Healthy oatmeal banana cookies with chocolate chips
Every now and then, I have little flashes of what our lives might be like if we had kids. I'd be the disciplinary "bad cop," no one's socks would ever match, and I would be obsessive about packing my kids healthy lunches. These Chewy Oatmeal Banana Cookies with Chocolate Chips would be a regular at our house. The kids would complain that their friends got Famous Amos in their lunches, and I would warn them that if they didn't enjoy their yummy Oatmeal Banana Cookies and be happy about them, they'd find raisins instead of chocolate chips in their cookies next time.
Not that I have any problem with raisins (I'd make my kids eat those too), I just happen to be more of an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie versus oatmeal raisin cookie kind of girl.
Of course these visions are unrealistically rosy. For example, I am well rested in all of them and the dishes have mysteriously disappeared, neither of which is even true now. Maybe we'll switch to paper plates.
This nugget is enough for us for the time being, but I plan on baking these Oatmeal Banana Cookies with Chocolate Chips anyway. They are super soft and chewy, give purpose to any spotty bananas lurking on your counter, and are so easy to pull together, you can pull them off on even the most harried of days.
These healthy Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Cookies are sweet enough for dessert but wholesome enough to qualify as an acceptable afternoon snack. Thanks to the natural moisture and sweetness the mashed bananas provide, I was able to significantly reduce the amount of sugar and fat and still have super chewy, extra tasty cookies.
Yes, I love that these Oatmeal Banana Cookies with Chocolate Chips are easy and healthy and that kids will love them in their lunches just as much as grown ups will love them for late-night snacking. What might steal my heart most about them, however, is their homey and decidedly unfussy combination of ingredients. If it's old fashioned to love bananas, oatmeal, and chocolate together, then so be it. I was never going to be a cool mom anyway!
Tools I used to make this recipe:
Parchment paper (I love these pre-cut sheets)
Oatmeal Banana Cookies with Chocolate Chips
1 cup quick oats (I recommend quick oats over rolled oats, as the rolled oats will have a much firmer texture that is harder to chew)
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or substitute white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (I recommend aluminum free)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large very ripe banana (enough to yield 1/2 cup mashed)
2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, at room temperature (not melted) or unsalted butter
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1.) Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the oats, whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt until combined. Set aside.
2.) In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mash the banana (I use the mixer to do this), checking to make sure you have 1/2 cup. Add the coconut oil (or butter), egg, brown sugar, and vanilla extract and beat on medium high until very well combined, at least 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed. The batter will be a little bit chunky and wet.
3.) Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix on low speed, just until the flour disappears, about 1 minute. Mix in the chocolate chips. The batter will be sticky and thick.
4.) With a large cookie scoop or a measuring cup, portion the dough in 1/4-cup amounts and drop onto the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the dough to firm up (the cookies will spread and not set properly if baked immediately), or cover the cookie sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
5.) When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the cookie sheet in the oven directly from the refrigerator and bake 10 to 12 minutes, until the cookies are barely set on the edges and top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The cookies will look underbaked, but the amount of time you need may vary depending upon the moisture content of the banana. Don't be afraid to leave them in an extra minute or two if they still appear to be raw. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
Baked cookies can be frozen for up to 2 months. Scooped, shaped, and unbaked cookies can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking.
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