September 1, 2009

banana bar bungle

I've officially lost my kitchen mojo.


After my devastating brownie debacle, it took me awhile to get geared up to bake again. However, when I had several bananas take a turn for the worse, I decided to bite the bullet and get back into the kitchen.

I’d seen these black bottom banana bars on quite a few of my favorite blogs, so I gamely picked them to try. Other than tossing a few chocolate chips into banana bread or diving into a frozen chocolate-covered bananner, I can’t think of a time when I’ve eaten chocolate and banana together.

So what happened this time? Two things--a)I used too much banana, and b)I took the bars out of the oven way too soon. Once again, the middle was sticky and wet, and by the time I realized this, the bars were cooled.


Dang distractions.

I know it’s wrong to pop a cake that has already cooled down back into the oven, but I figured I didn’t have anything to lose. I set the oven to 250F and walked away. When I remembered that I had done this an hour later, I pulled them out. There didn't seem to be much difference.

Knowing that my co-workers will eat just about anything, I persevered and cut out the parts that were cooked through. I refused to waste another batch of ingredients. To my great relief, the bars were inhaled, and more people than usual went out of their way to compliment me. Isn’t that always the way? Toil, labor, and sweat over something and it’s hardly appreciated. Barely exert any effort at all and everyone is beside themselves with appreciation and delight.


Sigh. Maybe these kitchen blunders are Dorie's way of getting back at me for disliking her cake. Are her powers that strong?

Badly-Behaved Black Bottom Banana Bars
(now THAT'S some alliteration for ya)
(based on
this recipe)

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 13x9-inch pan.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg, vanilla, and bananas and beat until thoroughly combined. Separately combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add this to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide the batter in half. Add the cocoa to half, blend well, and spread into the prepared pan. Spoon the remaining batter on top and swirl with a knife. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Bake for 30 minutes or until the bars test done. Cool completely before cutting.

76 comments:

Bellini Valli said...

The concept is wonderful...what can beat chocolate and bananas in my books.

muffinsareuglycupcakes said...

the kitty is so cute!
love the name - banana bar bungle!
i can taste it already :)

Barbara said...

Oh dear! Twice eating around the edges. Don't give up Grace. I hate to tell you but these actually look delicious....instead of chocolate chip cookie dough in the middle you have banana/chocolate dough. I would actually like to sneak a mouthful of that. :-)

Leslie said...

Ohhh please..I dont think it is possible for you to loose your mojo
your awesome and so are all of your creations

Susan @ SGCC said...

It's frustrating when a recipe doesn't turn out like you've planned. I've made several of Dorie's brownie/bar recipes and they all turn out differently, so I'm sure it's not you. That said, I think your banana bars look totally luscious! I'd rather have them a little undercooked than overcooked and dry.

maybelle's mom said...

i definitely think you can kick this and get the mojo back. maybe pie?

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Those Brownies look fantastic! I love your kitty's face...

Cheers,

Rosa

oneordinaryday said...

You too? Then I'm not alone in my kitchen fiascos, which somehow makes me feel better.
LOL
~Michelle

Gloria said...

eeejeemmm! sorry dear Grace I think these bars look absolutely tempting! really I dont think you lost your kitchen touch!!and in the kitchen always happens things as this, sometimes I put too much flour,other a lot of milk, other I think maybe other egg??? you know!! ja! and surprise not always is better.
Anyway I love your bars and the cat!!! is so cute! xgloria

The Food Librarian said...

A. Your kitty is adorable.
B. Do we work at the same place? My co-workers are the same.
C. You haven't lost your mojo! Keep plugging on!

lisa said...

So true. It's always the simple things that get the raves. That cross-section view looks delectable!

Dawn said...

ok that kitty face is precious! I love that you left the oven on 250 and walked away. LOL!

Hungry Dog said...

I frequently take things out of the oven too early because I worry so much about overbaking. But then this happens. Bummer. In any case, your kitty is adorable!

LilSis said...

I'm not the baker in my family, but it doesn't look to me like you've lost your mojo! Those look great.

And, what a cute little distraction!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Dorie does have amazing kitchen powers, but I doubt they're strong enough to make you lose your kitchen mojo. Despite the trouble they gave you, the bars certainly look delicious.

Kate at Serendipity said...

No.

No.

No.

This won't do. These aren't up to your normal standard at all! You must package them up immediately and send them to me. I'll see that they're properly disposed of.

:-)

.

Cheryl said...

I don't know they look pretty nummy to me! I think I would snarf them right up, cooked or not!

The Blonde Duck said...

