Mac Daddiez - A Delightful Treat for the Mountain Athlete

December is here but where is winter?! While weather in Bozeman was looking up for a while with a few small storms and cooler temperatures, it is now warmer and the long-term forecast (Ten day, according to the Weather Channel) isn't looking too good with temperatures in the 40s and questionable chances for snow. Despite the not so great start to the ski season, Mike and I have managed to get out for some skiing over the past few weekends. Nothing rave about and no great long days in the backcountry, but it was skiing none the less and that is always a good thing.

One plus to the slow start to the ski season is that it gives me time to catch up on life, visit with friends, and do the things I tend to neglect when it's full-on ski season, such as baking. Over the Thanksgiving holiday I had the chance to do some baking and revisit a favorite treat. Below is my recipe for Mac Daddiez, a delightful twist on the traditional chocolate chip cookie. 
I was first introduced to these by Bryan, a neighbor of mine during my Crested Butte days in the late 90s. His Mac Daddiez were always HUGE, full of calories and flavor, and easily packable, the perfect treat for a backcountry excursion. While Bryan never taught me how to make a proper Mac Daddie (I think his only requirement was to add lots of stuff), the concept has stuck with me and I have been making my variation of them ever since.

The Guide to Making A-List Worthy Mac Daddiez 

There are three characteristics of a Mac Daddie. If any of these are missing it's not a true Mac Daddie and all you have are regular ol' chocolate chip cookies. Sorry, no exceptions so please do not misuse the Mac Daddie name.
The characteristics are...

  1. Two or three mushy bananas are used as a substitute for the butter and about half the sugar. These are not exact measurements so I encourage you to add these bit by bit to get the right consistency and taste.
  2. Mac Daddiez, are bars, not round cookies.
  3. Real Mac Daddiez must have add-ins beyond the chocolate chips. If it's chocolate chips only or is missing chocolate chips then it's not a Mac Daddie.  Some of my favorite varieties and add-ins include: 
    • Ying & Yang - A mix of chocolate chips and peanut butter chips, a perennial favorite
    • The Mountaineer - Oatmeal and peanut butter join the chocolate
    • The Nutty Snowboarder - Add about 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of shredded coconut
    • Additional popular add-ins: flax seeds, walnuts, M&Ms

To get started, you'll need a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe like this one:
  •  2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup of butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 10 ounces semisweet chocolate chips 
Don't forget to modify it by substituting the butter and about half the sugar with two or three mushy bananas! Also note that the recipe calls for 10 ounces of chocolate chips.  If you're using another sugary add-in (Peanut butter chips, M&Ms, etc) limit these ingredients to 10 ounces total as the bananas add to the sweetness and you don't want to over do it.  Again, you can experiment with these adjustments to suit your personal taste.

Use these easy steps to make your Mac Daddiez:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

  2. In a bowl combine the flour and baking soda.
  3. In another bowl combine the bananas and sugars. Martha Stewart would probably recommend using a mixer but you should do this by hand. You're a mountain athlete after all and you don't need a machine to whip a few simple ingredients into submission. Use your muscles! Once mixed add the vanilla and eggs.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the banana/sugar mixture.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips and any add ins. 
  6. Remember, real Mac Daddiez are bars! To make them, use a 9"x13" glass baking dish. Evenly spread the batter so it's about 1/4 to 1/2 inches thick. Avoid using a smaller square dish unless you want thicker, doughier cookies. Regardless of which dish you use, baking will take longer than the 8 to 10 minutes needed for regular cookies. I'd suggest baking the Mac Daddiez for ten minutes at first (Use your timer!) and then add a minute or two more at a time, checking the dish each time the timer dings. You can use the old tooth pick trick to assess if they are done but note that Mac Daddiez tend to be moister than regular cookies due to the bananas.
  7. Once done, let them cool for a bit before cutting into bars.
  8. Mac Daddiez are best when enjoyed in the backcountry. Share them with your activity partners and they'll invite you to join them again and again!
    Eat Mac Daddiez here
    If you get around to making Mac Daddiez, let me know how it goes. Feel free to leave your comments and suggestions for favorite add-ins in the comments section of this post.