Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Frosted Banana Bars

I opened the freezer this morning to get some waffles out for the kiddos, and out flew some frozen bananas!  Clearly they were begging to be baked today. 

Do you toss your overripe bananas into the freezer as I do?  My kids are, shall we say, persnickety about their bananas and don't like to eat them when they're overripe.  I just stick them in the freezer (the bananas, not the kids!) and save them for baking.  They turn completely black and look horrendous, but once thawed, they soft and mushy, just perfect for sweet treats like banana bread, cakes, cookies, and bars!!

Today I baked these.   Banana bars with cream cheese frosting.  Oh, yeah.

The recipe is so easy, made with everyday, on-hand ingredients.  I don't even remember where I got this recipe, I've had it so long!!

The bars are cakey----soft and moist.  The frosting is sweet and cream cheesy.  The chopped pecans on top are completely optional, but add a yummy crunch!

Since the recipe makes a big pan (11 x 15 jellyroll pan), I shared a big plate of them with the incredible kindergarten teachers at my little one's school.  The school year is coming to an end at an unbelievable pace.  Field trips, programs, special events, etc. etc. etc.  The teachers are well deserving of a pick-me-up such as these bars!

Enjoy the recipe!!

Frosted Banana Bars

1 stick butter (1/2 cup), softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 medium very ripe bananas

1 package cream cheese (8 oz), softened
1 stick butter (1/2 cup), softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/2 to 4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 11 x 15 jelly roll pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick baking spray.  In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well.  Add vanilla and sour cream and beat until incorporated.  Add dry ingredients and beat on low until blended.  Peel bananas and mash with a fork, then stir until batter.  Spread into prepared jelly roll pan.  Bake for 25 to 28 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of pan comes out with moist crumbs.    Cool completely.

Prepare frosting:  In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter.  Scrape down sides of bowl.  Add vanilla and 3 1/2  cups of powdered sugar.  Beat on low until smooth.  If necessary, add additional powdered sugar until frosting is thick yet spreadable.  Spread over cooled bars.  Sprinkle with nuts.  Cut until squares.  Yield:  35 to 40 bars.

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