When Life Gives You Bananas…Make Banana Cookies

This is the second and last installment of my “When Life Gives You Bananas” dictums. This recipe is for when you have two over-ripe bananas languishing in the fruit bowl.

This is my mom’s recipe and today, March 28, is her birthday. Lois “DeDe” Garneau died 12 years ago this month but her recipes live on. Being a woman who didn’t waste words, mom named these cookies “Banana Cookies.” Their simple name defies their depth of taste and comfort.

I cooked my first dinner for mom’s birthday when I was 12. The main course was Shrimp Tarragon. I found the recipe in Good Housekeeping and the ingredients were frozen baby shrimp, dried tarragon (exotic back then) and a can of cream-of-something-condensed soup all gooed up and served over white rice. Mom said it was delicious and never had anything like it. My dessert was Red Velvet Cake with cooked frosting. No vegetable and no salad.

Here’s to mom. She really knew how to deal with all the bananas life threw her way. And throughout it all, she taught me how to cook while giving me free rein in the kitchen as I spent hours and summer months experimenting. “Just write down what you need on my shopping list,” she would say with encouragement.

As my sister says, “All who passed through DeDe’s kitchen left filled with food and love.” That, my friends, is how it should be.

Banana Cookies

  • 3/4 cup Crisco
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large bananas or 3 small, mashed (riper ones give more taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

Cream shortening and sugar. Add egg, vanilla and bananas and cream until smooth. Sift together flour, salt, soda and cinnamon. Drop by teaspoon on to cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes depending on your oven. Frost cookies while they are slightly warm.


  • 6 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Confectioner’s sugar to consistency, about a cup or more

In saucepan, melt butter with brown sugar and milk. Remove from heat and add enough confectioners’ sugar to make it spreadable but runny. If it hardens, add some hot water or milk. Frost cookies while warm

Click here for “When Life Gives You Bananas…Make Banana Bread.”


14 thoughts on “When Life Gives You Bananas…Make Banana Cookies

  1. Loved this posting, Barbara! I feel like I got to know your mom a little more with this tribute to her. Very sweet (in more ways than one). And kudos on the photograph, too—it makes them look yummy!

  2. As soon as I saw the title I immediately thought of eating these cookies at her table as she played solitaire. What a beautiful post on her birthday! I miss DeDe so much but her memory always surrounds me. Maybe I’ll take a shot at trying to make these cookies…. Or if that doesn’t work I may have to make a special request for them the next time we visit. Thanks for helping me to relive such great memories of DeDe today! Btw I loved that she kept them in the freezer. I liked eating them cold!

  3. Bananas are such a great ingredient to cook with! I just made granola cookies with banana (instead of the usual pumpkin I’ve made that’s from the recipe) and they tasted even better! And I like your cookie frosting. Cheers!

  4. Yummy. Barb, thanks for bringing up fond memories. DeeDee and I used to sit around the kitchen chatting about how to “spice things up”. I had one additional idea for the frosting that she used to love – and she used it more that just with the banana cookies – substitute 1-2 tablespoons of milk with maple syrup for some great maple flavor.

  5. Barbara,

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful cookies with us in honor of your mother’s birthday. They are so incredibly yummy – even better because you baked them! I’ll have to find an excuse to drop by next year at the same time!


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