So, I had a baby somewhat recently. In the first few weeks after giving birth, before I’d received approval to start exercising again, I was full of daydreams about how awesome it was going to be to get back in shape. I pictured intense, sweat-drenched workout sessions and virtuous meals chock full of fresh vegetables. In my head I was going to be a healthy beast.
“A cookie? Why, no thank you,” Imaginary Liz said, “I wouldn’t care for one. I’ve given up all sugars and am ever so happy about it. Watch me do handstand push-ups!”
Ummmm…yeah. Reality is a little different than what I’d imagined. For one, working out post-baby is hard. Hard time-wise, and energy-wise, and body-wise. I’m a long way from handstand push-ups.
For another, I keep making cookies like a fool, and turning down a cookie is WAY HARDER than any grueling workout. Especially when those cookies are peanut butter banana chocolate chip cookies.
These cookies are a collision of three of my favorite baking ingredients. When I first saw a version of this recipe on How Sweet It Is, I practically slapped my forehead, sitcom-style—why hadn’t I ever thought to combine these flavors in a classic chocolate chip cookie?
The peanut butter (and peanut butter chips) in the recipe add an irresistible saltiness, while the mashed bananas bring a lot of sweetness, along with a fabulous cakey texture.
Because of the bananas, these cookies will stay soft for days, which is a blessing—or curse—if you’re like me and hate crispy or hard cookies. Stupid delicious cookies, ruining my imaginary willpower.
And the very BEST thing about these cookies? They are the perfect vehicles for ice cream sandwiches!
Their soft texture means that they can be eaten straight from the freezer without chipping a tooth, and they’re so flavorful they pair perfectly with a plain vanilla ice cream filling. (But of course, you could use chocolate, peanut butter, or a variety of other ice cream flavors instead.)
I didn’t think to make ice cream sandwiches until we’d eaten more than half the batch of cookies, and truthfully, I’m sort of glad. I did enough damage on the plain cookies, who knows how many ice cream sandwiches I would have eaten? (Hint: it’s a large number that rhymes with “shmelve.”)
So in the end, I’m not as health-minded as I like to think I am, and the post-baby shape-up is slow going indeed. But at least I know I can make a mean cookie.
Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from How Sweet It Is
yield: 2 dozen cookies
4 oz unsalted butter
3 oz (about 1/3 cup) peanut butter
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (from about 1 1/2 bananas)
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine the butter and the peanut butter in a large microwave-safe bowl, and microwave in 30-second intervals until the butter is melted. Stir the two together and set the bowl aside to cool to room temperature.
In a small separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Add both sugars to the bowl of melted butter and peanut butter, and whisk them together until the sugars are wet and everything is combined. Add the egg yolk and the vanilla extract, and whisk again until they’re incorporated. Add the mashed banana and whisk once more, stirring until everything is combined.
Whisking all the while, slowly add the dry ingredients. Once all the drys are added, switch to a spatula and stir everything together, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the milk chocolate and peanut butter chips and stir until your dough is smooth and there are no dry spots of flour remaining.
Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to drop balls of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 11-12 minutes, until golden around the edges and puffed and just set in the center. Once completely cool, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
These are also an excellent base for ice cream sandwiches. If you want to do turn them into sandwiches, press a scoop of slightly softened ice cream on the bottom of a cookie, then press another cookie on top. Very gently squeeze them together, until the ice cream reaches the sides of the cookie. Roll the sides in sprinkles, nuts, or miniature chocolate chips. If you won’t be eating them immediately, wrap each sandwich individually in plastic wrap and store in the freezer.