I don't think Dori did it. I think you ran into a snag of bad luck--I do that every once in awhile.

Fine--all the time.

Danielle said...

so should I be glad Im not one of your co-workers? LOL. the salvaged part looks really good :)

Juliana said...

I am sorry that the bars did not come out as you expected...although the pictures look yummie! And the cat hiding...it so cute!

Julia said...

Maybe you're channeling Julia Child. She certainly had a knack for masking blunders.

nora@ffr said...

vat a lovely sweet treat! love the combo!

5 Star Foodie said...

I'm sorry that these didn't work out exactly as you wanted, it's a great concept though and I love the name!

Mrs. L said...

Chocolate and bananas always work for me.
And the kitty? Oh yeah, so cute!

Katie said...

Sorry they didn't turn out but they look fantastic!

Abby said...

Don't mess with the Dorie!

Kidding. We all have days when our baking just doesn't turn out right! You did the right thing by walking away - amazing!

Kerstin said...

Oh no, I'm sorry they didn't come out!

That's funny about your coworkers, mine are the same way, I find that people that don't bake at home are very easily impressed :)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Hehe isn't that always the way! But I'm sure that's how Mrs Fields got her parbaked cookies and how Bill Granger got his scrambled eggs so famous.

Now I don't know if I've asked you this before but have you see http://icanhascheezburger.com/? It's the best "kitteh" site around :)

Pam said...

I don't know what you're talking about, they look great. I'd probably be elbowing your co-workers out of the way to scarf some up!

shaz said...

No, no, no - the mojo is still there! I can see it in these bars no matter how badly you bag them (bad=dis in ozspeak).

Love the kitty. We can't have one cos hubby is allergic, so kid said "can we swap dad for one who's not allergic to cats?!!" (she was 2 at the time though)

Ingrid said...

Well, dang! I hate when that happens to me. It's usually when I'm really looking forward to something that everything goes awry.
~ingrid

Bunny said...

Even under baked they were good, Chocolate and banana is my new favorite flavor!

MaryBeth said...

You made the right decision my friend, these are fabulous...

Jacque said...

LOL, maybe it's the Dorie curse. (Naaah)

I just think it's a shot in the dark when you're baking two dissimilar layers. You either luck out and get it close, or not.

I'm glad they were appreciated. They do look good!

Teanna said...

It's funny that whenever we want to trash a recipe because it doesn't meet our standards, people still seem to like it! And then you think, why did I want to get rid of it in the first place! Haha! I'm sorry it wasn't 100% successful, but what really matters is that people LOVED it!

Maris said...

I'm posting something VERY similar next week - looks great!

Lynda said...

I'm sorry they didn't turn out Grace! They look really good in the picture and i think the chocolate chips would make them totally yummy!I've made several things lately that were bombs; some nasty chicken that i threw out and some oatmeal cookies that were as hard as bricks (I forgot the soda)!

Deborah said...

When I was working, I used to make tons of treats. And guess what I got the most compliments on? A batch of brownies. That I made from a box. Go figure. Maybe I'm a worse cook than I think I am! But these bars do look delicious!

toontz said...

I think people crave anything that is “from scratch” even if it is not perfect. It just tastes better! I love the chocolate and banana combination, it is one of my family’s favorite food grouping, lol.

Lindsey said...

You never can tell what people are going to love, can you? I'm pretty sure I have had a similar experience...my brother in law LOVES the brownies I make from a box and top with an espresso glaze...takes about 5 minutes, and he craves them all the time...

Chef Jeena said...

Sometimes I think there comes a point where we think ''can I even bake anymore...? have I been kidding myself on for all these years..?'' but don't worry it is just one of those things. I am certain that you will create something fabulous that makes you think ''of course I can bake!!!!!'' hehe.

Anyway, this cake looks damn good to me, one persons kitchen disaster is another persons tasty comfort food.... as your co workers told you. :-)

Robin Sue said...

I don't see anywhere in your recipe to say- cool completely and rebake at 250 and walk away for one hour! I have messed things up badly before then when some one asks for the recipe I have to say "burn the first batch and start over!" These do sound great and I am happy they turned out for you!

Hornsfan said...

If I had a kitten that cute roaming the halls of my home I'd be distracted too!

♥peachkins♥ said...

I'm literally mouthwatering I wanna take a bite from my screen..

Bridgett said...

Judging from the photos, it looks like you still have your mojo. You can't beat the combo of chocolate and banana.

Marjie said...

I'm sure your little distractions worked hard at making you feel better. The concept is great. After all, bananas and chocolate are two of the best things on the planet!

