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Thursday
Sep192013

Chocolate Banana Chip Cookies

Chocolate Banana Chip Cookies

When I was wheeled into surgery six weeks ago, I knew I would have a road ahead of me, but I didn't realize it would be unpaved and stretch so far into the distance that I wouldn't begin to see the end for a month. I held strong in the days before, reassuring everyone I was tougher than I looked, a smile on my face. I even felt lucky, gown and hospital bracelet in hand, knowing that I wouldn't have to endure the fear and anxiety as my loved ones would in the waiting room, wringing their hands as the hours ticked by on the clock. I suppressed the nervousness, for family, for myself, only allowing it to surface when I found myself on the table, counting backwards from ten.

When I awoke, my mind cloudy with medication, all I could feel was pain—an endless, enduring pain that threatened to consume me.

Chocolate Banana Chip Cookies Chocolate Banana Chip Cookies

Recovery is hard. It is harder than I ever gave it credit for. After a handful of days in the hospital, after four sleepless nights, after being poked and prodded until I lost my ability to care, I was released. I was weak and exhausted and in pain, but the worst had passed. I went home with my parents. I spent time on the couch. I picked at my food, appetite gone. I watched countless of hours of Full House, my angel and saving grace from three until six in the morning. With a foggy head and a cabinet of pain medications, I felt as fragile and vulnerable as a leaf fluttering in the wind.

My strength came back slowly. Each day was a little better than the last, but I could never pinpoint how or why. I walked like an old woman, hunched over from too much life experience. My spine gradually straightened. The milk carton felt like a 50 pound weight. It grew lighter. The fog in my brain began to lift. I could stand for more than an hour, then three. The process was slow, encompassing the next month. Eventually it grew comical, as I struggled to pack up and move while under 5 pound weight restrictions.

Even so, I was healing, my body gently finding a way to put itself back together.

Chocolate Banana Chip Cookies

Scars have always been a part of me, surface remnants from surgeries I was too young to remember. I cannot imagine myself without them, my eyes glancing over them as if they were never there. With my new scars, my eyes linger, pausing at the unfamiliar scene laid out before me. The map of my chest has changed, as angry red lines cross my abdomen and travel around my side in one big swoop. In all, there are eight—five old, three new. I wonder how long it will be before I forget they are there.

While some people view scars as flaws or disfigurements, I view them as a symbol of strength, a badge of honor, a sign that I have lived. These scars hold my imperfect body together. Standing naked in front of the mirror after a shower, I traced a finger over my permanent lines. I imagined my muscles weaving themselves back together. I imagined being able to stretch and bend as I did before. I imagined these lines fading into the background of life.

I can put on a shirt and cover up my experiences, hiding them from the people I meet. Sometimes I forget they are just beneath the thin cloth, this part of me that few people get to see. When the fabric is lifted, the secret exposed, I don't feel self-conscious or ashamed. These scars tell my story. These scars have made me whole.

Chocolate Banana Chip Cookies Chocolate Banana Chip Cookies

I have long held the belief that warm cookies, fresh from the oven, can heal both emotionally and physically. These Chocolate Banana Chip Cookies allow both flavors to shine in this chewy cookie. Banana chips are processed into fine pieces before mixing into the cookies, giving them a pronounced banana flavor without the softness or cake-like texture that comes from using fresh fruit. Combined with chocolate chips, these cookies become the cure to whatever ails you, whether it be a broken heart, broken body, or afternoon sweet tooth.

One Year Ago: Maple Roasted Peaches with Coconut Whipped Cream and Rum Raisin Oatmeal Cookies
Two Years Ago: Grilled Apricots with Honey Greek Yogurt and Malted Chocolate Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow
Three Years Ago: Whole Wheat Wild Blueberry Muffins and Bittersweet Chocolate Pear Cake

Chocolate Banana Chip Cookies

Yields about 18-24 cookies

3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) dried banana chips
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
8 tablespoons (1 stick or 113 grams) unsalted butter
1/3 cup (75 grams) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (66 grams) brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (6 ounces or 170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

In a food processor, combine dried banana chips and flour. Process for a couple minutes, or until the banana chips have been crushed into a powder. The flour will have the appearance of sand. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour, crushed banana chips, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Drop by the tablespoon onto a cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow the cookies to rest on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Reader Comments (28)

