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Thinking Cloves with Spicy Banana Cookies

Several weeks ago, I saw a recipe for Banana Cookies on Simply Recipes [1]. The recipe was actually contributed by Garrett McCord [2], a friend of Elise’s and a frequent guest blogger on her site. Garrett is an accomplished baker, food writer and blogger. When I first saw these cookies, they reminded me of a more self-contained version of banana bread. All of the components were there: bananas, spices, nuts. They looked really interesting to me, so I bookmarked the page for future reference. Then, I read about Gretchen’s blog event, Think Spice…Think Cloves [3], and I knew just what my entry would be. Those banana cookies had cloves in them. They would be perfect!

Gretchen is one of my favorite bloggers. She is the brainchild behind Canela & Comino [4]. Gretchen lives in Peru and is passionate about the country and its cuisine. She shares the markets, kitchens and flavors of Peru, as well as a lot of other interesting things, with her readers. Not only that, but she is a real sweetheart too!

This recipe is pretty straightforward and easy to follow. The only things I did differently were to toast the pecans and add a handfull of milk chocolate chips to the dough. I love the combination of banana and chocolate, so I was sure that this would be a great addition. I was so right!

Garrett says that these cookies are one of his all time favorites and I can see why. They were chewy on the outside and moist, cakey and bursting with banana flavor on the inside. The presence of the spices was subtle, but definitely there. The gutsiness of the cloves came shining through. They really and truly were like little nuggets of banana bread.

Before I tried these, I never would have thought to use bananas in a cookie, but now I can’t imagine not doing so. In fact, I’m already toying with ideas about other things I can add to twist them up a bit more. What do you think of coconut? Or maybe, some golden raisins? How about adding a little honey or maple syrup? I’ll bet they’d be amazing topped with some cream cheese frosting too! I love a great recipe that’s not too set in its ways. It’s so much fun to play around and see what happens!

Spicy Banana Cookies
Adapted from Garrett McCord via Simply Recipes

1/2 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup of sugar 1 egg, room temperature
1 cup of mashed bananas
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 cups of flour
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 cup of chopped, toasted pecans
1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.


In a bowl, mix the mashed bananas and baking soda. Let sit for 2 minutes. The baking soda will react with the acid in the bananas which in turn will give the cookies their lift and rise.

Mix the banana mixture into the butter mixture. Mix together the flour, salt, and spices and sift into the butter and banana mixture and mix until just combined.


Fold into the batter the pecans or chocolate chips if using. Drop in dollops onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Bake for 11-13 minutes or until nicely golden brown. Let cool on wire racks.
Makes about 30 cookies.