Friday Recipes, Fenger High School Edition: Banana Oatmeal Cookies

June 19, 2009 | Written By:

By Cynthia San Miguel, HSC Intern

This post is part of our Friday-morning series on fun, healthy recipes. Check out other recipe posts here.

David-Little David Little is a culinary arts instructor at Fenger Academy, one of the Chicago public high schools that fielded a wonderful team for HSC’s Cooking up Change Healthy Cooking Contest. (Fenger, by the way, is also the alma mater of our Chicago Director Guillermo Gomez!) Mr. Little worked in the culinary industry for 15 years and has been teaching for eight years. Keep reading for the recipe that his team entered in the healthy cookie portion of the 2008 competition!

Why did you participate in Cooking up Change?
It was another opportunity to expose students to different ways of cooking. The students here like to fry everything. It showed them similar foods prepared differently.

How did you become involved in the culinary arts?
I have been cooking since I was seven years old. I watched my mom and grandmother cook. When I was in high school, I took cooking classes. I knew wanted to study cooking when I got to college.

What have you learned while participating in Cooking up Change?
There are various ways to cook food items the children are used to, just a little healthier. Cooking techniques like baking, poaching and steaming.

What do you like about teaching the culinary arts?
It’s a lot of fun and it’s a way of sharing my cooking skills.

What is your dream for your students?

That the students will take the culinary arts seriously and realize that they have the potential to make just as much money [in the culinary arts] as in jobs in corporate America — and it’s just as rewarding.

What is your dream for school lunches?
My dream for school lunches is that children will have more options and healthy food items — not just in lunches but in the vending machines as well.

Who is your favorite chef?
I grew up with Julia Child. She was the first chef actually on television back in the ‘70s.

What is one ingredient everyone should have in their kitchen cabinet or fridge?
Butter. I love everything about butter except the calories.


Fenger High School Banana Oatmeal Cookies

1¼ c. granulated sugar
1c. butter, softened
2 eggs
1t. vanilla
2c. all-purpose flour
1t. baking soda
¼ t. nutmeg
1t. cinnamon
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2c. rolled oats
1c. semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190C).
  2. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar together until smooth.  Stir in the eggs and vanilla.  Sift together the flour, baking soda, nutmeg and cinnamon, stir into the creamed mixture.  Then add the mashed bananas, rolled oats, and chocolate chips.  Mix until well blended.
  3. Drop dough by rounded spoonfuls onto unprepared cookie sheets.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven.  Remove cookies from pan to cool on wire racks.

Yield:  2 dozen cookies


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