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Banana bites

Finding new and interesting ways to use overripe bananas seems to be a constant challenge, especially lately.  I buy them with the best of intentions to make sure that I eat at least one piece of fruit each day.  The only problem being that I am quite fickle when it comes to bananas, I don’t like them too green or too ripe, they have to be just right.  Invariably this often means that I have to freeze them or find something to bake that includes bananas.  I have already written about the more traditional recipes to use such an ingredient, yoghurt banana cakes with honey icing, [1]  banana bread, [2]  choc chip banana bread (yum), [3]  banana bran muffins, [4]  and brown butter banana tart [5].  So this time I wanted to find something completely different.

I looked up several websites and found many different recipes for banana cakes, pancakes, shakes, ice-cream and muffins all of which were too “normal” for what I wanted.  Then I stumbled across something titled “Banana cookies” which I had never made before.  After reading the recipe and finding I had all the ingredients that I needed, I got stuck into baking them.

I tweaked the original recipe ever so slightly but am not quite sure what I did wrong as my mixture did not spread anywhere near as much as stated and didn’t really have the consistency of biscuits.  In fact, they reminded me of muffin tops and in my book they are always a good thing!  So I have called these little creations Banana Bites because that is exactly what they are.  If you have over-ripe bananas to use up, you should give these a try.

banana bites (recipe adapted from foodblogga [6])
makes approximately 35

Ingredients
125g (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
480g (1lb) banana with skin on to yield 350g (¾lb) mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 large)
2 ½ cups plain (all-purpose) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (soda)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
50g (½ cup) rolled oats
60g (½ cup) lightly toasted pecans, finely chopped
80g (½ cup) dark raisins

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).  Line two baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.  In a separate small bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.  Add one third of this mixture to the butter mixture and mix to just combine then one half of the mashed banana and beat again.  Repeat this process making sure that you finish with one third of the flour mixture.  Gently stir in the oats, pecans, and raisins to distribute throughout the dough.

Drop 1 tablespoon of cookie dough on the lined baking sheets.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until firm and golden brown.  Transfer to a rack and cool for 15 minutes.

My tips/alterations:  *The only alterations I made to the original recipe were to the quantity of bananas and flour and I changed a few of the spices.  *These didn’t spread much at all but puffed up a little to form more of a cake like shape. 

 

ease: 9/10.  This is basically a simple cake/biscuit recipe. 
prep time: 20mins.  
cooking time: 20mins.
total: 40mins + cooling.        

taste: 7.5 8/10.  Initially I thought these were OK but after my fourth one I decided that I really liked them.  THESE WERE NOT THAT SWEET so you could really taste the banana flavour.  They really reminded me of muffin tops, which gave them an extra half a point. 🙂

If you would like them sweeter, add some extra sugar or a little maple syrup into the mixture or top them as suggested below.

would I make it again:  Yes  and maybe sprinkle them with just a little demarara sugar for a bit of crunch and a touch of extra sweetness.  I’d also substitute the raisins with some pecan nuts for something a little different.