Pipe Dream #295: To Produce Something From Nothing – Espresso Bean Peanut Butter Banana Cookies


I recently articulated a problem that I have. A baking problem. Not too interesting to the public, maybe, but ah well. I mean, I could articulate all of my more scandalous  personal problems for you, but this is a baking blog, so you’ll have to elicit an answer to that question through another form of contact if you are interested.

P.S. Blogging is so one-sided. Well, this blog anyway. Other bloggers actually, like, try to inspire comments. Sorry guys, I don’t have a KitchenAid/bourbon/Fiji trip comments contest giveaway anytime soon. :] Anyway, I’ll just keep on about problems that you may or may not want to know about.


Here it is: I’ve gotten good at baking. Too good, I personally might say. I’m not saying this in like an ultra-proud-am-a-fancy-pastry-chef-amazing-zen-master kind of way either, but I have to be honest: I can make a cookie out of nothing. Like, I can literally have two items in my pantry and magically produce cookies. Cookies that are actually good. Like not these banana breakfast cookie things that everyone says you can eat for breakfast and pretend like you’re eating dessert, but honest to goodness chewy crispy underbaked overstuffed discs of wonderful.

And before you ask me why in heaven’s name this is a problem (doesn’t this solve every last minute party dessert/houseguest/midnight snack craving/budget problem in the world, Lauren?), I will tell you. I will interrupt your question with an answer. I am disregarding my “listening skills” goal right now. I just need to get this out.

Sometimes the kitchen calling should be ignored. Sometimes I don’t need to make cookies. Sometimes my time would be better spent chatting with a friend, washing my sheets or memorizing the lyrics to all the classic rock songs I missed as a kid so I can understand cultural references. Being able to make a cookie out of nothing means that I can indulge a bored baking habit whenever I want and miss these other things.


These banana cookies were totally bored baking. I had some overripe bananas and the end of a block of cream cheese to use up, and I was sick of staring at the chocolate-covered espresso beans in my cupboard for over a year, so I turned them into a cookie. I was, of course, fairly pleased with the result. Very cakey and thick and satisfyingly cookie-ish with a glass of milk. Plus the peanut butter cream cheese frosting. Ahem.

On the flipside, never mind the marshmallow-topped chocolate goodies on the side. Those were made of a combination of clear-out-this-pantry pudding mix and cocoa powder, and they rank among the worst cookies I’ve ever produced.

Still having pipe dreams,


Cakey Peanut Butter Banana Cookies

Adapted from How Sweet Eats

2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted and cooled

6 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter, melted and cooled

1 cup loosely packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg yolk, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 ripe medium bananas, mashed

1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips/white chocolate chips/chocolate covered coffee beans
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
Mix the flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together cooled peanut butter and butter with both sugars until combined. Whisk in egg yolk and vanilla extract until smooth. Add in the mashed banana and mix until combined. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, mixing with a large spoon until a dough forms, then stir in the chocolate chips.
Shape the dough into the size of a golfball (approximately) and place on a nonstick baking sheet about 2 inches apart from each other. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are golden and the middles are puffy and underbaked. Let cool.
I also frosted a few of these with a scaled down version of this cream cheese peanut butter frosting. DO THIS.

3 Responses to “Pipe Dream #295: To Produce Something From Nothing – Espresso Bean Peanut Butter Banana Cookies”

  1. 1 aslansfriend October 13, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Funny. Rich with thought. ‘Genau und klar’ expression.

  2. 2 Emily Rinde October 16, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Thoughts on subbing almond butter for the peanut butter? I don’t like peanut butter… I know, I’m a martian.

  3. 3 Lauren October 16, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Hmm, I think one of the reasons these work is because it isn’t the “natural” peanut butter–less separation of oil. Totally worth a shot though–let me know how it goes if you try it!

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