Going Bananas for Banana Bread Bars

Bananas have always been an inside joke on my Dad’s side of the family. My Mimi doesn’t waste anything: tin foil, wrapping paper, and especially not food. It wouldn’t be Mimi and Papa’s home without a fruit bowl with very ripe fruit and at least one black, shriveling banana. Luckily, my cousin Luke decides to rescue the poor things and turn them into delicious banana bread.

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It seems like my sisters are following in my Mimi’s footsteps, considering there were four black bananas pitifully sitting instead of hanging by our banana hanger. I hate bananas, their consistency freaks me out, but I adore all types of banana bread. When I saw the pathetic bananas laying there, I knew I had to do something. I’d seen a few recipes for banana bread brownies on Pinterest lately, so I thought it would be fun to give them a try.

I decided to make my own version by adapting several recipes, but not so much by choice. We didn’t have any regular sugar or all-purpose flour in the house. Come on people, these are basic ingredients! How do they survive when I’m at school? Luckily, I found I had Turbinado sugar and cake flour in the baking drawer. Since I was already curdling my own buttermilk because that isn’t a basic ingredient, why not give these substitutes a shot? It ended up making these banana bread bars even better than I imagined. They’re probably one of my favorite things I’ve ever made, mostly because it became my own recipe from scratch. The Turbinado sugar adds a molasses flavor and crunch to the bars, which tastes incredible with the rich brown butter frosting.

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P.S. Making your own buttermilk is much easier than you think! Simply add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of milk and let it sit for about 10 minutes. I added an extra splash of lemon juice to the top of the milk to make sure it curdled evenly.

Banana Bread Bars

Prep Time: 1o minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total time:  35 minutes
Yield: about 2 dozen medium bars

Ingredients

Banana Bread

  • 1 cup of Turbinado sugar
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • ½ cup of butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cups of cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon of salt

Brown Butter Frosting

  • ½ cup of butter
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons of milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a 13 x 9 inch pan.
  2. Beat together the sugars, buttermilk, butter, and eggs until creamy in a large bowl.
  3. Blend in the mashed bananas and vanilla extract.
  4. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and blend for about a minute until smooth.
  5. Spread batter evenly into pan. Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Cool until warm, then frost.

For Frosting

  1. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, watching carefully.
  2. When it reaches a medium brown color, immediately turn off the heat.
  3. Whisk in a cup of powdered sugar at a time, adding a tablespoon of milk as it thickens.
  4. Add in vanilla.
  5. Immediately pour over the warm banana bread bites and smooth
  6. Let frosting set and cool completely before cutting.

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 Enjoy!
Cheers, Josie
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