Chewy Banana Coconut Toffee Cookies (some imagination required)

(Hmmmmm.  I wrote this whole post and then discovered an epic flood blogging failure.  I took some fairly nice pictures of the cookies I made…and the memory card was not, in fact, in my camera.  And obviously I don’t have the cord to connect camera to computer.  So they are stuck.  Forever.  On my camera.  As a testament to the fact that the cookies looked and tasted delicious: I gave them all away today, so I can’t take any more pictures…)

Last weekend I went to Dallas to spend a couple of days at UT Southwestern learning some more about what it’s going to be like when I start medical school in August.  Here’s what I learned:

1. I will be studying.  A lot.  Waaaay a lot.
2. I will always feel like I should study more.  But I have to learn to not study more.
3. One day…for serious…I will actually, really, totally…be a real doctor.  That day is about 4.5 years away.  But I have not, as some people may have thought, just been pretending I’m going to grow up to be a doctor.

Also, more importantly, I learned that me taking a year off before starting = the bomb dot com.  Mostly, because there are some things I can do right now that may disappear come August 15th, such as…

1. Read Jane Austen books while taking a bubble bath…then read Martha Stewart Living (apparently some part of me is already at least 30 years old) in bed.
2. Come home from work and earn some major experience points playing Tiger Woods PGA 12.  Totes owned the Amateur Holiday Classic today.
3. Get a paycheck.  Actually, get two paychecks.  Once I start school, it will be another long 4 years before I have a positive income again…
4. Watch all of my TV shows when they’re actually on.  DVR or a hulu plus membership will be essential next year.

Also.  I’m sorry!  I’ve been away for awhile.  I’ve been pretty sickly and pathetic for the past week.  What started out as a sore throat has now morphed into a perfectly lovely ear infection.  On the upside I got two shots today…in what the nurse liked to call my “hip”…but, let’s be honest here, it was really my butt.

So.  To recap, all I really need now is pink eye and I’ll truly feel like a 6 year old again.

I swear when I made these cookies I did not get one iota of germs in them.  I SWEAR.

These cookies are banana-y.  They are buttery.  They are toasty and coconutty (?) with a hint of butterscotch, thanks to some Heath toffee bits.  They are, admittedly, very soft and slightly sticky.  Banana cookies always put you on a slippery slope to making what are essentially banana cakes disguised as cookies.  While these cookies have a very slight cake-like texture to them, the oats and the coconut keep them chewy and more on the cookie side of life.  The toffee bits melt into little pools of caramel-butterscotch joy, giving the cookies even more great texture.  And the various flavors here – cinnamon, toasted coconut, toffee – keep the cookies from tasting like banana bread.

(Because if I wanted banana bread, I would make banana bread.  Dur.)

I’m starting to get very sad that there aren’t any pictures.  They looked so bumpy and chewy and totally desirable!

Anyways.  I adapted these from the Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies in The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook by Elinor Klivans.  I will still be exploring other banana cookie options, but I’m extremely happy with these for now.  I love all the flavors together…you could probs even add in some milk chocolate chips and they would taste that much better.  If you have very ripe banay-nays, and you aren’t feeling any banana bread vibes, make these!  You’ll be happy too I think.

Chewy Ba-nay-nay Coconut Toffee Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup rolled oats
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 TBS unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes
3/4 to 1 cup toffee bits

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF with racks in the upper-middle and lower-middle positions.  On a foil-lined baking sheet, toast the oats (on the top oven rack) until light golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Set aside to let cool.  Then spread the coconut on a foil-lined baking sheet and toast until light golden, about 4 minutes.  Set aside to let cool.
2. In a small both, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined.  Beat in the mashed banana.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients.
4. Add the cooled oats and fold in with a rubber spatula.  Fold in the toasted coconut and the toffee bits until completely combined.
5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Drop dough by heaping tablespoon-fuls onto prepared baking sheets.  Bake for about 16-19 minutes, rotating sheets front to back and switching top to bottom halfway through.  Cookies should be golden and mostly set in the centers when done.  Let cookies cool on sheets for about 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.  Avoid stacking the cookies until they’re completely done…they’re a little sticky thanks to that coconut.  Cookies will keep in an airtight container for about 4 days.

Recipe adapted from The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook by Elinor Klivans

Yummy!  I’m wishing we hadn’t given them all away.  Oh well.  That just means I need to bake something else obvs.  Do you have any banana cookie recipes you like that are decidedly in the cookie camp?  Thanks for reading, happy baking!

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