Banana Nugget Cookies

February 6th, 2009 § 9 comments

The sight of bananas blackening on the counter can only mean one thing: Time to make banana nugget cookies.

It’s a family favorite, the only cookie my mother made on a regular basis. Every time the bananas started to ripen on the table, my brother and I would cross our fingers that they would go uneaten, turn black, and be turned into these moist, chocolate-studded treats. Mom had to hide them, to keep us from eating too many.

She made them for us as adults, too, shipping them from Ohio to Colorado, Boston, New York, California, wherever we were living. They almost always arrived intact, and I almost always consumed my allotment within a day. My nephew loves them too, and on some visits she would pack a little kit for her suitcase, the dry ingredients measured out, and they would make them together. She liked to eat them, but not as much as she liked making them for us.

This is a soft, cake-like cookie, with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg. The dough is packed with rolled oats, a fact which I repeat to myself when I end up eating banana nuggets for breakfast, which has happened on more than one occasion. It’s just like eating oatmeal, right? Right.

Keep a close eye on these as they bake. If they get too brown they will be dry, and lose the tenderness moistness that makes them so very good.

One more note: These come out best if the dough is thoroughly chilled before baking. Plan accordingly.


Banana Nugget Cookies

3/4 c (6 oz) unsalted butter, slightly softened

1 c sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 1/2 c all purpose flour

1/2 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

1/4 t ground or freshly grated nutmeg

3/4 t cinnamon

1 c thoroughly mashed ripe banana (from 1-3 bananas, depending on their size)

6 oz good quality chocolate chips, semisweet or bittersweet.

1 3/4 c rolled oats

1. With either a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a handheld electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until the mixture is pale, light, and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

2. Add the egg to the butter and sugar and continue to mix until thoroughly incorporated, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

3. Mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add about a third of this dry mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed for a few seconds. Stop to scrape down the sides and then mix on low until just combined.

4. Add half of the mashed banana to the dough and mix on low speed until just combined, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.

5. Add another third of the dry mix in the same fashion, then the rest of the banana, and finally the last of the dry. Make sure everything is fully incorporated, but do not overmix!

6. Gently fold the oats and chocolate chips into the dough, just until evenly distributed. Refrigerate the dough until thoroughly chilled.

7. Preheat the oven to 325°. Using two teaspoons, drop the dough into 1 or 1 1/2″ mounds onto an ungreased cookie sheet (you can line it with parchment if you want but it’s not necessary). The cookies should be about 2″ apart. Do not flatten the mounds.

9. Bake the cookies for 11-13 minutes, just until the tops are set and starting to color.  Do not let them get very brown.  Let the cookies cool slightly so that they don’t fall apart when you try to pick them up,  and then use a spatula to transfer them to a rack to cool.  If you only have one cookie sheet, let it cool completely before baking another batch.

10. Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container for 4-5 days.

yields about 5 dozen

Tagged , , ,

§ 9 Responses to Banana Nugget Cookies"

  • Chris Bell says:


  • Bonnie Gleason says:

    Thinking of you with love and the many banana nuggets I’ve enjoyed over the years. I miss her too. I’m going to go buy some bananas right now and let them turn brown! Thank you for sharing the recipe, Babs. I’m going to share them with my family, too.

  • Janine says:

    Happily, Quinn -who detests bananas, actually likes these. I treasure my copy of the recipe, along with all the happy holiday memories when Judy visited Colorado or sent these for an annual Bell-Butterfield Christmas Eve Par-tay. A holiday classic, beautifully expressed here. I will make them every year in her honor.

  • Megan says:

    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful memory about your mother. Recipes are all the richer when they are attached to a story. Now, in my recipe book, there will always be a loving memory from your family to mine. Thank you, Megan

  • Maureen says:

    The banana nugget cookies are fantastic! I’m going to the store tomorrow to buy everything I need to make them (would that grocery stores sold over-ripe bananas…). I honestly remember the first time I tasted these cookies in high school. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

  • Cait says:

    I made banana-buttermilk muffins with my browning bananas this morning, but I’ll just have to go out and buy another bunch. I remember the first time I got my very own package full, my first year at college. They were the perfect cure for home-sickness, and I didn’t even have to fight my brother and Dad to get at them. Thanks very much for posting the recipe, Barb.

  • Kate says:

    Thank you for posting the recipe, as I have misplaced my original. This brings me back….nothing better than a batch of your mom’s cookies sitting around our dorm room. And I too LOVE to eat them for breakfast.

  • Kristi says:

    This too was a family recipe of my family. It is only different in one way, we use shortening instead of butter. I have never found the recipe in a cookbook, was wondering if you have?

  • Barbra says:

    Hi Kristi – Our family’s recipe also uses shortening, which I actually talked about when I posted the recipe again here.

    I’ve never seen it in a cookbook, but I’ve seen similar recipes around the internet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

What's this?

You are currently reading Banana Nugget Cookies at Barbra Austin.