It's time for this week's Willow Bird Baking Challenge. I'm thinking I am going to need to join a gym after a couple more weeks of this. Because the challenges are too good to skip. So far, Julie has challenged us to innovate cinnamon rolls and breakfast braids. So what would she have us innovate this week? Cookies. And not just any cookies - stuffed cookies.
I'm sure that you've seen the oreo-stuffed chocolate chip cookies that are pictured all over the web. Julie was asking us to use that idea and, well, innovate!
I had a bunch of ideas, actually. But I wanted to do something a little different. So I didn't want to do chocolate. Or pumpkin. Or sugar cookies. I chose oatmeal. And bananas. You know, to be... umm... breakfasty.
Never mind that I chose to drown the bananas in caramel first.
I made a basic caramel using brown sugar and butter.
Then added plenty of sliced bananas.
I then made the basic oatmeal cookie recipe (minus raisins) from the Quaker oats container.
I don't have too many photos of this process since it was very... umm... hands on, shall we say. Meaning messy.
Basically, I rolled a cookie's worth of cookie dough into a ball, then flattened it and shaped it into a sort of bowl shape.
I then filled the bowl with a spoon of the banana-caramel mixture.
I then took another cookie's worth of dough, flattened it into a disc and covered the filling, making sure to seal the edges as well as I could.
These then went into the oven until they were golden brown and yummy looking.
And then it was time to see how it worked!
Not too shabby!
These came out very sweet, but pretty tasty!
And they're BIG.
One is definitely a good treat.
And with the ooey, gooey, banana-y goodness in time, you can even pretend that they're guilt free.
I still want to try some of the other ideas that I had, but I am glad that I gave these a try. It's something I'd never have thought of myself, and a cookie style I probably wouldn't have thought to try on my own.
Julie, I can't wait to see what you challenge us to make next!!
Caramelized Banana Stuffed Oatmeal Cookies
(based on Quaker's cookie recipe and my own inspiration)
for the caramelized bananas:
6 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
In a medium, heavy bottomed pot, heat the brown sugar over medium heat, stirring only as much as necessary to make sure it doesn't burn. Once the sugar is mostly melted, add the butter and stir until the mixture is smooth. Add the bananas and stir, cooking only until the bananas just begin to soften. Remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool fully.
for the cookie dough:
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoons salt
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups old-fashioned oats
In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the oats.
Cover dough bowl and chill for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
For the final cookies:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Scoop out about 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of the cookie dough and place it on an ungreased cookie sheet, shaping it to have a small well in the middle. Spoon some of the caramelized banana into the well in the cookie dough. Scoop out another 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons dough, shape it into a flat round about the size of the bottom cookie, and place it on top of the bottom cookie and banana filling, sealing the edges as well as possible. Repeat with remaining dough, placing cookies about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
Bake cookies for 10 to 15 minutes or until dry and light golden brown on top (mine took 12-13 minutes). Let cookies cool for a few minutes on the pans, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.