Baking For Others: Banana, Chocolate Chip & Granola Cookies
Since graduating college, I’ve been a member of a writing group. It’s a rotating hodgepodge of friends, friends of friends, etc., and most of us are not full-time writers, but we meet religiously every two weeks at a different member’s apartment over shared stories (and essays and screenplays and poems), wine, beer, and cheese and crackers, and sometimes baked goods.
Over the years, members of writing group have eaten a lot of the sweets you’ve seen on here. In November ’09, they happily gobbled up the Praline Pumpkin Pie, unable to believe that I’d made such a pie just for them (I guess I hadn’t). I think one guy offered to give me some money to reimburse me for the pie’s costs (all those pecans!). They ate these Lemon Sugar Cookies, and these Peppermint Snowballs. They’ve eaten several batches of my Chocolate Chip Cookies with Milk and Dark Chocolate Chips. They’ve also been supportive, hungrily and otherwise, of the BGSK project, accepting my absences when I was working too hard on the book to show up, and not judging too harshly the stories and essays I was trying to pen on the side when all my energy was going to recipe development and food writing.
I’m not the only one who bakes or cooks for meetings. Lily made a zucchini cake recently, and Maud’s mulled wine will go down in writing group history, at least in my mind. Though we’re clearly more formal than Mag Club, with its boy talk and thrown-together potluck feasts, meeting with the group over baked goods, writing, and wine, is an essential part of my month.
These banana cookies were made in March, when I was the writing group host. I’d spent the week making my way through a bunch of bananas–Banana Bread, Banana-Coconut Crumb Cake–and it struck me that my last banana would be amazing in a batch of cookies. I added maple-brown sugar granola for the caramel flavor I knew it would have when it melted, slightly, in the oven. The homey flavors worked beautifully together, accented, of course, by chocolate chips. Writing group couldn’t get enough.
From my kitchen, cranking out the cookies, to yours,
Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Banana, Chocolate Chip & Granola Cookies
Makes 3-4 dozen
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar (you can substitute dark, but then use a little less brown sugar and slightly more white)
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour–poured in
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
3/4 cup Cascadian Farms Maple-Brown Sugar Granola
1 very ripe medium banana, cut into chunks.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Mix sugars and butter in a large bowl. With a mixer, hand-held beater, or very strong arm, beat until creamy. Then beat in the egg until the batter is fluffy and light.
Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt and mix until basically combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate chips and granola. Now fold in the banana, being careful not to smush the pieces too much.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 6-8 minutes or until just barely set. Cool for 5-10 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove to a rack or a plate to finish cooling.