Saturday, August 29, 2009

Banana Bars

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Okay, you can quit laughing now. I know you have bananas that look just like these. They're
sitting on your kitchen counter and your family is beginning to make fun of you. They're asking things like -- how rotten do bananas have to be before you'll throw them out? And to prove that they're still edible, you peel one and bite into it. It's not rotten, of course, but it's soft and unappealing, but now you can't throw it out because you have to save face. The good news is that those less than desirable bananas are absolutely perfect for baking. This is a very easy recipe that makes moist banana bars that taste and smell wonderful.


1 stick unsalted butter
, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
3 very ripe bananas
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

dash salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
dash mace (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9 x 9 baking pan.

Place the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and mace in a bowl and stir with a fork to mix. Set aside.

Cream the butter with the sugar. Add one egg at a time. When well mixed, add the bananas, one at a time. Slowly add the flour mixture. Add the vanilla.

Pour into the prepared pan and spread. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack.


To be perfectly honest, these are so sweet and moist that they don't need frosting. If you're in a hurry and you want to dress them up a little bit, melt some chocolate chips with a little butter and drizzle the chocolate over the top. I made a quick chocolate frosting.

1/2 square (1/2 ounce) unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cream
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Melt the chocolate. (You can do this in the microwave in super short spurts.) Cream the butter and mix in the vanilla and the cream. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar. When blended, add the melted chocolate. Add the remaining powdered sugar gradually, using only as much as you need to make a nice spreading consistency.

Don't forget to enter our contest! We hold a new drawing every week, so be sure to enter each week for a $25 gift certificate to Williams-Sonoma. Leave a comment to enter or, if blogger is being difficult, send an "Enter me!" e-mail with your first name and state to Good luck!


  1. Krista, how did you sneak into my kitchen with a camera?! Yes, I have bananas just like those on my counter. Thanks for the yummy recipe!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  2. These banana bars look yummy. I use bananas that look like that weekly for my gluten-free banana bread. They work like pure sugar! Can't wait to try your recipe. Thanks.

  3. Mmm.... Bananas are on the shopping list, which means that in a few days I'll have a bunch that look like your photo above and I'll be eager to try this recipe.
    Did you know that a bunch of bananas is called a hand, and each individual one a finger? My husband used to work for a company whose name is *very* closely associated with bananas...(think of the singing and dancing banana wearing a Carmen Miranda hat? Does anybody even know who Carmen Miranda is anymore? LOL) ... and he picked up some interesting tidbits while he was there.

    Thanks, Krista!

  4. YES!!! We just got on a "banana" kick at the Coyle house and this is PERFECT. Thank you! The frosting looks delicious, but I like your idea of just a drizzle of chocolate. (The truth is: We'll probably just eat these warm right out of the pan!)


  5. I made banana bread this week, but am loving the idea of drizzling chocolate on top. I may have to try this recipe tomorrow!! Thanks for the great idea,

  6. I was going to make banana bread today but I think I'll do the bars instead. They look SO good!

    Julie, I didn't know that about bananas! Interesting!

    Thanks for the recipe, Krista!

  7. Great recipe! I always have bananas that are going bad before I could eat them. I`ve started sticking them in the freezer so I could make smoothies or something.

  8. Elizabeth, I took the picture through my crystal ball. Amazing how much we all have in common!

    Avery, I can't believe you make banana bread every week. That must be a great recipe. I hope you'll share it!

  9. Julie, I had no idea a bunch of bananas is called a hand. Great trivia! But I do know who Carmen Miranda is!

    Cleo, I have to admit that I would have eaten one plain right out of the pan if I hadn't been blogging about them!

    Cynthia, there's something about chocolate and bananas. They go together so well.

    Janet, they're a fun change from banana bread -- and soooo moist!

    Emily, we think alike. I went through a phase when I popped them in the freezer, and then I had a collection of black bananas in the freezer that I never used. LOL!

  10. I would definitely go with the chocolate drizzle. In my opinion, there's nothing better than bananas and chocolate. Since I like to eat bananas when they are just ripe I often have bananas sitting around that are too ripe for me to eat out of hand.

  11. Rather than icing or drizzle, how about chocolate chips in the bars? Chopped, fresh strawberries?

    Sorry, I have a bad habit of fooling with recipes. :-)

    These sound good for lunch bags and I've been looking for new lunch things for the new year.

  12. Patricia BarracloughAugust 29, 2009 at 11:40 PM

    I like my bananas that way. If they get too bad, I give them to my roses. But before that I usually make banana bread. These bars sound good, I'll have to give them a try. But frosting? I like to at least pretend that it is nutritious and not an indulgence.