Banana Bread Snickerdoodles

Heads up guys, this post is a wee bit introspective, so feel free to skip to the recipe.  For those of you still with me, I’ve been turning over a question in my mind recently.

That question is about voice.  Specifically, my voice and how I represent it here on Bashful Bao.  Sometimes I feel like my writing style is everywhere at once, but at the same time, I find it difficult to pick one mode of writing and stick to it.  There are times when I want to tell stories punctuated with phrases like oh-muh-gawd and other spelled-out colloquialisms, and there are times when I want to describe a dish to you in a manner that would speak to your inner foodie.

I can’t decide, so you guys are stuck with both.  Perhaps a blurring of the two is where my style lies, though it stills feels like I’m trying to figure it out.  Please bear with me folks, and in the meantime, enjoy some cookies.

I’ve made banana cookies in the past, but these are definitely my favorite thus far.  The ones I’ve made before were sometimes too soft, to the point where after a day, the outer layer of the cookie was so moist, it would come away if you touched it.  These, on the other hand, are moist but not excessively so, with a subtle banana flavor that tickles the palate.  I added cinnamon chips because, well, I like cinnamon with my bananas.  Feel free to add chocolate chips, or perhaps candied walnuts.

Banana Bread Snickerdoodles

Adapted from Mind Over Batter

Makes over 4 dozen cookies (feel free to halve this recipe)

3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground cloves

large pinch of nutmeg

3 medium sized very ripe bananas, peeled and sliced

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup sugar

½ cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp banana syrup (from reduced banana juice)

 For the sugar topping:

½ cup light brown sugar

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

      In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, spices and set aside. Place sliced bananas in a microwave safe bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and make several slits in the wrap. This will allow steam to vent. Microwave on high until the bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer the bananas to a fine mesh strainer set over a small bowl and drain, stirring and mashing the bananas with a fork to release the liquid. You are going to end up with a bit less than ½ cup of liquid, and about ¾ cup of banana puree. Transfer the banana puree to a small bowl and set aside.

Transfer the reserved banana liquid to a small saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Cook until the liquid is syrupy and reduced to about 2 Tbsp, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the liquid to cool.

In a large bowl, cream the butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add sugars and the banana puree and mix until well combined. Add the egg, vanilla extract and banana syrup.  Carefully add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients about one cup at a time. Mix just until incorporated after each addition. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill at least an hour, or until dough becomes slightly firm.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats and set aside. In a small bowl, mix cinnamon and brown sugar.

Remove cookie dough from refrigerator, and using a large spoon, scoop out dough and roll into balls. Roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar, making sure the dough balls are well coated. Place sugar-coated dough balls 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Use a glass with a flat bottom or your palm to flatten the balls. If desired, sprinkle additional sugar on the flattened cookies.

Bake the cookies for 10-14 minutes, or until they are slightly firm to the touch.  Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for about 5 minutes, and then move them to a wire rack to cool completely and enjoy!

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