Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips + Banana Chips + Pretzels
This week marks two months until graduation and my head is spinning with excitement and anxiety and also I made cookies!
These are filled with peanut butter and chocolate chips and banana chips and pretzels and if I eat one more of them I may finally hate myself enough to go for a jog. Am I being too real? Probably.
But hey, back to the cookies. I used bread flour instead of all-purpose flour which made them pretty dense, a nice contrast to the crunchiness of the pretzels and the banana chips. They also have the perfect balance of salty and sweet, which, when combined with the contrasting textures, makes these lil guys the perfect food to binge eat. You've been warned.
I added some fresh banana to this recipe to help coax out the flavor of the banana chips. While the chips add a really awesome crunchy and starchy texture, the subtle banana flavor gets easily muted next to everything else going on in this cookie. Most dried fruits have super concentrated flavors, but it seems banana chips just ain't one of them. The fresh banana makes this cookie pop with banana flavor, and adds a fun gooey element.
Oh, ALSO!!!! These were inspired by Michelle's most recent cookie recipe over at her blog Hummingbird High. In her post she mentioned that putting banana chips into peanut butter cookies sounded good and my little heart fluttered. I’m excessive as hell so of course I put chocolate chips into the batter and of course I crushed up some pretzels and threw those in there too. If you’re feeling like a real effing psycho, I’d recommend crumbling some bacon on top and being like “LOL I made Elvis cookies LOL.”
Let’s take a moment to give Michelle a collective "thank you" for this recipe inspiration.
- I am a firm believer in natural peanut butter, but it just won't do for this recipe. I tried using both Whole Foods brand crunchy peanut butter and Jason's smooth peanut butter -- neither worked. Both came out too dry and didn't spread properly at all. Something about the vegetable oil in cheaper brands (Jiff or Skippy) gives the cookie the proper spread and texture.
- I originally tried this recipe without the fresh banana, but the flavor of the banana chips just didn't come through. I even refrigerated the dough for a day to see if it would help bring out the banana flavor (just by the flavors melding while in the fridge) but it made no difference. Alas, there is fresh banana in this recipe and it works great. Also, these don't even need to sit in the fridge overnight so less time to wait for cookies!
- The best method for pulverizing the pretzels is the tried and true zip-top bag and heavy spoon way (just place the pretzels in a sealed bag and take out your rage by smacking them with the back of a spoon until they're broken into teeny tiny pieces). It allows for some variation in the size of the pretzel pieces, giving you a few small chunks, which I thought was kind of fun. Is it weird to say that the pretzel bits are fun? Whatever. Oh you could also use a food processor for this, just pulse it a few times and be careful not to make it into like, actual dust.
- If you're looking to create your own customized cookies that are as chewy, cakey, dense, or crispy as you want them, check out this article from NPR. It's a pretty well laid out explanation of what you have to do to make the kind of cookie you want.
- 1 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 t baking soda
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 c unsalted peanut butter*** (see notes above)
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups sweetened banana chips broken into small pieces
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet (I used 42% cocoa) chocolate morsels
- 2 small ripe bananas (about 5 - 6" long), chopped into 1/4" chunks
- 1 t vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 cup pretzels, pulverized *** (see notes)
- Sea salt (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350* F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, peanut butter and both sugars until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine.
- Slowly mix in the flour mixture with the speed on low, until fully incorporated.
- Fold in the banana chips, chopped bananas, and chocolate chips.
- Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out balls of dough about 1.5" in diameter.
- Roll the cookie dough balls into the pulverized pretzels.
- Place on prepared baking sheet, and use the back of the spoon to flatten slightly.
- Bake for 12 - 15 minutes, until you notice just slight browning on top of the cookies.
- Remove from the oven and let sit on the pan for a few minutes.
- Transfer onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Top with a pinch of sea salt (if desired) and serve 'em up with some milk. These are excellent for dipping!