Improv Cooking Challenge: Banana Bread Cookies with Nutmeg Cream Cheese Frosting

.  Karma is a biaaaaatch.  Right?!

If you haven't noticed, I've sat out the last several months of ICC.  Whether it's been for a lack of time or I just plain forgot, I have in no way been a consistent ICC participant.  And guess what happened when I decided to come back?


Fo' reals.

Okay, it wasn't the worst mess up I've ever had.  I mean, I ended up with a finished product.  But it was less than decent.  I won't even use 'good' there.  Let's see, where shall we begin?

The ingredients we were assigned to kick off 2013 were Bananas and Nutmeg.  Easy enough?  Well, you'd think!

Here's what happened.  One, I might have gotten a little over zealous.  I wanted to really twist things up and make this treat a special one.  So I think that may have clouded my judgement a bit.  Oopsies.

Second, I didn't trust my baking instincts!  Who does that anyway?!  I went against my intuition and kept adding in a certain ingredient [ahem, nutmeg] only because the original recipe said to.  FAIL.

So all in all, here's what came of the Banana Bread Cookies with a Nutmeg Cream Cheese Frosting.  The cookies were good enough.  But nothing crazy.  I think I may have overmixed the batter so the cookies [to me] were a bit tough.  Mistake three.  My favorite thing about them though was the bits of chocolate studded throughout.  The cookies only saving grace.  Oh and hey, my bananas were basically green.  So that didn't help.  Mistake four?

But the thing that took me over the edge was the dang frosting.  The overly nutmeggy frosting.  Ugh, makes me mad just thinking about it.  I knew I should have stopped adding in the nutmeg after, say, the second teaspoon but the recipe I based these off of said to keep going.  So I did...  Never again!  Needless to say, the frosting was one of the least favorite things I've ever made.  I like nutmeg but this was just too much.  Mistake five!

If I hadn't made the countless number of errors these cookies might have stood a chance.  But you live and you learn!  And that's what this challenge is all about, testing out that creativity.  Or at least I'll keep telling myself that.

See you next month, ICCers [...hopepfully]!!  .

My Notes:
  • As you can tell, I didn't like the nutmeg cream cheese frosting.  So, I adjusted the ingredient amounts below but I would suggest just using the plain cream cheese frosting.  The banana cookies will really shine through that way, too!

Banana Cookies:
3 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1-1/2 c.)
1 c. light brown sugar
1/4 c. canola oil
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
1-1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 c. quick cooking oats
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Nutmeg Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
4 tbsp. butter
2 to 2-1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Combine bananas, light brown sugar, canola oil, vanilla extract, and egg in a large bowl.  Beat until combined.  Add in flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Beat on low speed just until combined.  Gently stir in oats and chocolate chips.  
  3. Drop batter by scant tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden and centers are set.  Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.
  4. For frosting, beat together cream cheese, butter, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a medium bowl until smooth.  Frost cookies as desired.
Yield: 3 dozen cookies

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  1. Wow! In spite of all the mishaps these cookies look amazing! I Love nutmeg so I'll take any leftover frosting. :D

  2. I almost spit my drink all over my computer when you got to your second teaspoon of nutmeg in the frosting! What a tragedy this baking experience was for you. And yet, I hope you'll be back next month. It's easy: hearts and flours. You can make anything as long as it is either served in a heart bowl or is actually heart shaped and is made from at least one flour. Breathe a sigh of relief!!

  3. This happens to me more than I would like to admit. And sometime all I end up with is a messy kitchen. Regardless, your cookies still look amazing, frosting an all!

  4. Hi Jess,
    I hate to tell you how many times this has happened to me! One of the reasons I haven't posted much since new years is because I keep trying things that are not fit to be eaten (or blogged about). The good thing~I have learned a lot! Your cookies still look amazing, and your photography is gorgeous!

  5. I'm so sorry to hear you had such a hard time with your recipe. Sometimes things just don't go smoothly. I can totally relate! Your pictures look fantastic though and if it weren't for you telling me of all your mishaps I'd think everything went smoothly ;)

  6. Yum! The frosting on your cookies looks so creamy & delicious!

    I'm your newest follower via GFC. Come visit me over at My Sesame Seed Buns sometime!

  7. I actually like hearing about mishaps/mistakes in the kitchen because a) we've all been there, b) others can learn from them and c) it's what often leads to a great recipe! I never thought of using bananas in cookies until this Improv Challenge.

  8. Oh yummmmm... I totally have ripe banana's that need this recipe! Please come and share them at my link up party today :) www.whatscookingwithruthie.com xoxo~ Ruthie

  9. Sorry that you didn't love your cookies but we all have days where we should trust ourselves cooking and instead we end up with something less than we imagined.

    My Improv Cooking Challenge entry this month: Baked Bananas, hope that you'll stop over and check the recipe out.


  10. Thank you for making me laugh and sharing your recipe with us! Your entry makes me feel a better about posting my horrid mess up for this challenge. I am so glad that it isn't just me that can mess up a recipe and still post it :-)

    My goof ups were banana daquiri muffins. Please stop by for a laugh!

  11. Yum! Just stopping by to say hi and I just pinned the yumminess! Thx
    - Mari


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