Friday, January 27, 2012

Banana Bars

Around 3:00 in the afternoon I always need a snack.  In weaker moments I always grab for chocolate or potato chips.  Since I realize what a bad habit this is, I starting keeping apples, oranges, and bananas on hand for those afternoon cravings.  However, no matter how many times I buy bananas it seems I always have a couple that get overly ripe, embellished with those ugly brown bruises, and I no longer want to snack on them.  Well here is the perfect recipe for just such an occasion!  Banana bars are one of my husband's favorite treats! And since they are smothered in cream cheese frosting, well you know, nothing is bad with cream cheese frosting!

Banana Bars
1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 med, ripe bananas

  1. Cream the sugar and butter together.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat on low to combine.
  3. Add the sour cream and vanilla, beat to combine.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients.
  5. Add the bananas and mix thoroughly. (Note: The recipe calls for 2 ripe bananas but I had 3 on hand and used all of them.  If the bananas are overly ripe they will blend into the batter without having to chop them in advance.  If your bananas are not overly ripe, you can cut them up into a microwave-safe dish and heat them up first.  This will make them a paste-like consistency so they will blend nicely into the batter.)
  6. Spread batter into a greased 15"x10" pan. (Note: I used a 13"x9" pan this time because I have a lid for the 13"x9" pan and I find the bars easier to store this way.  However, baking the bars in a 13"x9" pan will take longer and the bars will end up thicker then if you bake in a 15"x10" pan.  My mom regularly bakes the bars in a 15"x10" pan with a 1/2" depth with no problems."
  7. Bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes (25-30 minutes if using the 9"x13" pan).
  8. Take out of the oven and let cool.  
  9. Smother with cream cheese frosting and enjoy!
I make my own cream cheese frosting with 4 oz. cream cheese, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 TBS. butter, and 2 cups powdered sugar.  These banana bars have a soft cake-like consistency.  The sour cream in the batter keeps them very moist.  They really are a great use of overly ripe bananas.  If you try them out, leave me a message, I really want to know how they came out!
See, they really are overly ripe and embellished with brown spots.  
 Oops, got a little messy adding in the dry ingredients!  
Be sure to add them slowly with the mixer turned down to low!
 Batter in the pan before baking.  
It is slightly thick so you will have to smooth it out before putting the pan in the oven.
 This is after baking.  You can tell its done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Also, the bars will turn golden at the edges and begin to pull away from the pan.
This is the consistency of the cream cheese frosting.  
It should be thick but spreadable.
 Yeah that is a lot of frosting. I ended up taking some off before I spread it out.
 Frosting all ready for its glamour shot.  When its family I leave the bars in the pan and cut them as we eat them.  But you could cut them into squares and put on a nice platter for a party.
 The final product!

Hope you enjoy this recipe!  Let me know how they turn out if you make them!

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