Showing posts with label banana bars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label banana bars. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Chocolate-Bottom Banana Bars and #CozyMystery #Audiobook #Giveaway from Cleo Coyle



In honor of National Banana Bread Day (no kidding), my husband and I  are sharing a fantastic banana bar recipe that we published in our 13th Coffeehouse Mystery.
Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband. 
Learn about their books 
by clicking here and here.

Two layers of flavor and texture make these bars an outstanding treat. A soft banana cake layer floats over a rich, brownie-like base laced with chocolate chips.

It sounds complicated, yet it's very easy to make, and a perfect snack for afternoon coffee breaks or late-night noshing. These beautiful bars make a great home-baked gift for friends and family, too.

Now let's start baking!

~ Cleo

This giveaway is now over.
Congrats to our winner,
Melissa Nunez!


And don't miss the fun, new contests
coming up in our next
Coffeehouse Mystery Newsletter.
To sign up,
click here.






Cleo Coyle's 
Chocolate-Bottom Banana Bars

"Lovin' from the oven" is how coffee hunter Matt Allegro described these fresh-baked squares in one of our most popular Coffeehouse Mysteries, Billionaire Blend. And Matt was right. 
You'll notice we put a bit of earthy espresso powder in our chocolate bottom layer. Yes, we’re coffee fiends, but here’s the truth. You won’t taste coffee, only a more powerful note of chocolate. As bakers know, espresso powder is a way to deepen the flavor of chocolate in recipes.

These bars pair beautifully with coffee, espresso, and strong black teas.

May you bake them with love and eat with joy!

~ Cleo



To download this recipe in a free
PDF document that you can print,
save or share, click here.



Yield: 16 squares (one 9‑inch-square pan)

Ingredients:

2 cups mashed ripe* bananas (about 4 to 6 depending on size)

*See my note at the end of this recipe to ripen bananas in the oven

1/4 cup sour cream 

3/4 cup canola oil (or cold-pressed coconut oil, melt before measuring) 

1/2 cup light brown sugar 

1 egg, lightly beaten with fork 

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

1½ teaspoons baking powder 

1 teaspoon baking soda 

1/4 teaspoon table salt or finely ground sea salt 

1½ cups all-purpose flour 

1/4 cup baking cocoa 

1/2 teaspoon espresso powder 

1/2 cup chocolate chips 

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:

Step 1—Prep oven and pan: First preheat your oven to 350° F. Line the bottom of a 9‑inch-square pan with parchment paper, allowing the ends to hang over the side like handles. You’ll use those handles to easily lift the baked banana bar slab out of the pan. Coat paper lightly with non-stick spray. Set aside. 

Step 2—Make batter: Combine your 2 cups of mashed bananas and sour cream with a fork. Add the oil, sugar, egg, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fork-whisk well (or use an electric mixer) to blend until smooth. Now add your flour and mix until a lumpy batter forms, but do not over-mix at this stage.

Step 3—Create chocolate bottom: Remove 1 cup batter and place it into a separate bowl. Add cocoa and espresso powder, fork-whisking until the batter is smooth. Fold in chocolate chips, and (optional) chopped walnuts.

Step 4—Assemble and bake: Spread the chocolate batter across the entire bottom of the prepared pan. Take your time, using the back of a spoon to spread the batter all the way into the corners. Be sure the layer is even. Now pour your remaining banana batter on top and once again use the back of a spoon to even out the layer (otherwise your bars will bake up lopsided). Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.


QUICK KITCHEN HACK



TO RIPEN BANANAS FAST: Place yellow bananas on a foil-covered baking sheet and bake at 350 F. for 10 minutes, turning once. Bananas will blacken. Peel right away (be careful, they’re hot!) and cool flesh in fridge before mashing.
Foodie
P h o t o s












Click here to download a free PDF
of this recipe that you can print,
save, or share.
Click here to download the PDF.


Stay Cozy!



~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of  
The Coffeehouse Mysteries


Friend me on Facebook here. * Follow me on Twitter here
Learn about my books here

* * *

Our newest mystery is now
a bestselling hardcover!





Coffee. It can get a girl killed.

Amazon * B&N




Dead to the Last Drop

A "Most Wanted" Mystery Guild Selection
A Baker & Taylor Fall "Trends" Pick
Three "Best of Year" Lists


Dead to the Last Drop 
is a culinary mystery with 
more than 25 delicious recipes!

See the free illustrated 
Recipe Guide by clicking here.

*  *  *




The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling works 

of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark 
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each 
of the 15 titles includes the added bonus of recipes.



GET A FREE TITLE CHECKLIST
(with mini plot summaries)

* * * 

Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

Get a free title checklist, 
with mini plot summaries, 




Or learn more about the books and meet 

Jack Shepard, our PI ghost by clicking here.







COFFEEHOUSE MYSTERY 

GIVEAWAY!

This Giveaway is Now Over!
Congrats to our winner,

Melissa Nunez!


My husband Marc and I are hard at work on our 16th Coffeehouse Mystery, scheduled for release this December. In the meantime, many of you have read our 15th title, Dead to the Last Drop, an exciting installment set in Washington, DC, now a bestseller in hardcover. 

Today we're giving away an autographed audio version of the book in a beautiful keeper CD format. 

TO ENTER, leave a comment on this blog post with your e-mail address (or another way to contact you, for example, you can let me know if  you are my friend on Facebook and I can get in touch that way, and feel free to Friend me if you aren't!)...





Now a bestseller in hardcover
and a "Most Wanted"
Mystery Guild Selection.


To learn more
about the book, click here.


This giveaway is now over.
Congrats to our winner,
Melissa Nunez!


Thanks to Blackstone Audio and
Penguin Random House
for sending us extra copies.

Good luck and may you
read (and listen) with joy! 
~ Cleo



Saturday, August 29, 2009

Banana Bars



Congratulations to Kaye Barley of North Carolina, this week’s winner of our $25 gift card to Williams-Sonoma! Didn't win? Keep trying because we still have some gift certificates to give away. Leave a comment and you could be this week's winner.




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.

BANANA BARS

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.


FROSTING

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 MysteryLoversKitchen@gmail.com Good luck!