I’m very particular when it comes to eating a banana. They have to be bright yellow with a little green still at the top, but absolutely no black spots at all. I can’t eat a banana once it has begun to ripen, not even in the slightest because their sweetness is just too much by themselves. Does that make me weird? Don’t answer that, but most likely it does. I always buy a bunch of bananas at the start of the week with the promise of being healthy and eating one in the morning with my cereal, but of course life happens and then inevitably I end up eating only one banana and the rest just fall into over-ripen despair. Then they just sit there staring back at me each day, taunting me, making me feel bad about my life’s choices. I always end up making banana bread with them, and give it out to family or friends, because the guilt ends up being too much for me. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m tired of banana bread, and so this is where this banana bread biscotti come into play. It’s banana bread meets biscotti and I am 100% here for it. If you’re reading this and at the same time you have some bananas ripening in your kitchen, then don’t let them torment you any longer. Make this biscotti and let me know what you think.
I love this recipe so much because you can easily do it all by hand. You don’t need any fancy equipment, and even if you do have a stand mixer, you don’t have to dirty it. Sometimes I hate using mine because you have to clean the bowl and the attachment and it’s a drag. The first thing you want to do is whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
**Note: At this point you can add in a bit of spices if you’d like to give this “banana bread” a bit of more complex flavor and taste. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom or all-spice would be great!**
In a separate bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, egg, oil and vanilla until smooth.
**Note: You want very very very ripe bananas for this. You’re looking at about 1/2 a cup so that’s about 2 small bananas. If you don’t have ripe bananas on hand, you can pop them in a low oven and cook them until the peels turn pitch black and the bananas have softened. Then just let cool completely.**
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients along with the chopped walnuts. You’ll want the walnuts to be roughly chopped. They don’t all have to be uniform in size just make sure they’re fairly small pieces.
Stir with a rubber spatula until the dough comes together and there are no more dry ingredients in the bowl.
**Note: The dough will be very sticky once it’s all been incorporated, but don’t worry, that’s how it’s supposed to be.**
Transfer the dough to a well-floured work surface and divide in half. Then with well-floured hands, shape each half into a log that is about 8-inches in length. Transfer the logs to a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment and lightly greased with cooking spray. Flatten out each log to about 1/2-inch thick and then sprinkle the tops with more chopped up walnuts.
**Tip: Some of the walnuts will fall off when you go to slice and continue baking the biscotti, but if you’d like to make sure they really stick to the logs, then brush the tops with an egg white wash (egg white whisked with water) and then sprinkle the nuts on top. Just keep in mind that if you do this your biscotti will be darker in color since the egg wash will darken when in the oven!**
Bake the logs in a preheat 350 degree F oven for 23 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lower the temperature to 250 degrees F. Slice the logs on a diagonal into about 10 to 12 slices per log, depending on how thick you make your biscotti. Return to the baking pan in a single layer, cut-side down, and bake for 15 minutes. Flip the biscotti over and continue to bake for another 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan for about 10 minutes, before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely and dry out a bit more.
The biggest thing to keep in mind with this recipe is that the moisture in the bananas will prevent the biscotti from really getting crispy and fully dried out the way a traditional biscotti does.
**Tip: If you want to dry them out a bit more than what I recommend in the recipe, you can keep them in a 250 degree F oven during the second bake for 20 minutes per side. Turn off the oven and keep them in there with the door closed until they cool down completely.**
You can enjoy the biscotti right away or you can store it in an airtight container (or plastic food storage bag) at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also freeze the biscotti, for up to 3 months, if you want to keep it longer. Once they’ve cooled, transfer to a freezer safe container or plastic food storage bag.
The biscotti is great just plain because BANANA BREAD, but if you want to take it over the top, as once sometimes does with biscotti, feel free to dip each halfway up with melted chocolate. I wouldn’t be mad at that.
Next time you have a couple of overripe bananas on the counter, remember this recipe and bake up a batch of your new favorite biscotti. If you’re not a fan of walnuts, feel free to swap them out with toasted pecans instead. Or maybe even chocolate chips would be more suitable for you? The biscotti world is your oyster.
- 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup mashed very ripe banana (about 2 small bananas)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup chopped walnuts, divided
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lightly grease with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and egg until smooth. Pour into the dry ingredients, along with ⅓ cup of the walnuts. Stir with a rubber spatula until it comes together to form a very sticky dough.
- Transfer to a well-floured work surface and divide in half. Shape each half into 8-inch long logs with well-floured hands. Then transfer the logs to the prepared baking sheet and flatten out to ½-inch thick logs. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining walnuts and bake for 23 minutes. Remove from the oven, lower temperature to 250 degrees F and let the biscotti cool for 10 minutes. Slice each log diagonally into 10 to 12 slices, returning the slices onto the baking sheet in an even layer, sliced side down. Bake for 15 minutes, flip over and continue to bake for another 15 minutes on the second side. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack to cool down completely and dry out a bit. Eat right away, or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Enjoy!