I found this recipe for Banana-Nut Whole Wheat Cookies with Maple Icing a while back but I never seemed to have brown bananas around when I had time to bake. Well, low and behold, the fruit basket offered up some over-ripe bananas the other day. It just so happened that it was nap time and my schedule was free, so out came the mixing bowl and I was ready to go. I opted to make these cookies, versus banana bread or Banana Pecan Cake with Warm Chocolate Sauce – traditional brown banana outlets in my family, because this recipe intrigued me in several ways. First, the banana is mixed with the butter, chilled and then cut into the flour – like a crumb topping or pie crust. Second, it uses 100% Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Flour in the dough – no white flour at all. And third, it calls for a maple icing on top – not a flavor I had combined with bananas before. I love it when a recipe gets me thinking and gives me new ideas to try.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup banana, ripe, mashed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cup Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 2/3 cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped, plus a few extra for sprinkling
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp maple flavoring
- 1-2 Tbsp milk
In a large bowl, beat together the butter, banana and vanilla extract until smooth. Cover and chill for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator or about 20 minutes in the freezer until firm.
Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl. Add the chilled butter mixture and mix together with a pastry cutter, two forks or your fingers until the mixture becomes fine crumbs and begins to stick together. Stir in the chopped walnuts. Pour the crumbs out onto a floured work surface and separate into two piles. Form each pile of crumbs into a ball by gently pushing and squeezing the crumbs together. Roll one ball of dough into a 10×6 inch rectangle and then cut it up into 2 x 1 ½ inch rectangle shapes. Place the rectangles on a parchment paper lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart and chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Repeat with the second ball of dough.
Bake the cookies in a 300˚ F oven for 25-30 minutes or until the bottoms just begin to turn brown. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool. Whisk together the powdered sugar, maple flavoring and the milk in a small bowl until it’s of pouring consistency (you can use real maple syrup with powdered sugar if maple flavoring isn’t available). Drizzle the maple icing over the cooled banana-nut cookies to your liking. Sprinkle the remaining chopped nuts over the icing while it is still wet.
Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
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