Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cookies with Bananas
When writing my post, Summer Backyard BBQ Menu Ideas, it came to my attention I only have one cookie recipe on my blog. One recipe is not enough, especially when it comes to having easy desserts for summer picnics and backyard barbecues. Cookies are the perfect dessert for bringing on a hike, at the beach, camping, or as a hostess gift for a weekend at the beach. Kitchen Sink Oatmeal Cookies is a family favorite, but I wanted to make cookies that are a little different and have a broad appeal. Chocolate is my all-time favorite dessert, but in the heat of the summer more chocolate melts in my hand then in my mouth. Yet, peanut butter and peanut butter cookies hold up to the summer sun and provide some protein to fuel us through the long and lazy summer days.
Peanut Butter Cookies Inspiration
I got my idea to make peanut butter cookies after I read Stella Parks Peanut Butter Cookie recipe in her cookbook, BraveTart. For her peanut butter cookies, she blitzes honey roasted peanuts with the flour to make a soft but textured peanut flour then mixes it into her cookie dough. When I first read this, I was so impressed with Stella Parks ingenuity. It is a brilliant idea and a great way to add extra peanut flavor into cookies without making them dense. Therein lies the cookie challenge, how to add a lot of flavor without turning light and fluffy cookies into door stops. Essentially, turning peanuts into flour adds extra flavor and yet maintains the tender structure.
For some reason, her quick and easy technique of processing honey roasted peanuts with the flour reminded me of my go to sandwich when I was a dancer, peanut butter, honey, and bananas on whole wheat bread. It was the perfect sandwich for the times I needed light, healthy and energizing food to get me through a day of work, dance rehearsal and the final performance on those long 14 hour days on my feet. It may seem like an odd connection but this cookie recipe brought back memories of eating peanut butter honey and banana sandwiches in a dressing room of a proscenium theater.
It made me wonder if I could make a cookie reminiscent of the comforting blend of sweet honey, peanuts and banana that I love. To me, it is all about the combined flavor of roasted peanuts and honey and how peanuts make honey taste sweeter, and how honey makes peanut butter nuttier. A perfect marriage of flavors in any form be it a cookie or a sandwich.
Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cookies
By no means is this cookie a substitute for the high protein sandwich. It is a dessert cookie interpretation of simple peanut butter sandwich. I love the combination of peanut butter and honey in any form. I used Stella Parks peanut butter cookie recipe as my foundation, but I made several changes to get more honey flavor in the recipe. Instead of granulated sugar as the sweetener, I combined honey and brown sugar. If I only added honey to the cookies, they could get heavy and dry from the extra flour required to absorb the extra liquid. Also, I decided to use brown sugar to cream with the butter and create a tender cookie.
Other significant changes include using a blend of oat flour and all-purpose flour. The oat flour has a slight nutty-butterscotch flavor I believe highlight the honey and the peanuts. If you wish, you can use only all-purpose flour in the recipe, or only oat flour for a gluten free alternative. The cookies will be more tender without the gluten and only keep the fresh texture for a day or two.
For the banana flavor I kept it simple and used banana chips instead of fresh banana. I was concerned fresh banana mash would make the cookies too dense and moist. Banana chips are a great option, they contribute subtle banana flavor without weighing the cookie down. Even though they are very crunchy, banana chips soften in the cookie dough, and so does the banana flavor. Yet, the banana chips sprinkled on the top of the cookies stay crunchy adding a nice crispy contrast to the soft cookie and banana flavor.
If you are a fan of peanut butter, you will love these cookies.
Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cookies with Bananas
Classic peanut butter cookies with a twist. These are moist cookies with great honey roasted peanut flavor. Stella Parks, in her book Brave Tart , shares a genius idea of blitzing honey roasted peanuts with flour in a food processor for extra peanut and honey flavor. Her idea inspired me to make a cookie that replicates the honey roasted flavor of peanuts in one of my favorite sandwiches, Peanut Butter, Honey and Banana.
Keeping the flavor of this sandwich in mind, I adapted her recipe by incorporating brown sugar, honey, and a mixture of oat flour and all-purpose flour. There is a subtle banana flavor from the banana chips keeping the cookies light and tender.
If you prefer, use 100% all-purpose flour in the cookie dough. I use oat flour because I like the flavor it adds to the peanuts and honey.
Store the cookies in an air tight container for a couple of days.
- ½ cup 2.5 oz /74 g all-purpose flour
- ½ cup 2.5 oz / 74 g oat flour
- 1 ¼ cup 6 oz / 173 g honey roasted salted peanuts plus more for garnish
- 1 8 TB/ 115 g stick unsalted butter, soft but still cool
- ½ cup 3.5 oz / 92 g light brown sugar
- 1 ¼ cup 10 oz / 284 g creamy peanut butter (natural with no sugar or other additives)
- ¾ tsp Kosher salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg well beaten
- Heaping ½ cup 2 oz / 57 g dried banana chips, rough chopped more for garnish
Pre-heat oven to 325°F / 160°C / Gas Mark 3. Place the oven rack in the middle and upper thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Place the all-purpose flour and honey roasted peanuts in a bowl of a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely ground, about one minute. If your food processor bowl has an 8 cup (2 liter) capacity, you can add both the all-purpose flour and oat flour at one time. If your bowl is small, about 3 cups (750 ml) then it is best to divide the flour in half and process the peanuts and flour in a couple of batches. Once the flours and peanuts are finely ground, set aside.
Add the butter and brown sugar into a bowl of a stand mixer, or large mixing bowl if you are using a hand-held mixer. Cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed, until light and airy, about 3 minutes. Every minute or so, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Add the honey, peanut butter, salt, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract and beat until mixed together on medium speed, about 1 minute. Half way through, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl then continue beating the batter. Slowly add half of the beaten egg to the mix and beat until completely mixed in. Add the remaining egg and thoroughly mix until well incorporated.
Turn the speed down to low and add the peanut flour into the bowl. While the flour and batter are mixing turn up the speed to medium and mix until just incorporated. Make sure to not over-mix the batter.
Remove the bowl from the stand and stir in the banana chips until just incorporated. The batter will look soft and feel slightly sticky.
Divide the cookie dough into one ounce portions, one heaping tablespoon, and arrange on the prepared baking sheets spaced 2 inches (5 cm) apart. (I fit six cookies on my baking sheets, but you could squeeze in 8 if you are not worried about the cookie edges touching).
Sprinkle honey roasted peanuts and broken banana chip pieces over the top of each cookie and place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Half way through baking, rotate the baking pans front to back, and top to bottom for even browning and baking.
Remove the cookies from the oven when they are just starting to brown around the edges, be careful not to over bake. Rest the cookies for 10 minutes on the baking pans, then remove each cookie to a cooling rack with a spatula.
Makes 30 cookies.
Switch it up:
Add dark or white chocolate (or both) chunks to the batter.
Try some raisins with the banana chips.
Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the top of each cookie before baking.
Substitute Reese’s Pieces or peanut butter cups for the banana chips.
Gluten Free: substitute the all-purpose flour with oat flour.
© 2018, Ginger Smith- Lemon Thyme and Ginger. All rights reserved.