Well, the title already gave away almost half the recipe, but I still have 3 more ingredients to share with you for these delicious 5-ingredeint vegan banana peanut butter cookies. And a whole lot more to write before I get to those three ingredients. If you’re not interested in learning more about how I got to this recipe, you can click on the link for a print-friendly version to get straight to the baking- if not, follow me in an adventure of laziness, cookies and non-human primates.
This weekend I was laying in bed, really just lazing around. I had gone on a massive produce adventure earlier (to Haymarket, for those in the Boston area), and felt like I’d accomplished just about enough for the day. The only problem was while I had purchased radishes, eggplant, cabbage, beets, broccoli, beans (etc.), Haymarket doesn’t sell cookies- and certainly not vegan cookies! I knew I was destined for a sugary treat in the future, and now I just needed to figure out how to get the best cookie with the least effort.
On an unrelated note, I’ve been watching a lot of the show Monkey Life on Netflix. The show is set at a primate rescue center in England, and it shows the day to day lives of different non-human primates who have found a home there. I find this show bittersweet- the monkeys and apes living at Monkey World are there only there because humans have mistreated them, ruined their natural habitats, and made it impossible for them to live more normal monkey lives. But on the other hand, given many of their life circumstances, having a fairly large area to share with other members of their own species, as well as food, protection and the care and compassion of the human-primates working there is leaps and bounds better to other alternatives.
There is also something so amazing about watching these animals- particularly the orangutans and chimps (our closer relatives)- and seeing their expressions, social interactions and behaviors. Lot’s of them are so similar to they way we express ourselves, it’s easy to empathize with their emotions, struggles and successes- I think that’s why to show is so great, the lives of these apes are so relatable across species. Another thing I really relate to is how much the apes LOVE the treats they get- often popsicles, yoghurt, nuts or fruits. Of course, my association with monkeys and food has to be bananas. Even though I haven’t seen the apes eat all that many bananas, watching the show tends to put me in a banana mood- and since I happened to have bananas around, the first ingredient in my 5-ingredient vegan peanut butter and banana cookies had been found.
From there the process was pretty easy- peanut butter cookies are a favorite of mine, and banana’s and peanut butter are a natural combination. It’s been something I’ve been eating a lot of lately, as you can see from my Instagram posts. Since I wanted a cookie with as little fluff as possible, the final steps were deciding what ingredients were essential to make a cookie a cookie. For example, I certainly don’t need to use white sugar and brown sugar as many recipes do, but I did need sugar (I decided brown would be tastier). I’m not gluten-free, so plain old white flour will work just fine to form the base of my cookies. The only other thing I thought I needed was a little lift, especially because I didn’t have any egg around to do that for me, so I threw in some baking powder.
And really, that’s most of the recipe for these 5-ingredient vegan peanut butter banana cookies- banana, peanut butter, flour, sugar and baking soda. Probably all ingredients you have around anyways, and if not you can find them at literally any grocery store. I also worked to make the measurements simple, the cooking temperature a standard 350F and the bake time around 10 minutes. This recipe should be super simple.
Step one is smashing the bananas. I used a potato masher, because it makes a quick job of it- you can also use a fork, but it will take a little longer. If you want a really smooth banana (no little bits in the cookies like I had) you can blend them in a blender, but having to wash a blender really defeats the purpose of an easy recipe for me. Next add to the banana the brown sugar and the peanut butter- for me this was the hardest part of the recipe, getting the peanut butter out of the jar. You can use creamy or crunchy peanut butter here- whatever you like more. Mine was actually a combination of the two, because I was just finishing up the creamy jar and the next one was crunchy. I have to say, the little bits of nuts from the crunchy version worked really well, I am definitely a fan!
Mix the flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl, and add it bit by bit into the peanut butter, banana and sugar puree. My favorite type of baking is hands on, and you will really need your hands for this task (a spoon just won’t cut it). I ended up “mixing” the dry and wet together by grabbing handfuls of batter and squeezing the dough through my hands, and repeating until the flour was well incorporated into each handful. The dough might be a little dry and flakey- that’s fine, as long as it sticks together when you press it into a ball.
When you make the cookies, use your hands to first shape them into rounds, about the size and shape of a hockey puck. I’ve been using silicone mats when baking, and it’s really made my life a lot easier- no more greasing pans for me, plus the clean up tends to be much quicker. But if you’re not using a silicone mat, make sure to either use wax paper or oil on your baking sheet a little. You can place the rounds of peanut butter banana cookie fairly close together on the baking sheet, as these cookies don’t spread much (if at all). If you want the classic peanut butter cookie look, use a fork and gently press down to create a cross-hatch pattern on each cookie.
These 5-ingredient vegan peanut butter banana cookies don’t need to bake for that long- only around 10 minutes- but they will be very soft and fragile when they get out of the oven. You can eat them right away, just be prepared for it to be rather crumbly. If you want a firmer cookie, wait until they’ve cooled completely before munching.
5-Ingredient Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Cookies
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Prepare a baking sheet, either with a silicone mat, wax paper or grease with some neutral oil.
2. In a large bowl smash the peeled bananas, using a potato masher or fork (for extra smooth banana use a blender). Mix in the peanut butter and brown sugar and set aside.
3. In a separate bowl whisk the flour and baking powder together. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, using your hands to fully integrate the two together.
4. Take a handful of the dough and form into a disk, about 1 inch thick (roughly the same size and shape as a hockey puck). Place on the prepared baking sheet, and continue until all the dough is used (makes around 15 cookies). If you want to, use a fork and press gently to create a crosshatch pattern on each cookie.
5. Place the cookies in the oven for 10 minutes. After those 10 minutes remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool before eating.