Three weeks ago, I phoned my parents, telling them I planned to visit the first weekend of March. After hearing my news, Dad excitedly emailed me a couple times during the next few days, always in response to the blog recipe I published the night before.
“Can we make these dark chocolate ginger pear muffins when you come?”
Two days later: “Can we make these maple cinnamon rolls?”
Yes, I got my baking obsession from my dad… So I lugged home a large cardboard box full of the necessary ingredients for both sets of treats along with my PJs and toothbrush.
I arrived late Friday night, an hour after my dad fell asleep, and stayed up past midnight to publish my latest recipe. He rose with the sun the following morning, read the email notification about my new blog post, and greeted me when I slowly stumbled out of bed rubbing my eyes with, “Those chewy raspberry apple granola bars look great! Can we make them?”
I yawned out a, “Sure, whatever you want!” but Saturday laziness quickly kicked in during the afternoon, so we never quite mustered up the energy to spend hours in the kitchen.
But on Sunday, after an extra cup of caffeine and our favorite blueberry coffee cake, we parked ourselves in front of the oven for lots of quality father-daughter baking time. We surprised Mom with chai latte granola (she starts every single day with that drink!), converted 2 completely blackened bananas into strawberry banana granola bars for Dad’s breakfasts during the week, and experimented with a new cookie recipe.
Both of my parents adored the results (and even snuck back into the kitchen multiple times during the Oscars commercials for seconds), but we all agreed that their texture lay somewhere in between a muffin and a cookie—or a “mookie,” as Dad called it! Not completely satisfied, I drove home that night and tweaked the recipe in my own kitchen.
The second set of Chocolate Chunk Banana Cookies was truly addictive—incredibly soft, extra chewy, and everything a cookie should be! Fruity flavors and rich dark chocolate filled every bite, followed by the aftertaste of sweet honey and subtle coconut undertones. Despite being 100% whole wheat and clean-eating friendly, these decadent treats don’t taste healthy at all!
The dry ingredients are fairly predictable: whole wheat flour, baking powder, and salt. I always choose Gold Medal Whole Wheat Flour for my baked goodies because it leaves my treats light and moist instead of dense and dry, like other brands sometimes do. But with the large amount of liquid ingredients in this recipe, any brand should work. Just make sure you measure the flour correctly using the spoon-and-level method!
I mixed melted coconut oil into these cookies to make them extra chewy. Recently popularized for its health benefits, the coconut oil also lends the cookies a very subtle tropical undertone; combined with the banana, it reminds me of Hawaii and paradise! I promise it’s extremely subtle though, and you can only taste the coconut if you’re really searching for it. But if you prefer, substitute melted butter or margarine (to keep the cookies vegan and dairy-free) instead.
These healthy cookies actually contain NO eggs! Just like with pumpkin in pumpkin cookies, adding both an egg and mashed banana to cookie dough would result in cakey cookies instead of the chewy ones I adore, so I entirely replaced the egg with ¼ cup of mashed banana instead. Make sure you mash it really well to minimize any big chunks of banana! We need the dough to be as smooth as possible to ensure the cookies turn out soft and chewy.
To sweeten these cookies, I skipped the refined sugar usually included in recipes and opted for honey instead to make them clean-eating friendly. It’s the secret to what makes my popular blueberry (and apricot!) oatmeal cookies so moist, and it pairs perfectly with the banana too! For vegan cookies, substitute maple syrup or agave instead. Readers have reported excellent results with those swaps in the oatmeal cookies, so I’m sure they’d work wonderfully here too.
Now for the most important part—the dark chocolate chunks! Coming from a family of chocoholics, I can always count on finding at least 5 different kinds in my parents’ pantry. Most of their packages come from Trader Joe’s, and they always stash a 72% pound-plus bar on the shelves, which I borrowed for this recipe. I don’t recommend substituting chocolate chips. Unlike chocolate bars, chips contain a stabilizer that prevents them from melting completely, so you wouldn’t get any of those gorgeous gooey melty chunks!
Tip: To ensure every bite of cookie contains a few morsels of chocolate, chop the bar into pieces about the size of miniature chocolate chips. And reserve a few pieces to press into the tops of the cookie dough just before baking for a pretty, polished look!
The cookie dough will be really wet after initially mixing all of the ingredients together, so pop it in the fridge for a bit. Chilling is mandatory! It allows the flavors to meld and reduces the dough’s stickiness, but the amount of time you chill it will affect the cookies’ appearance.
I only chilled the cookie dough in these photos for 30 minutes. It’ll still be somewhat tacky, so use a spoon to drop it into rounded scoops onto your prepared baking sheets. The dough doesn’t stick very much to rubber or silicon spatulas, so use one of those for shaping the dough!
Because these cookies contain honey, you’ll bake them at a lower temperature and longer than most other cookie recipes—325°F for 13-15 minutes. They will still look and feel underdone, but you’ll leave them on the warm baking sheet for at least 15 minutes after removing them from the oven, which allows the centers to continue cooking without turning the outsides crunchy. That’s my secret to creating the perfect soft and chewy cookies!
Bursting with bright banana and decadent dark chocolate, these Chocolate Chunk Banana Cookies are unbelievably soft and irresistibly chewy! Warm honey flavor rounds out every bite, essentially masking that they’re secretly whole wheat and healthy, and those beautiful gooey melted chunks on top practically beckon you to sneak another cookie.
Trust me. I tried to send this entire batch back to my parents for them to compare to the originals, but… I devoured 3 of the cookies as soon as I finished the photo shoot. Hopefully Mom and Dad didn’t notice!