Saturday, December 22, 2007

Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Cookies

I am really looking forward to having family over for Christmas. I have been preparing menus and making preparations. But, I have gotten a late start at making Christmas cookies. Since I have lost around 40 pounds, I really do not want to fall back into old patterns of eating during the holidays. So I am making some less traditional recipes that use less sugar. Here is one that produces cookies with plenty of flavor and a nice texture, but only calls for a cup of chocolate chips (rather than a whole bag) and a 1/2 cup of sugar.

Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Cookies
makes around 3 dozen

1 1/2 cups flour (I used a mixture of whole wheat and all-purpose)
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar (I use maple sugar) or more if the bananas aren't super ripe and sweet
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 2 bananas)
1 3/4 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

1. Cream the butter with the sugar, add the egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Mix in the mashed banana.
2. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add to the butter mixture, bit by bit, until thoroughly combined. Stir in the oats, then the chocolate chips and nuts.
3. Place one tablespoon of dough per cookie on a cookie sheet. Flatten slightly. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until golden. Cool for five minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Note: I find this dough forms great cookies if you put the raw dough in the refrigerator to chill it slightly before forming the cookies and baking. The cookies may need an additional minute or two of baking if the dough is quite cold.

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