Have you ever tried banana bread in cookie form with a thick fluffy layer of frosting sandwiched between two of them? With these cookies now is your chance. They taste just like banana bread with an added bonus, a luscious layer of vanilla bean frosting. Lightly said, these cookies are amazing! I saw the Banana Whoopie Pies over at Martha Stewart and new I just had to try them. Lucky for me I keep a stock of overripe bananas in the freezer for emergencies such as this, where I need an overripe banana in it’s prime but don’t want to wait 7 more days for it to hit its peak ripeness. I used to question whether or not freezing bananas was a good idea until I tried if for myself a few months ago. It actually works great. You simply just leave them unpeeled and pop them into the freezer when they are nice and spotty. Then when you are ready to use them, thaw the frozen banana out (to room temperature, sometimes I cheat and even thaw them in the microwave) then peel and prepare them as directed in your recipes. Their texture is different from that of an overripe banana that has not been frozen (I’m thinking of the word juicy, so be sure to add all those juices when prepping). They won’t hold their shape well, but they are perfect for recipes that call for mashed bananas. Their color may not be the most pleasant, as the peel will blacken a bit when frozen, but this doesn’t affect their flesh or taste so don’t worry.
I also wanted to mention to you that I finally found cheap vanilla beans! Where you are asking? My friend introduced me to this awesome website (indrivanilla.com) that sells them for 50 cents a piece! I seriously couldn’t believe it! And they are pristine vanilla beans if you ask me. I was so excited when I got mine because they weren’t completely dried, shriveled and lifeless. They just seemed so much fresher and even plumper than what I’ve gotten from the store (just FYI this isn’t a sponsored statement of me trying to sell something for someone, I’m just so excited that I wanted so share the info about such a fabulous deal :).
I made a few changes to the original cookie recipe. I didn’t think 1/2 cup banana would give the cookies near enough banana flavor so I doubled it, then reduce the sour cream by half. I also decided to leave the vanilla out of the cookie portion because I wanted it all to come from the frosting so I could have an equal balance of banana and vanilla flavor. It is an entirely different frosting than what they had listed, but I think a cream cheese version would be delicious as well (although I’d use a lot more powdered sugar than they did, less cream cheese and add some butter of course =). Enjoy!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup mashed overripe bananas (about 2 large)
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 recipe Fluffy Vanilla Bean Frosting
- 1 cup salted butter, at room temperature
- seeds from two small vanilla beans
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 1/2 Tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together mashed banana and sour cream, set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer on medium-high speed, whip together butter, granulated sugar and light-brown sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Blend in egg. Add banana mixture and mix until combine. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix just until combine. Scoop dough by rounded tablespoon fulls (about 1 1/2 Tbsp) and drop onto Silpat or parchment lined baking sheets placing them about 1 1/2 inches apart, then smooth edges and flatten cookie as needed (diameter of cookie should be about 1 1/2 - 2 inches. Alternately you can fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4 inch plain tip with batter, then pipe dough into 1 1/2 inch rounds onto baking sheet - if you do this method you may get more than 2 dozen pies). Bake in preheated oven for 12 - 13 minutes until edges are golden. Allow to cool 2 minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Spread and sandwich a layer of frosting between two cookies. Store in an airtight container (in refrigerator if not serving within a few hours) .
- In a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer on medium high speed, whip butter and vanilla bean seeds until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract and blend 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Recipe Source: cookie portion adapted slightly from Martha Stewart, frosting - Cooking Classy