Chewy Peanut Butter (Banana) and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sometimes you just need to bake yourself a batch of cookies.

Come back from grocery shopping to discover that what you thought were “full” boxes in the pantry are actually empty because your boyfriend thought it was a good idea to leave you a tablespoon of whatever in each box?  So time for baking cookies.

Last K-cup was used yesterday but you had no idea till 5:30 this morning?  Drag out your mixing bowls.

Cats claw open the ziploc bag of rosemary syrup on the counter? Handful of chocolate chips for you, and then your batter.

Eat half a jar of Speculoos Cookie Butter last night?  Throw the cookie batter into the fridge to chill and get back to that jar.  There’s still half left!

I love that these cookies are absolutely peanut buttery and loaded with chocolate chips.  But what puts my mind at ease is that they actually have less fat and sugar than your average peanut butter chocolate chip cookie; all without compromising on taste.

Half of the butter is swapped out with banana, maintaining that chewy cookie texture but with a subtle boost in flavor.  The banana is very mild, but when great men like Elvis loved the peanut butter and banana combination, how could one go wrong with it in a cookie?

These cookies are both delicious raw (you may make more than 40 cookies if you have more self control than I did when scooping out the dough) and baked.  And for someone thinking about embracing a plant based diet for their New Year, this is probably the easiest way to start!

Make these cookies for your co-workers, your loved ones, or for the most important person of all, yourself.

Makes About 40 Cookies

Note: The batter needs to be chilled for at least a half an hour so please plan ahead when making them!

Ingredients

Three quarters of a cup of creamy peanut butter (I used natural, well stirred, and it turned out fine)

Quarter cup of mashed banana (one small banana was enough for me)

Quarter cup of butter (like Earth Balance)

One cup of sugar (this yields a not too sweet cookie)

Half teaspoon of vanilla extract

Three quarters of a cup of white whole wheat flour (if you only have all purpose, that will work)

Three quarters of a cup of all purpose flour

Half teaspoon of baking soda

1 teaspoon of baking powder

Three quarters of a teaspoon of fine sea salt

Half a cup of bittersweet chocolate chips (you can use semi-sweet chips, just note that it’ll be a sweeter cookie because of this)

2 – 4 tablespoons of soy milk (or your choice of non-dairy milk, sweetened is fine) as needed if the batter is too dry

Equipment

A stand mixer (or at least electric beaters, I don’t think this will work if mixed by hand.  Peanut butter is a fickle thing.)

A medium sized mixing bowl

A whisk

A spatula

A clean tablespoon (your fingers will suffice in making dough balls as well)

A cookie sheet (two to make baking go faster)

Parchment paper (optional), just makes clean up faster

Add the peanut butter, banana, butter, sugar and vanilla extract to your stand mixer bowl.  Beat the ingredients together till well combined.  Scrape down the bowl to ensure it’s fully incorporated before adding your dry ingredients (down the sides, to the bottom then back up top).

In your medium sized mixing bowl add the flour(s), baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix the ingredients with a whisk till well combined and there are no visible lumps.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet in increments.  Be sure to scrape down the side of the bowl, down to the bottom and back up with your spatula, to ensure that all the ingredients are combined.

The dough may be a bit dry (it was in my case).  Add a tablespoon of non-dairy milk at a time, as much as needed.

Add the chocolate chips and mix till just combined.

Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes (if you live in New England, you can take full advantage of your porch/garage during this cold weather and store it there without losing crucial fridge space).

Place your oven racks to the upper middle and lower middle positions in your oven.  Preheat your oven to 350F.

With a clean tablespoon (or your fingers, whatever), scoop out the dough and place onto your (lined) cookie sheet, about one cookie’s width apart.  (On my cookie sheet, I was able to place 20 cookie dough balls on it.)

Bake your cookies for about 12 – 15 minutes.  They will look soft when they come out, but if you check their bottoms, you’ll notice that they will be browned.  Don’t over bake them.  They will not spread out like crispy cookies and look a lot like the dough balls that you placed in the oven.

Allow the cookies to cool on the sheet for at least a minute before moving (so you can rinse the sheet off with cold water for reuse)/devouring them.

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