Banana Cookies with Brown Butter
Sweet with a smidge of chocolate and a touch of salt, Banana Cookies with Brown Butter are so, so good! Plus, the recipe uses up those bananas on your kitchen counter that are quickly going brown in the summer heat.
I spy with my little eye some mottled brown fruits languishing on your countertop. I’ve got them, too. Once a greenish hue, these bananas have progressed to bright and sunny yellow to dark and broody brown.
No one wants to eat them once they get past a certain point of ripeness, at least not in my house. Why do bananas go brown? It turns out they, like certain dogs in your family, are gassy.
Bananas are picked while they are unripe and green so they can be transported to grocery stores, gas stations, and Walmart Supercenters before they get too ripe. The timing needs to be right or they start to release the ethylene gas that causes them to turn yellow. We’ve all seen it when the timing is off and a shipment of too-ripe bananas hits the store.
And when the weather is warm, more ethylene is produced and released so bananas ripen quicker.
How to Keep Bananas Fresh
So, if you’ve managed to get a nice bunch of greenish-yellow bananas what’s the best way to store them?
- Allow them to ripen on a countertop to your desired level of yellow or freckly brown. Keep them away from heat and direct sunlight as these things speed up the ripening and eventual decay of these fruits.
- Once the bananas are at your favorite hue, eat them. Or place them in the fridge to slow down the ripening. The skin will continue to brown but the inside won’t do so as quickly.
- Some folks believe if you un-bunch the bananas, separating them from the main stem, they won’t go bad as quickly. I don’t know if this really slows down anything, but it does make it easier to grab one on your way out the door.
Now, if you haven’t been monitoring your yellow fruit as closely as you meant to and they’ve all become blotchy with brown spots, you do have some choices.
- Freeze them. Peel them, then either leave them whole or chop them into shorter sections. Place in a Ziploc bag and freeze. The frozen pieces can be thrown in smoothies, dipped in chocolate, blitzed into a version of ice cream, or eaten as is.
- Make banana bread. I think everyone found a favorite recipe for this during the pandemic lockdown, didn’t they?
- Mash them. Then, add them to your oatmeal, yogurt, or pancake batter.
- Coat with tretinoin. Just kidding, this is completely untrue. But it works on the skin of your face that is blotchy with brown spots. Talk to your dermatologist.
I found my new favorite thing to do with very ripe bananas: make cookies. These cookies are so good because of the brown butter.
I know you are thinking there is a lot of brown going on in this recipe. Brown bananas, brown chocolate, and now brown butter.
What is brown butter?
It is called beurre noisette in France and is used as a multi-purpose one-ingredient sauce. Butter is cooked over low heat until the fat and milk solids separate. Once the milk solids sink to the bottom of the saucepan, it becomes a kind of sludge that continues to cook turning from toasty brown to deep amber.
The finished product is the color of hazelnuts, or noisette in French. The taste? It is nutty, caramel-y, and rich. The beautiful thing about brown butter, or beurre noisette, is it can be used in both savory and sweet dishes.
Brown butter adds a more complex flavor to dishes than butter that has merely been melted. The deep, rich taste is worth the extra step of browning. It makes these cookies phenomenal.
- No chill time is required for this cookie dough, which makes me love it even more. The dough is ready to scoop and bake immediately after mixing. Here is another cookie with minimal chill time.
- Don’t have bar chocolate? Sometimes I don’t either. Sub in ⅔ cup dark chocolate chips. Blitz them in the blender for a couple of pulses to get them into smaller pieces. Or not.
- You decide how large or small you want these treats. The original recipe calls for dividing the dough equally into 9 pieces, making for some ginormous cookies the size of a cat’s head. If you go big, don’t forget to add a few minutes to the baking time.
Many thanks to Justine Snacks for the salted banana cookie recipe.Print
- 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter or vegan butter, divided use
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 medium ripe banana
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 bar (113 grams) 70% chocolate, chopped thinly into shards
- Flaky salt like Maldon for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375F/190C. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
- Place ½ cup (1 stick) of the butter in a small saucepan and slowly melt over medium-low heat. It will take several minutes, but keep an eye on it and stir occasionally with a rubber spatula. Once the butter turns a golden brown and you see the milk solids drop to the bottom of the pan, remove it from the heat. Continue to stir and it will turn amber in color. Pour the brown butter, including the sludge at the bottom, into a bowl and leave it to cool.
- Beat the other ½ cup of butter with a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment for a minute or two. Tip in the cooled brown butter (and sludge), white sugar, and brown sugar. Beat on medium-low until airy and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Smush the banana with a fork until it is a smooth paste. Scrape the banana into the mixer and add the vanilla extract. Mix everything together until well combined, about 2 minutes.
- Swish together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl until combined.
- Stop the mixer and add half of the flour mixture to the mixing bowl. Mix for a minute or two until it is incorporated. Add the remainder of the flour mixture and mix again until thoroughly combined. The dough will be light and cottony.
- Dump in the chocolate and stir to distribute the pieces. Isn’t it such a pretty dough?
- Use a medium cookie scoop (1 ½ tablespoon of dough) to scoop and level the dough before placing it on the prepared baking sheets. The medium scoop yields 35 cookies that are 3 inches in size. This dough spreads upon baking, so leave room for the creep. Around 7 or 8 medium cookie dough scoops fit per baking sheet.
- Bake for 11-ish minutes or until starting to brown around the edges. The middle will look slightly underdone but it's okay. Remove the pan from the oven and thwack the bottom of it on the counter once or twice. The cookies will flatten and spread. Garnish with a pinch of flaky salt.
- Move the parchment and cookies to a wire rack to cool for 10-ish minutes. Yes, it’s hard to wait.
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