We are introduced, at an early age, to the sweet wondernous of a cookie. From teething cookies to soothe the swollen aching gums of incoming incisors, onto animal crackers purchased in rectangular-shaped boxes bearing a string handle for easy toting by little fingers. Deciding which part of the animal should be eaten first-the trunk of the elephant or the tail of a lion-depended on how hungry one was. Savor each and every one or simply gobble them down as fast as possible.

My next cookie memory would be the ever famous, possibly all-time favorite, the chocolate chip cookie. There is nothing better than to bite into a round circle of baked dough sprinkled with gooey melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. A chocolate chip cookie can dry tears, heal broken hearts, mend scraped knees and elbows and solve sibling arguments. Most of the problems in the world could likely be solved by a properly baked, right out of the oven, chocolate chip cookie. The power of a cookie is underestimated.

I will attempt in the next 365 days to prepare and comment on a year’s worth of different cookies-one for each day. My goal is to share with others my extreme love of cookies-baking them and especially eating them! Feel free to send me your favorite recipe, your earliest cookie memories, or how cookies may have influenced your life. Cookies Rule!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cookie Recipe #20 - Banana Nut Cookies

These cookies are a good breakfast food. Have a couple with your coffee or a glass of milk or orange juice; they'll keep you going all morning! (Good as a midnight snack, too!).
This is my banana bread recipe that I've been using for years; instead of making a loaf or muffins, I tried cookies. They are a real soft cookie with lots of banana flavor and crunches of nuts (I used macadamia, but walnuts or pecans would also work).
Ingredients: 1 cup of granulated sugar, 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 3 ripe bananas, sliced thin, 1/2 cup chopped nuts (a little more for sprinkling on top, if desired).
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar; drop in egg and mix well. Add vanilla (or use 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract). Sift in flour, baking soda and salt and combine. Slice bananas over mixture and beat until bananas are thoroughly mixed in; add nuts.
Drop by teaspoonfuls on ungreased baking sheet about 9 cookies to a large sheet. Sprinkle a few nuts on top of each cookie, if desired. Place in preheated 350 degree oven and bake 11-12 minutes. Cookies should be lightly browned. Remove and allow to cool for a minute before transferring to cooling racks.
Makes 2 1/2-3 dozen cookies 2 1/2-3 inches in diameter.
Tip about bananas: It is important for the bananas to be ripe (almost black). Cut out any bad spots. I place the whole banana in the freezer when they get too ripe and I'm not ready to use them yet. Just remove from freezer and allow to thaw on paper towels on counter for an hour or two before you're ready to whip up a batch of Banana Nut Cookies!
We're playing peek-a-boo with the sun here today, but it's nice to have it smiling on us again (if only briefly) after so many days...
Cookies Rule!!!

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