White Chocolate and Banana Cookie Bars

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Yesterday I scoured my recipes to compile a list of soups for Hubby to have at the ready after my surgery.  Along the way I discovered a clipped cookie recipe that looked irresistible.  It had bananas, white chocolate, and pecans.  This recipe reminded me of the cupcakes a co-worker made for my birthday this year that featured a banana cupcake with pecans and a white chocolate cream cheese frosting.  They were delicious and I suspected the cookies would be, too.  I knew I had to make these cookies this weekend, only I was missing a few key ingredients…like bananas and white chocolate.  I wanted to make these cookies so badly that I ventured out to the grocery store this afternoon and faced the hoards of people so I could pick up ingredients to make these.  I’m glad I did.  These. Are. Good.  And EASY to make!

Anytime I try a new recipe I always wonder how it will turn out and if I will need to alter it in the future.  This is definitely a recipe that needs to be altered.  I was able to make a few changes today so that the cookies weren’t completely ruined.  You win some and you lose some.

Here are a few things I changed today:  the original recipe called for individual cookies baked at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes.  It also called for chilling the dough for 1 hour before baking the cookies, but who has that kind of patience when you want to eat cookies NOW?  So I didn’t chill the dough.  That may have had dire consequences on the cookies.  This is a very soft dough, almost batter-like at room temperature.  When I baked them at 375 they began browning too quickly around the edges, but were still very much not cooked in the middle.  So I lowered the temperature to 350 and let them finish cooking.  They turned out like this:

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Sad, right?  I know.  But they were still edible, and thankfully they didn’t taste burnt, just too done.  I just knew they could be better with a minor adjustmemt.  Before these cookies even came out of the oven I knew I was going to have to do something different—so I decided to make cookie bars with the remaining dough.  I greased 2 9-inch cake pans and divided the rest of the batter between them.  I lowered the temperature even further to 325 degrees and checked them after 10 minutes.  They were still runny in the middle, but another 10 minutes did the trick.  They turned out beautifully!  See?

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What I will probably alter in the future:  the amount of butter.  I think I can get away with ¾ cup of butter, or maybe part butter and part cream cheese.  I’ll have to experiment and see what I come up with.  And I’ll probably reduce the sugar, too.  I used just under 1 cup of brown sugar and just under ¾ cup white sugar this time, and I think I can reduce the amount of sugar slightly more and not lose any integrity.  These cookies are plenty sweet (especially with the white chocolate chunks).

This is another great recipe for the stand mixer.  Have I mentioned how much I love my stand mixer lately?  I think I have, but I’ll preach it again, brothers and sisters.  Use thy stand mixer and thou shalt make wonderfully tasty cookies with ease!

White Chocolate banana cookie bars

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

¾ cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 medium banana, mashed

2 ¼ cups flour

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for sprinkling on top

½ teaspoon baking soda

4 ounce white chocolate bar, chopped

1 cup chopped toasted pecans

Beat butter and sugars until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well.  Add remaining ingredients, in order one at a time.  Mix gently when adding chocolate and pecans.  Grease two 9 inch cake pans and divide batter between pans.  Sprinkle the top with a little bit of coarse salt.  Bake at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until edges begin to brown and middle is set.  You could use a 9 inch by 13 inch pan as well, just adjust the baking time accordingly.

 

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