Banana Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I made these for Thanksgiving yesterday. I really did want to follow the recipe exactly but I didn’t have any oats…the only ones I did have were in the form of granola. That sounded good to me! Also since I doubled the recipe I didn’t have enough granola to total the 4 cups that I needed so I added craisins and pepitas.

I really like this recipe…especially the banana flavor it adds. This is one to save and make again!

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

From Two Peas and Their Pod

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 small bananas (or 2 medium/large), mashed
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Here is where the original recipe called for (if you double it of course):

  • 4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

I added:

  • 2 1/2 cups homemade granola (slivered almonds, oats, spices etc.)
  • 1 regular sized bag semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup craisins
  • 3/4 pepitas

Method

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugars, mix until smooth. Add in vanilla extract and egg. Next, add the banana. Beat well.
  • Slowly add in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in oats and chocolate chips.
  • Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets that have been lined with parchment paper or Silcone baking mats. (I put all of the dough, except for enough to make 1 tray of cookies, into a greased 13×9 baking dish)
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-18 minutes for cookies and 30 minutes for bars or until golden. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Spiced Pumpkin Seed Granola

Apparently there was a pumpkin theft in my neighborhood yesterday which I was unaware of until I woke up this morning to an amusing string of emails from people in the neighborhood:

Jason (condo owner across the street from the town houses): A girl got out of a black car and took two pumpkins from the corner town house front stoop yesterday. What is this neighborhood coming to?

Erica (sent to a couple of the town house owners who could possibly have missing pumpkins): Did one of you have two pumpkins stolen? Just checking. I’m hoping that a lady was supposed to pick them up or something and did not just take them.

Terri (a town house owner): They were stolen from my front steps!

Laura (another town house owner): I wasn’t home last night. I’m not sure if mine are still there.  Elissa had a couple of pumpkins on her steps too.

Elissa (that’s me…also a town house owner): Laura your pumpkins and our pumpkins are thankfully safe and sound!

Funny!!? Well…I thought it was! My bedroom is on the 3rd floor and the first thing I did this morning after reading this email was to walk down to the first floor to check on the pumpkins and send my email reply.

This whole pumpkin situation was also great inspiration for this granola. I plan to enjoy this for myself and share it my sister Angela (who is going to have a baby ANY DAY NOW).

I did some granola research today and then adapted my own unique recipe. It smelled deliciously of spice and coconut while it was baking. It’s crispy and slightly sweet and really good! I can’t wait to try it with some frozen yogurt 🙂

Pumpkin Seed Granola

  • 6 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking or instant)
  • 2 cups sliced almonds
  • 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup local honey
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 2 big pinches kosher salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup white raisins

Method

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In the largest mixing bowl you have add oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds and all the spices. Mix together well. In a separate small bowl mix together the coconut oil, honey and maple syrup. Add the wet ingredients to the oats mixture and using a rubber spatula fold it around and around the bowl until combined. (It think it’s better to fold the mixture instead of stirring it so that the almonds won’t break up too much)
  • Spread out mixture on a large baking sheet. Stir every 20 minutes so that it bakes evenly. Bake for about an hour.
  • Add the mixture back into a large mixing bowl and fold in dried cranberries and raisins. Divide into airtight containers for storage.