whenever i have an extra banana lying around, i put it in the freezer for baking. sounds like a good plan, right, since it always seems like whenever i actually want a brown, mushy banana, i don't have any on hand.
except that right now, i have six - yes, six - bananas in my freezer. which is better than the nine i had last week.
when i overheard someone ask "where's those banana bars?" when we were camping last week, i tucked away the thought of aunt judy's banana bars and made a mental post it note to go through my recipes and make it when i got home.
only i couldn't find it.
not in my binder with all the others passed via email or hand written note.
not stuck in a cookbook as a bookmark.
not stuck in a pile with recipes i pulled out of magazines.
no where. i don't have it.
after sulking for a good five minutes, i went through every cookbook i have. not a single one had a recipe for banana bars. i hadn't realized what an exotic food they are. strike two.
strike three. i did a quick search on some of my favorite food blogs. nope. nada. nothing. doesn't anyone else eat these things?!?
i turned to my last resort: google. almost strike four. i wanted something that replicated aunt judy's recipe. no nuts. no sour cream. no butter. especially no shortening.
i had just about given up, until one last final thought crossed my mind: good old betty crocker. and she pulled through.
and let me tell you, they're as close to aunt judy's as i remember them to be.
banana bars with cream cheese frosting
adapted from betty crocker
10 min prep, 30 min cook time, makes 24 bars
1 cup mashed bananas (it was three for me)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
- heat oven to 350 and grease a 9" x 13" pan.
- in a large bowl, mash the bananas and mix in the sugar, oil, and eggs.
- stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
- pour into the pan and bake, uncovered, about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- while the bars are cooking/cooling, make the frosting.
3 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
splash of vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
- if the cream cheese and butter aren't soft (straight out of the refrigerator), microwave a few seconds at a time until soft.
- mix in the vanilla. mix in the powdered sugar, half a cup at a time, until the desired consistency.
- spread on the bars when cool.