Smells Like the Holidays in My Kitchen

by Kelly on December 16, 2008

Though you’d never know from my infrequent posts lately, it’s been busy in my kitchen. I decided to do homemade holiday gifts again this year and despite having planned ahead (Seriously, I have been thinking about this since the summer!) I am still in a mad dash to get all my gifts done before co-workers leave for the holidays. I haven’t finished my gift packages for my co-workers yet, so no pictures for now, but as a hint it involves chocolate. I’m just glad that DIY gifts are “in” this year, although everyone would be receiving them even if they were not.
In the absence of sharing anything new, I thought I would revisit a favorite from last year. Last Christmas I decided to make Christmas cookies to bring home for the holiday and this recipe for Banana Cream Cheese Mounds adapted from Rosie’s Bakery Chocolate-Packed Jam Filled Butter-Rich No-Holds-Barred Cookies Book was a favorite. I’m a bit of a sucker for anything made with bananas so these cookies hit the spot. I like to stir some mini chocolate chips into the batter and top with a chocolate drizzled banana chip for extra flare. The only downside to these cookies is that because of the frosting they are somewhat perishable. Thus if you want to make them ahead I would highly recommend that you wait to frost them until right before serving. I’m thinking there might be another version in my future with a caramel or chocolate frosting. Yum!

Banana Cream Cheese Mounds
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons mashed very ripe bananas
Approximately 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, if desired
3/4 cup cream cheese, room temp
6 tablespoons confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
For the cookies, preheat oven to 400. Sift dry ingredients together. Cream butter, both sugars and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Scrape the bowl. Add egg and mix until blended. Scrape bowl. Add banana and mix just until blended. Fold in flour mixture (and chocolate chips if desired) by hand. Mix on low speed until smooth and velvety.Drop by heaping tablespoons about 2″ apart. Bake about 10 minutes until puffed and just firm to the touch.
For the frosting blend together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and butter in a food processor or mixer.
Dollop frosting on each cookie and top with banana chip garnish if desired.
Do you have any plans for homemade holiday gifts? If so, what are you making?
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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Lacey Nicole December 16, 2008 at 8:41 pm

ooh looks so good. i wonder if you could do blueberry-banana, too? i recently discovered this combo and kind-of-really like it! good luck getting everything done 🙂


Mandee December 16, 2008 at 8:51 pm

Mmm, I love banana-y baked goods too


magpie December 16, 2008 at 10:21 pm

Those are adorable! I haven’t baked yet, but I might try to do something this weekend.


HangryPants December 16, 2008 at 11:32 pm

Wow those look fabulous!

I’ll be giving some family and friends some cookies of my own!


Ricki December 17, 2008 at 2:27 am

WOW do those look good!


Kelly December 17, 2008 at 3:05 am

Lacey – Mmmm that sounds delicious. If I did I might use dried blueberries to keep it from being too wet.

Mandee- Glad I am not the only one.

Magpie – I can’t wait to see what you bake. This weekend is perfect for baking.

Hangrypants – Thanks. I am sure yours will be MUCH healthier than mine. 🙂

Ricki – Thanks!


River December 17, 2008 at 3:16 am

Your cookies are gorgeous! The chocolate drizzled banana chips on top add an awesome touch!


Kelly December 17, 2008 at 3:33 am

River – Thank you. Your cookies (and all your creations really) are creative and beautiful so that means a lot.


Bethany December 19, 2008 at 12:14 am

the banana chips are so cute w/ the chocolate. Very nice touch. I’m sure people will love them.

I like DIY a lot. I was sick for most of december, so I’m not doing any DIY gifts this year. Though I have figured out some eco / global warming conscious gifts that I hope my relatives like. Of course I can’t get or send them until after the western WA snowstorm is done. argh.


Kelly December 21, 2008 at 10:34 pm

Bethany – I love that you’re doing eco/global warming conscious gifts. That’s awesome.


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