I don’t know about you guys, but we always have extra too-brown bananas. In a house of six girls, we all tend to get confused about whose bananas are whose and end up with a pile of brown bananas waiting to be a) used in a baked good or b) thrown away. I try to use them up as much as possible so we’re not wasters, and I’m realizing that bananas taste darn good in waaay more baked goods than just banana bread.
Case in point: banana nut bars with brown sugar frosting. These are no regular banana nut bars – these are fudgy and dense and full of delicious banana flavor. They have a healthy dose of cinnamon and nutmeg because I’m all about fall spices right now, and I love the added warmth the spices bring to the bars. The nuts add the crunchiness that I love and crave in most baked goods, but obviously if you’re anti nuts in your baked goods, feel free to leave ‘em out. And then of course, you have the super delicious banana flavor from that ripe banana. It adds a nice texture and an additional level of sweetness to the bar.
The brown sugar frosting is a super quick, boiled frosting that comes together in less than 5 minutes and reminds me so so much of the inside of a butterscotch square from See’s Candy. This frosting is sweet and full of brown sugar, with a little tiny bit of crunch from the way the frosting sets up around the edges.
The bar is made from one of my favorite blondie bases, and comes together all in one bowl! How’s that for convenient – I hate dirtying any more dishes than absolutely necessary.
If you love banana and brown sugar, you’ll be sure to love these bars! They also keep well for a few days (if they last that long!) and stay great in the fridge. Enjoy :)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup mashed banana (1 medium banana)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted (or nut of choice)
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- Melt 1/2 cup butter in the microwave. Combine remaining brown sugar and melted butter in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the egg, vanilla, and whisk to combine. Add the flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix. Gently stir in the banana. Fold in the pecans. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula or offset knife.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the bars are set. The edges will be slightly pulling away from sides of pan. Let cool while you make the frosting.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in brown sugar and milk and stir until it comes just to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Whisk in powdered sugar and cinnamon.
- Spread on top of blondies and let frosting set. Allow bars to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving into 16 squares. I like to refrigerate them before cutting to make them easier to cut. Bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Recipe adapted from Cookies n Cups