Banana Drop Cookies (1941) ★★

A little while ago I bought some bananas on a whim (I usually don't buy them) and to my surprise Little Y was very excited about eating bananas....for two days. And then she refused to eat bananas and I had a bunch of very ripe bananas with no one to eat them. I had discovered this fun little banana pamphlet a while ago and saved it, so I thought this would be the perfect way to use up my ripe bananas.

This pamphlet was published in 1941 by the Home Economics Department of New York. There are some interesting recipes included, such as Ham Banana Rolls, Broiled Bananas and Bacon, and Banana Rice Savory. The illustrations are quite amusing, and I love how they include menus using each recipe.

Original Recipe:

The Verdict:
I was a bit disappointed by these cookies. The taste of the shortening is really prominent - too much so. If the recipe used butter instead I would probably give the recipe 4 stars, but like this it only gets 2. The texture is not like a cookie at all. These are basically like little banana breads - very light and fluffy (not a bad thing, just not like a  typical cookie). They are not very sweet either, even though I used extra ripe bananas. They are not bad, however. I think these would also be delicious with some chocolate chips mixed in - you can never go wrong with chocolate!

Modernized Recipe:
(Adapted from to serve them found at Curly Wurly)

The original recipe is very easy to follow. The only change I would make is to use at least half butter in place of half of the shortening. I haven't tested this, but I think it should work and would make the recipe quite edible.

Anje graduated with a Honours Bachelors degree in History with a minor in Museum Studies. She currently lives and works in Japan's least populous prefecture as an assistant English teacher.


  1. These looks sinfully delicious. Yumm!

  2. I have a similar recipe, and I find that I quite like the cookies. The recipe I have uses baking soda instead of baking powder, and 1/2 cup of butter, no shortening. There are other differences, mainly in the proportions of the remaining ingredients, and in the addition of 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, mace or nutmeg and cloves. I think with the alterations which exist in the recipe I use, the cookies become delicious indeed.
    - - Philippa

  3. By the way, have you tried ham banana rolls? I think this is a truly funny recipe which I intend to try soon. I understand the recipe came from Chiquita in the '40s. It never would have occured to me to roll bananas in ham and cover them with cheese sauce.
    I love old recipes! Another fun one, from Jell-O, is Ring-Around-the-Tuna.
    - - Philippa

  4. Anje, I love historical recipes and this actually sounds like a good one in many respects. I would eliminate the shortening altogether, replacing it with 1 1/2 sticks of organic unsalted butter. I'm enjoying your blog very much!