Thinking of what to make one day, and happening to have just one very ripe banana to experiment with, I proceeded to test how much butter and sugar I could cut from one recipe of chocolate chip cookies. I thought the result was just amazing. So here is one variation of this all-time favorite chocolate chip cookie. It will likely be followed by a couple more variations in the future. After all, the pursuit of happiness comes in many forms, this time in the shape of a cookie.
The texture is soft and just as delicious as these earlier soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies. I cut the butter in half and reduced the sugar by 40%, yet there was no compromise in taste. In fact, the banana gave depth to the flavor, not overpowering but just an added dimension to the taste you couldn’t exactly put a finger on if you weren’t aware it was there. The key is to use a very, very ripe banana, not only for the enhanced flavor, but so the natural sugars in it replace a huge portion of the added sugar in the recipe.
This banana chocolate chip cookie recipe is the easiest thing to make and takes all of 15 minutes of prep time and another 15 minutes to bake. I made it two ways, first with the scoop and drop method, where I scooped the cookie dough and dropped it on a cookie sheet. The second was the freeze and slice method, where I formed the cookie dough into logs and froze them to slice and bake at a later time. Either way, the cookies always turned out soft and delicious.
I used a 1.5-inch cookie scoop for the scoop and drop method and yielded 3 dozen 2-inch chocolate chip cookies.
The cookies came out mounded, looking like scoops of ice cream.
The freeze and slice method yielded more—4 dozen 2-inch cookies. Each cookie was relatively level with defined edges. This method is very convenient as the cookie dough can be prepared way ahead of time.
It didn’t matter whether the cookies were scooped or frozen and sliced, they were all soft and delicious. The only slight difference was in appearance where the scooped cookies were mounded and the frozen and sliced cookies were level.
The anatomy of a chocolate chip cookie.
You could even do both methods with one recipe by scooping and baking a dozen cookies right away then freezing the rest of the cookie dough in logs for later.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (255 grams)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda (3 grams)
- 1 teaspoon salt (7 grams)
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (114 grams)
- ½ cup white granulated sugar (105 grams)
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed (55 grams)
- ½ cup mashed very ripe banana (125 grams / 1 large banana)
- 1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (4 grams)
- 1 ½ cups diced walnuts (180 grams)
- 1 ¾ cups chocolate chips (289 grams)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Lightly whisk to combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- If mixing by hand: microwave the butter in a medium glass bowl until completely melted.
- If mixing with a stand mixer: on medium speed with a flat beater, beat the butter until smooth.
- Add the granulated sugar and then dark brown sugar. Mix until well combined
- Add mashed banana, mix until well incorporated.
- Add whole egg and egg yolk one at a time and continue to mix until well blended.
- Add the combined dry ingredients all at once. Mix until well incorporated, and then add and mix vanilla extract.
- Stir in diced walnuts mixing well, and then add chocolate chips. Beat until evenly distributed all throughout the cookie dough.
- Scoop Method: if using the scoop method, use a 1 ½-inch cookie scoop to drop the cookie dough onto the cookie sheets. Leave enough space between the cookies for the cookies to expand.
- Freeze and Slice Method: If using the freeze and slice method, make 4 logs, each about 8 inches long, 1 ½ inches in diameter, by patting the dough in a sheet of plastic wrap to form each log. Tightly wrap each log separately, store in a covered container and freeze. When ready to bake, slice the cookie logs to about ½-inch thickness for each cookie.
- Bake cookies one sheet at a time for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in cookie sheet for about 5 minutes. Transfer cookies with a spatula onto a cooking rack to cool completely. Wait for cookie sheet to cool completely before baking next batch of cookie dough.
The freeze and slice method will yield about 4 dozen 2-inch cookies.
Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies