Annie also left behind some very ripe bananas: one was solid brown, and the other two were brown-and-tan with flecks of yellow. Rachael and I like our bananas to be entirely yellow except for a hint of green at the tips, so I had to think of something to do with them besides eat them as-is. We planned to go to the movies, so I decided cookies would be a better and more portable treat than banana bread.
The lumps of banana make this a sticky dough, and one that spreads a lot while baking. Be sure to leave lots of space between them on the cookie sheet--I made batches of nine, and that seemed to be about the most that would fit on a sheet. They're still sticky after they're baked, so I arranged them carefully in a tin with wax paper between the layers.
Salty, Sticky, Peanutty Banana Cookies
makes 3 dozen
7oz unsalted peanuts, toasted and cooled
3 bananas, 1 mashed and 2 sliced
8oz natural peanut butter
7oz each brown and white sugar
2T flax meal soaked in 2T water
1t vanilla extract
11oz whole spelt flour
1 1/2t baking soda
for topping, 1t Maldon salt or other fluffy sea salt
Put the peanuts, margarine, mashed banana, peanut butter, sugars, flax, and vanilla in a food processor and run till the peanuts are mostly cut into sandy meal with the occasional big lump. Unless you have a really big food processor, you may have to do this in a couple of batches. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a big bowl, then add the peanut sludge and mix it together with your hands. It'll seem impossible stiff, then suddenly become incredibly sticky. At this point mix in the banana slices, then let chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Shape dough into big (1 1/3" or so) balls and arrange on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Flatten them slightly, then sprinkle with Maldon salt (I used 1/4t per 9-cookie batch). Bake at 325ºF for 15-17 minutes, till the cookies have puffed up and collapsed, then turned brown over their entire surfaces. Cool on the sheets for a few minutes before transferring to cooling racks.