Indigo said...

'When I remembered that I had done this an hour later...'
- Story. Of. My life. But I always think when people love something that I've done my utmost to screw up , that's the mark of a good recipe. And these do look delicious, so... Dorie's curse hasn't TOTALLY succeeded!

ovenhaven said...

Total win on the name, total win on pleasing the co-workers, and total win on the cute kitty! Chocolate and banana, what's there not to love?

Maybe you should "barely exert any effort at all" from now on :P

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Hang in there we all have these day. I have weeks that go this way.

Jaime said...

haha - what a cute distraction! sorry they didn't quite turn out

Emily said...

Haha. Exactly! I've had the same thing happen to me. I remember one time I brought in a chocolate cake I worked hours on, and nobody appreciated it. But then you bring something you didn't put much time into, and it gets rave reviews.

Velva said...

OMG! Those banana bars are absolutely beautiful. A glass of milk is all that is needed to totally enjoy those tasty treats.

Albany Jane said...

Could it be something in the air?

I made some bar cookies the other day that came out oddly chewy. Still palatable and one of my friends ate half of the pan in the middle of the night, but still not what I knew it could have been.

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

Everyone gets into kitchen ruts now and then. I've gone through large spans where all we ate were salads and easy-fry protein because everything else--and I mean EVERYTHING else--flopped.

Even boxed mac & cheese. Yep, I killed that, too.

Your bars look yummy!

Lori said...

I just hate when I lose my baking mojo. It sure happens. I'd wager it happens to everyone at some point. For me a couple of times.

noble pig said...

I hate wasting too but obviously you recovered these and yes that is always the way it works out.

Half Baked said...

Isn't that always the way it goes. work your *ss off and there's hardly a thing said, whip up a batch of brownies from a box and you've hung the moon! Happens to me all the time. Hope you get you mojo back soon:)
ps cute kitty!

Chef Fresco said...

Coworkers are such a great way to rid yourself of food you like to cook but like around too long.

tiffany @ the garden apartment said...

They look great, grace! Full of oooey gooey goodness.

Helene said...

Oh no, not another fiasco. That cat is so cute.

Angelia mcgowan said...

Looks great, I have had the same experience, I screw something up and people love it, and I put my heart and soul in it and they pass over it, what's that about? Cute kitty, he/she is shy? Mine is the opposite, I wish he'd hide sometimes! LOL. Just stumbled upon your site, and love your site name I have just relaunched my site from reciperooster.com to southergracegourmet.com to better represent the site's content. Wasn't trying to copy! LOL but it is a great name. I am southerner too outa place in Orlando of all places.

Lisa said...

They look good to me! That is sort of a rule of bars anyway, they don't have to be perfect to be eaten. I am suspicious that the cat had something to do with it. That look is just too cute and innocent. I think it's up to something!

Kate at Serendipity said...

Grace, I can't seem to send you an email--my email's totally whacked. I'm leaving tomorrow for two weeks. Let's just leave the thing till I get back, ok? We'll figure it out then... Thanks a million anyhoooo.

Why do these things always happen when you're going away? How do they know?

Talita said...

This looks decadent!! Bana and chocolate is delicious!

pigpigscorner said...

oh well...the idea sounds great though.

Kate said...

These look delicious! If everybody "inhaled" them they couldn't have been bad!

eatme_delicious said...

Haha nice name for the brownies! Cute kitty. My cat loves to run into the pantry whenever I'm baking and then chew on things, which can be quite distracting! These bars look really good - glad you were able to salvage them.

comfycook said...

For a mistake, that looks really good.

kat said...

The combination sounds really good to me. I guess we all go through bad cooking spurts

Shelly said...

I hate it when I bungle something in the kitchen, too. However, the bars look good, though! Your kitty's face made me LOL. What a cutie!

Maria said...

They look good to me! I will take them off your hands:)

Jennifer said...

loose your mojo? Impossible!!!

These bars...are like a piece of heaven to me!! I cant wait to make!!

Marta said...

Oh no! Don't get discouraged again, though, do not lose your moxie!!! These look tasty and moist, even if not perfect!

Baking Monster said...

Grace I love how you post recipes and picture even when it doesn't turn out the way you wished it. It makes you human. which makes me feel better, that im not the only one, thanks and these brownie look really good, i have never though of that combination before.

foodhoe said...

good for you to keep at it! I would love a piece of that gooey chocolately banana thing

Lynn said...

These sound yummy to me! Then again, I am partial to chocolate-y gooey stuff. Thanks for sharing :)