Tuesday, August 18, 2009
My kids eat bananas like they're little monkeys, which means I buy bananas four or five pounds at a time. Although my
monkeys kids usually eat them all up before it's even time to go back to the grocery store and get sad that we've run out, it's also not that uncommon that a few bananas go brown and mushy before their time at which point I quickly toss them straight in the trash. I know I could be more creative in using them up, but I just don't care for banana bread and freezer space is way too tight at our house to worry about saving monkey food. Plus it's not like bananas have feelings or anything....
One day my sister was visiting and got a little upset that I was wasting perfectly good mushy bananas, so she begged to make something with them. Now I may claim to be on a diet on any given day, but on any given day it is highly unlikely that I will ever turn down delicious treats...especially when they're made by someone else. So it was that Banana Whoopie Pies came to be. She used the "pie" recipe from King Arthur flour and the filling and glaze from another site (that I completely forgot to write down). They were out of this world delicious and now I'll be purposely buying extra bananas just so we can have this treat again!
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups (3 medium) mashed over-ripe bananas
2 large eggs
2 cups whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur's white wheat flour)
1 tsp. baking soda
1-1/2 cups chocolate chips (optional, we didn't use these)
3/4 cups chopped walnuts (optional, we didn't use these)
2 pkg. (8-oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. corn syrup
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment paper.
For the cookies: In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugars, and salt until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, and then the bananas. The mixture will look curdled; that's okay. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Whisk together the flour and baking soda; add to the banana mixture, mixing until evenly combined.
Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, then mix for 1 minute more. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts just until combined.
Scoop the dough by the quarter cup for large cookies, and the tablespoon for small cookies. Allow plenty of space between them.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the tops spring back when lightly touched with your finger, and the edges are light golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring the cookies to a rack to finish cooling completely before filling.
For the filling, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add sugar, vanilla, and peanut butter and mix until combined. Spoon mixture into a pastry bag with the end cut off. Pipe filling onto the flat sides of the whoopie pies and then top with another cookie. (We just used a plain old spoon for this job, rather than a pastry bag).
For the chocolate glaze, melt all ingredients in double boiler or a glass bowl in the microwave. Mix until smooth. Do not overheat. Drizzle over whoopie pies.