This speaks to me on a another level. My physical scars have made what believe is my personality. While they will never fade they serve as a reminder of my ability to survive sand never estimate myself. Lovely cookies! I want grab one right now.
I hope you feel better after these cookies - sounds like it has been a hard time! They look delicious and very healing!
09.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTrisha
I'm sorry to hear what you have been through. As they say, it's the imperfections that make you perfect :) Hope you will get better and stronger as time goes by. Thanks for these 'healing' chocolate chip cookies - chocolate always makes it better isn't it? :)
09.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGrace
I love the bananas in here! Such a lovely cookie recipe :)
It's great to have you back Kristin. I'm. Sorry to hear that you have been through all this pain, but like you said, you are strong. It's when we face times like these that we see how strong we are and how lucky we are for having family around.its when we appreciate the small things like baking. I'm sure being in the kitchen will help you a lot, and taking pictures and reading your reader's comments.
09.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterInes
So glad to have you back. Your insight and good spirit towards difficult moments make me cherish every blog post. I don't usually comment much on blogs, but I want to wish you the best of luck with you recovery!
09.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterClaudia
Wowwwwwwwww.. very gorgeous photographs.. looks awesome!!
09.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHari Chandana
Good to have you back. Thank you for the thoughtful post. Hoping you continue to feel better and recover.
Nothing soothes the soul like fresh baked cookies, stay strong!
Wow. Those are the wisest words I read in a long time! Thank you! Best of luck with your recovery!
09.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulie
Great post about the hardships of recovery. I have always believed that some of the simplest things (such as warm cookies) are healing in their own way. I'm glad to hear your perspective!
Hope you have a fast recovery!

I used to just skip everything you write and head straight down to the recipes, but a few posts ago I finally read the whole posts and I was just so blown away. You do a really great job.
09.19.2013 | Unregistered Commenterchristaline
Wish you all the best with your recovery! And from my experience I can say: the return of appetite is always a good sign!
09.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulia
I have to say that you post was inspiring and very emotional. I am happy you are better. Baking will heal your soul :)
Remember what doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger.

Happy Baking!
09.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterClorinda Emerson
wow, you are a wonderful writer. thanks for sharing part of your journey.
09.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMondo
they sound yummy!
09.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDina
I Love Them! :)
I just tried this recipe and they taste great! I have to say I made some changes, used rice and soy flower instead and soy butter as well, but banana and chocolate are always a match made in heaven. I'm looking forward to reading another post, try another recipe and feel that you are doing well and getting back in shape. Until then, thank you for sharing. Be well :)
Katy
09.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaty
I love how you write and your view on scars is one I greatly respect. May your road to recovery be swift and be proud of the path you pave!
09.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle
Thank you for sharing your very personal journey with us. I have to agree about the cookies being healing, or in my case it was baking in general, there is something very comforting to forget for a while and know that if you add chocolate, flour butter and sugar together you were going to produce something magical....something good!
I love the look of these cookies, I will definitely be making some of these. I'm glad you are back and good luck with the healing process!
It's good to hear from you again. Speediest of recoveries!
09.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRenee
I am a scar sister too, love this quote: scars are proof that a miracle occurred.
09.21.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanet in nc
Hi Kristin, like others have already said, I just wanted to say thank you so very much for sharing such personal thoughts and experiences -- I'm deeply moved and hope you're continuing on your way to recovery. So glad you shared these gorgeous cookies, too. They're definitely my idea of healing (as are hours and hours of Full House -- they epitomize childhood sick days, don't they?) Thinking of you, and so glad I found your blog.
09.21.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTwo Red Bowls
Lovely writing and wonderful photos.
09.23.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSudhakar
What a gorgeous post--just shared it on my facebook page because the words and photography are both so lovely. I hope you continue to gain strength and feel better--can't wait to read more!
Such an amazing & moving post. Thank you for sharing something that's so personal & so difficult. Wish you the best in your journey to recovery.
What a beautiful post! I wish you all the best in your recovery and share your sentiments about scars they are not imperfections but a part of you. Get well soon and keep eating those mouth watering cookies, they look like a sure fire way to feel better xxxx
09.24.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca
The ground banana chips idea is genius!!!! My 8 year old daughter made these (all by herself!) and they were delicious. Thank you Kirstin for another delicious recipe, Simone.
09.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSimone
Just found your blog and made these cookies and they are amazing!
Such a great use if banana chips to add some crunch and flavour to chocolate chip cookies.
Thanks for taking the time to share this :)
10.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAngie

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