I gained a new superpower in the last…oh, two hours or so. I mastered ice once. Now, I have mastered fire. Well, dry heat. The oven. Specifically bananas in the oven.
I know what you’re thinking. Okay, I don’t know what you’re thinking, but if I were you, I would be thinking, “Who the hell puts bananas in an oven? What kind of deranged Pop-n-Fresh monkey business is this?”
I’ll tell you: roasted banana bars.
I got the recipe from Cooking Light (that means it’s healthy! Okay, maybe not healthy. Light. Lighter. Light enough to not feel guilty) and immediately I added it to my Evernote, which is where I store all my recipes (I’ll write more on that another time), because Josh loves anything and everything banana. And this one is indeed bananariffic. That’s not really a word. But we’ll pretend it is.
Roasted Banana Bars
* 2 cups sliced ripe banana (about 3 medium)
* 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
* 9 ounces cake flour (about 2 1/4 cups)
* 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
* 2 large eggs
* Baking spray with flour
* 1/4 cup butter
* 2 cups powdered sugar
* 1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened (I used whipped cream cheese because…well, it’s what I had)
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted (I omitted this step because I didn’t think they were necessary)
a sprinkling of dark chocolate chips (I added this because…I like chocolate)
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. To prepare bars, combine banana, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon butter in an 8-inch square baking dish. Bake at 400° for 35 minutes, stirring after 17 minutes. Cool slightly.
3. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°.
4. Weigh or lightly spoon cake flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 9 ounces (about 2 1/4 cups) flour, soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Combine banana mixture, buttermilk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in another medium bowl. Place 1/2 cup butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs to granulated sugar mixture; mix well. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternating with banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
5. Pour batter into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with baking spray. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
6. To prepare frosting, melt 1/4 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook 4 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cool slightly. Combine browned butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer until smooth. Spread frosting over cooled bars. Sprinkle with pecans chocolate chips.
Josh enjoyed these thoroughly. I did, too, and not just because I got to use the fancy new Tahitian vanilla he bought me:
But also because the bars had a delicious fluffy texture and the cream cheese frosting was just enough added sweetness to really make it worth it. A couple of these and a glass of cold milk = awwwweeesome. I also think that some toasted coconut sprinkled on top would’ve been a good addition. We’ll try that one next time.
One of my favorite treats when I was a kid was a baked banana. My parents just stuck them in whole and then once they were dark and hot inside, they’d split them open and sprinkle brown sugar on them. My sister and I would scoop them out of the peels with a spoon.
I haven’t thought of these in years–thanks jolting my memory!
That is a nice little trick of your parents’. I’ve never heard of anyone doing that, but it sounds tasty…not to mention inexpensive and easy! That’s a good, tip, thanks!
Pingback: Build a Better Banana Bread » Have Fork, Will Eat