Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cookies for Breakfast: Peanut Butter and Banana

As most kids know, the human condition is characterized by an overwhelming desire to eat cookies for breakfast. Let there be no more deprivation! Just make the right cookies, like from the recipe for Peanut Butter and Banana Breakfast Cookies that I got from an old clipping from Midwest Living magazine.

These cookies are soft and chewy, heading just a little toward a dense muffin in texture, but not quite cakey enough to call them a muffin, or even a muffookie or cookuffin. They’re definitely a cookie. They may be loaded with all kinds of high Whole Food Quotient good-for-you stuff like whole wheat flour, wheat germ, and oatmeal, but they have enough brown sugar, bananas and raisins to keep them from tasting like some kind of nuts-and-twigs health food breakfast. Their flavor is quite peanut-butter-and-banana forward, and if you like that combination, you probably won’t be disappointed. These cookies are not particularly sweet, however, at least not as sweet as you might expect your average cookies to be.

I was surprised by how much I loved these little breaches of proper breakfast food law. I don’t think I had ever eaten anything peanut-butter-and-banana flavored before (my husband eats the storied sandwiches, but I never found the need to follow him on that road), but I can really say it’s delicious here. I’ve also got oats on the brain right now (I’m hoping to have more on that in a future post), so their subtle flavor and chewy texture was quite satisfying.

Of course, any time I’m given a chance to make myself a batch of cookies for breakfast, I’m going to jump at it. And if they taste wonderful, that’s just icing on the cake. Mmmmm….cake for breakfast…that’s another story.

Peanut Butter and Banana Breakfast Cookies
Adapted from Midwest Living magazine, October 2007

These cookies really are best the day they’re made. You can freeze them as soon as they cool and thaw as needed, however, and they’re still very good.

½ cup smooth peanut butter
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 medium bananas)
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup wheat germ
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (I think you could use “quick oats,” too)
1 cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease cookie sheets or spray them with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer, combine peanut butter and butter. Beat with an electric mixer or using the paddle attachment of the stand mixer at medium speed until well-mixed and fluffy, about 30 seconds.

3. Add the brown sugar and beat until combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well-combined. Beat in the mashed banana.

4. In another bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, baking soda, and salt. Sift or stir with a whisk to combine well.

5. Gradually mix the flour mixture into the peanut butter mixture. Stir in the oats and raisins.

6. Scoop about ¼ cup dough for each cookie and drop on the prepared cookie sheets, about 4 inches apart. Bake at 350 F for 15 to 17 minutes or until the tops and edges are just browned. Cool 1 minute on the pan. Remove the cookies from the pan and cool on a wire rack. The cookies are best when enjoyed within several hours of baking, but they also freeze well.

Makes 20 cookies.

Other recipes like this one: Double Banana Walnut Pancakes, Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies with Black Walnuts, Apricot and Almond Cookies with White Chocolate

Two years ago: Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpeas and Olives

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