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Have you ever eaten banana nut bread that was dense or oily? Yeah, me too. It’s not so awesome. These drop cookies are a revamp of banana nut bread idea made into drop cookie form without all the butter and, for that matter, without the ubiquitous yellow banana. I made these cookies with a ripe plantain so they have a naturally sweet taste without the overwhelming banana flavor. They’re easy to make, taste great, and are the perfect way to use up that plantain you forgot about until it turned black!
It’s not fair to say my plantain-loving fiance went “Mmmmmmm” when he ate one of these because that makes it seem like a flat sound. It was actually more of a changing intonation expression of enjoyment than a simple, prolonged “mmm!” The texture is like a cake-y gingerbread, and the flavor is lightly sweet. We’ve been practicing decorating sugar cookies with royal icing, so these were a nice change of pace! That being said, do wait for a plantain to be totally ripe and sweet before using it in this recipe. It should be brown and black, or even all black. To mash it, simply cut off both ends, make a lengthwise slit in the peel and then remove it, cut the plantain into a medium bowl, and then mash it with a fork or potato masher. If you have trouble getting the slit peel off, it probably isn’t ripe enough for these cookies!
The recipe makes about two dozen cookies, but the exact quantity will depend on how big you make them. I know larger cookies always seem more appealing, but keeping it to about one tablespoon of batter per cookie helps ensure they’ll cook all the way through without burning on the outside first. I prefer to use one cookie sheet twice in order to bake all the cookies. You can bake them on two sheets at the same time, just remember to move the sheets half way through baking so the top sheet becomes the bottom one and vice versa. As a final note, a wrote this recipe for a stand mixer, but you could probably make it with a hand mixer and some arm work. I’ve made a lot of cookies entirely by hand in my life, and I’m thankful for my new stand mixer!
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup raw cane sugar (use light brown sugar if you don't have raw cane sugar!)
- 3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 mashed, ripe plantain (about ½ a cup)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1¼ cups flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ - ⅓ cup chopped pecans
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a heavy duty baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Beat the sugars and oil together with your standing mixer. Use the paddle attachment and beat on low for 5 minutes.
- Add the eggs to the sugar/oil mixture and continue mixing on medium-low (I recommend "3") until the eggs are bubbly and the mixture has almost doubled in size, about another 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
- Return the mixer to low and alternate between adding the flour mixture and the mashed plantain. Add the ingredients a little at a time so that it takes 4 or 5 additions. Mix until just combined.
- Add the chopped nuts and mix on low for a couple of seconds, or fold the nuts in with a spatula.
- Using a spoon and a spatula or a cookie/melon scoop, drop the dough onto your prepared cookie sheet. Try to use about a tablespoon of dough for each cookie.
- Bake the cookies on the middle rack until they're just turning golden brown, about 9-11 minutes.
- Once the first batch of cookies is finished, remove the sheet from the oven, slide the parchment paper off the sheet and onto a wire cooling rack, place a new piece of parchment paper on the sheet, and repeat steps 7 and 8 with the reaming dough.
Whenever you’re making cookies, your baking sheet has a huge impact on the final quality of your baked goods. Flimsy trays that warp when heated or fail to conduct heat evenly can create lopsided results or cookies that don’t cook evenly. I received a great, heavy duty aluminum baking sheet for Christmas and I love it! Luckily, you can find a highly-rated aluminum sheet for $12 or less on Amazon, so you don’t even have to make much of an investment.
I hope you enjoy this drop cookie recipe and think of it the next time you see a very ripe plantain!