't done it wrong after all because Alyssa used a very similar recipe and even described the result as having the texture of banana bread but in individual portions. Ahhhhh, I thought, bingo. That's what I can call them, Banana Bread Cookies! Just like their bigger siblings, these cookies/mini cakes get more moist as time goes on and the flavours seem to come out oven more with that. 

So many people rave about banana bread and these would be the perfect option for them when wanting to explore further possibilities. Easier to hide than a whole slab of cake if you aren't in a sharing mood but if you are feeling generous then a batch of these make you seem even more so because people can easily go back for another serving. And another. Then maybe one more. Or put them with ice cream. Cake and ice cream is a classic and what better flavour to pair one of these with than banana? You don't have any you say? Well that's fine, as long as you have a banana lying around then in a couple of hours or less you will have. Just blend a banana up until smooth, pop in a container and freeze to your desired ice cream consistency and there you have it. I am IN LOVE with this ice cream. It's guilt free too and counts as one of your five a day. So far I've tried plain banana, banana and peanut butter (two pictures above) and Nutella/banana (above Picture) and they are all so damn good. I've got a few more on my list to try out including strawberry, cocoa and chocolate chip options but in the meantime, give these baby banana cakies a go.

1/4 cup butter or buttery margarine, softened
 1/8 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 medium egg
2 small very ripe bananas
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 cup plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans

I know, I know. I forgot the put the bicarb in the photo!
Set the oven to 180 C/160 C fan and cream the sugar and butter (or marg) until pale and fluffy then mix in the egg and vanilla.
Thoroughly mash the bananas (forget using a fork, just use a clean whisk on your mixer) and combine with the bicarbonate of soda. 
Mix the bananas into the creamed mixture then fold in the flour and cocoa powder followed by the pecans.
Line a couple of baking trays with parchment and drop spoonfuls onto them leaving gaps between them. (I made 18).  
Smooth the heaps a little then bake in the preheated oven for about 12 mins. Rotate the trays and swap shelves half way through then when done take out of the oven, cool on the tray for a few mins before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. 
Serve at tea break, lunch, as pudding, for get the idea. Most of all - 

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