April 24, 2009

languish no more!

It's inevitable that even the most loyal banana-eater will end up with one or two of the suckers that're just too mushy to eat. You know what I mean--they practically turn to liquid in your hand. When that happens, I usually turn to banana bread (as evidenced here and here...and here and here)(good grief). This time, however, I went for something far more daring...


...banana bars.

I know what you're thinking--"Someone get a straight jacket for that gal--she's out of control!" Although I may, in fact, need a straight jacket, it's probably not because I've departed from trusty ol' banana bread. :)


I first spotted these bars on Melanie's all-around fabulous and reliable blog My Kitchen Cafe. I remember thinking at the time that I'd never before seen such a moist and fluffy banana concoction, and I was right. The moistness of this cake is almost unreal. Granted, I used two heaping cups of banana, but I suspect that the tender, melt-in-your-mouth quality would be present regardless.


Yes, smothering the bars with my almond butter ice cream was definitely a good idea.

I sprinkled some leftover granola across the unbaked bars--I thought it would give a nice contrasting texture (and would get rid of said leftover granola). I also added some ginger to the batter, which, in retrospect, was a regrettable decision. Why, you ask? The plain and simple truth is that ginger can't hold a candle to my beloved cinnamon.


The last change I made was to top the bars with an easy glaze (powdered sugar, water, vanilla, and a bit more ginger), and it was...pretty nice. The moral of this story is that if I was in love with ginger, these bars would be perfection. Meh, I guess that just gives me a reason to make them again.

The-Moistness-Knows-No-End Banana Bars
(adapted from this recipe)

½ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
2 cups mashed bananas
1 cup granola

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 10x15-inch jellyroll pan or one 9x13-inch pan and an additional 8x8-inch pan. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the sour cream, vanilla, and mashed bananas. Combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, and salt in a medium bowl; stir into the batter. Spread evenly into the prepared pan(s) and sprinkle granola across the top of the batter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

56 comments:

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

I don't think anything could hold a candle to cinnamon for you, no? ;) Hubby loves ginger and bananas so I might make these to pop in his lunchbox!

Cheryl said...

Yum! My grandmother makes something similar to this, with cream cheese frosting, and it rocks my world!

Melanie said...

Love the new-and-improved title of the recipe. And I love how you always take things up a notch - topped with almond butter ice cream?? Glazed?? Ginger?? Granola?? You are amazing.

Amanda @ Mrs.W's Kitchen said...

You vixen, you. Now I'm craving bananas. What have you done?

Paula said...

Oooh, we always have one or two bananas that, um, are no longer yellow! I want me some banana bars. I love ginger, so this works just dandy for moi! :-)

Culinary Wannabe said...

Because they have fruit in them, that means I can have them for breakfast, right??

Dawn said...

there can never ever be enough banana bread and bars recipes. keep on creating, please. I need to get my ice cream maker out already.

Chef Fresco said...

Oh yum! Looks so delicious!

Pam said...

I am so happy you posted this recipe - once I saw the ice cream melting over them I knew I wanted to make these. YUM!

Lynda said...

I am in love with anything banana so I'll be trying these yummy bars!And, I think cinnamon would be best; how can cinnamon be topped!

The Blonde Duck said...

The picture of the banana bar covered in ice cream almost did me in. How delicious!

Maryann said...

Love 'em! Thanks for sharing :)

Susan said...

These look ridiculously awesome!!! Banana bars totally trump banana bread. You kill me with all of your yummy recipes. I'm gonna be as big as a house!

Jeff said...

Looks amazing! I have some bananas I negelected to eat that have been getting nice and brown for a run at baking.

Plus they are individual sizes which means I can eat them all and not realize it till they are all gone.

Mer said...

These look amazing!! I am a total banana fan- I usually have 3 a day. That definitely leaves a few mushy bananas around once in a while! I'm glad to have something to try other than my too-dry banana bread recipe. Thanks for posting!

I love your blog, by the way! I have a line of things I want to try from here!

Marjie said...

You know I buy bananas by the case, right? As in, 40 pounds at a clip? So, I guess I might be trying these at some point, if I get bored with banana bread and banana cake! I love all things banana...

lisaiscooking said...

Your bars look fantastic! There's something about mushed banana and sour cream in a baked good. I hear ya regarding ginger. I go up and back with it.

OhioMom said...

Again you tempt me with that luscious ice cream and on top of a banana bar ? Oh my .. the only thing missing is chocolate :)

Juliana said...

Looks so yummie! I am sure my husband will love it! Great pictures!

noble pig said...

Oh my goodness that is extreme food porn you know!

Sharon said...

I'm always neglecting my bananas. Doesn't that sound funny? In any case, I love the scrumptiousness of this dessert!

Bunny said...

The picture of the bars and ice cream is pure torture! I'm making the bars, I just have to hide the bananas from the kids and hubby till they're brown!

