As a newbie in the kitchen, I have a hard time whipping up anything from scratch. If I can start with an established recipe, though, it's easy and fun to improvise something new and tasty! I'm a devout user of Food Blog Search, Twitter, and other online foodie-friendly resources. They're a great starting point: a giant interactive test kitchen, cookbook, and safety net all right inside my laptop.
So recently, when I had some aging bananas to use up, I wanted to try something new. After poking around the blogosphere a bit, I found these banana cookies by Elise at Simply Recipes. They sounded great, and I thought they might even be a little better with some toffee bits and white chocolate chips thrown in.
I had never seen this flavor combination before, so I was definitely skeptical as I mixed everything together.
But when I took them out of the oven and tasted one, I was pleasantly surprised. The baking soda reacts with the bananas to make these incredibly light, fluffy, and soft, and the toffee and white chocolate added just the right amount of variety and texture. I thought the banana/white chocolate/toffee combo might be over the top, and it IS pretty sweet—but in a good way. Any kind of nut, dried fruit, or chocolate would work well in these also.
To complete my experiment, I brought a batch to work the next morning and they were gone in minutes. Success!
My advice to my fellow new cooks out there: if you're learning your way around the kitchen, start with recipes from people you trust and adapt them. The more I've done that, the more I find myself wanting to be the one making up the recipes. A girl can dream, right?
Banana White Chocolate Toffee Cookies
Adapted from Simply Recipes
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 c. mashed bananas (about 2 large bananas)
1 tsp. baking soda
2 c. flour
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. Heath toffee bits
1/2 c. white chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and continue to beat until light and fluffy.
2. In a bowl, mix the mashed bananas and baking soda. Let sit for 2 minutes. The baking soda will react with the acid in the bananas, which will give the cookies their lift and rise.
3. Mix the banana mixture into the butter mixture. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and cinnamon. Gradually add to the banana mixture, mixing until just combined.
4. Gently stir the toffee bits and white chocolate chips into the batter. Drop in dollops onto a parchment paper or foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Thank you for sharing, Amy! What a great improvisation on a good recipe.
Related: Recipe: Caramel Banana Cake
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(Image: Amy of Playing House)