LyB said...

These look like a nice change from banana bread, or banana muffins, which in my case often become mini-banana muffins, 'cuz of the kids, they love the mini-muffins! I could cut these bars extra small and I'd be good to go! They look delicious, I really hope my bananas get dark pretty soon. :)

Laura said...

I completely agree about cinnamon vs ginger. And I wish I liked bananas--these are scrumptious looking!

Elyse said...

Way to branch out beyond banana bread!! These bars look great. I agree: as much as I love ginger, it doesn't compare to the amazingness of cinnamon :) However, that ginger glaze does sound pretty amazing! Now I know what to do next time I have overripe bananas!

Sara said...

I just bought 7 lbs of overripe bananas - I threw them in the freezer for smoothies and recipes just like this one!

Lovely Lacey said...

Mmmm banana bread bars. I have not made banana bread in ages. My husband is not a fan yet when I do make it some how it gets eaten and I only get 1 or 2 slices...odd huh

Jacque said...

One thing that appeals to me about these bars is the higher icing to bar/bread ratio, compared to regular banana bread.

Good call on the granola, these look fantastic!

Robin Sue said...

Ooh I like the granola on top idea. I am with you- cinnamon all the way!!

Lori said...

OMG I am salivating. Banana nut bars with almond ice cream. Delicious. Hold the granola for me I just want to experience the creamy, dreamy experience. Nothin' against granola mind you.

foodhoe said...

ooh whozzat, like a brownie then? hmm, I'm a gingerlover so it sounds really good to me, especially the glaze...

Heather said...

whoa! almond butter ice cream?! banana bars?! i am in love!

Karen Brown Letarte said...

These look too good! I've never been a HUGE fan of banana bread, though I like it well enough. These, however, look like something to write home about! Now that I'm in my new kitchen, I actually have a bit of room in my freezer for my ice cream cannister so am looking forward to getting back to that. Also... I let my bananas get ripe on purpose to freeze for protein shakes! They almost never have a chance to get to banana bread state, LOL!

:) K

Ingrid said...

I'd have to agree with ginger while good cannot hold a candle to your beloved cinnamon.

That recipe makes a lot of bars. Great idea adding alomnd butter ice cream!
~ingrid

Donna-FFW said...

These look so amzingly delicious. Bananas are one of my most favorite things to bake with. Ill have to try theese..

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

These look so light and fluffy and moist. And the icing would be -- well, the icing on the cake! Delicious!

Hornsfan said...

These bars look sublime! Moist, fluffy and tasty, ginger or not, they would pass the test for me :)

kat said...

Wow, those do look so good

Peter M said...

Giddy-up....I'm all for moistness and again, you show that no one should ever makes crap from a box.

Maria said...

Those are really looking good, want to share?

Shelly said...

Oooo those look great! I bet they were awesome with the almond butter ice cream.

Vera said...

Grace, your bars look very tempting!

Bellini Valli said...

Another excellent way to use up all those "dead" bananas in the freezer:D

RecipeGirl said...

There is nothing better than overloading banana bread/cake with excess banana. It just makes it better, doesn't it?

Looks like you've done some good things with your cake there :)

Baking Monster said...

thank you!I can't keep up with you though you always have such great ideas!

Bridgett said...

Food porn at its finest, Grace! This looks amazing comforting. I love how moist it looks. You have to love a delicious banana treat.

alexandra said...

That is an incredible title. And what a good idea! These look fabulous! I found myself throwing a few bananas into a scone recipe this morning b/c i didn't know what else to do. if that was a good idea is yet to be determined.

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

I love bananas and I'm down with ginger too. Sounds like I'd like it very much indeed.

Claudia said...

So what do I get out first? the ice cream maker or the bananas? You just evelvated banana bread.

Emily said...

Banana bars! They look incredibly delicious!

eatme_delicious said...

Haha love the recipe title! I don't usually have extra bananas but I've been trying to leave some bananas around and let them get black before baking with them (since so many people say this is the best). Not so black that they're oozing though haha. Anyway I think I actually prefer them only slightly overripe for baking.

Jude said...

Haha nice recipe. I can definitely see what you mean through your photos :)

Deborah said...

I think this is fate. I was just noticing all the bananas on my counter, and I'm going out of town for the weekend. I know they'll be too ripe for my liking when I get back - and this will come to the rescue!

Chef E said...

Oh I agree with lisaiscooking, mushed bananas and sour cream yeah! Should I be admitting that I miss the frozen Sarah Lee banana cakes?

emily said...

I love love love banana bars! My grandma makes them every once in a while, so they make me think of her. *sigh* I'm making these pronto.

Stacey said...

This looks amazing and SO moist! I have two brown bananas waiting to be used for something (I certainly will not be eating them plain!!)... maybe I can get my hub to clean then I can bake!