Monkey Squares

Monkey Bars2The first time I made these I was perusing pinterest trying to find a new way to use our old bananas besides making banana bread.  Don’t get me wrong, we love banana bread, and I think the Neely’s have an awesome banana bread recipe, but I wanted something different.  I had tried some amazing little square cake-like banana things at work that the PTA had brought in one time and I was thinking it might be nice to find something of that sort.  I started looking through pictures and when I got to the one from thegirlwhoateverything.com I was convinced I had found the answer to my brown banana woes.  Mike came in the bedroom and plopped on the bed and asked, “Whatchya doin’?”

“Our bananas are old.”

“Okay…”

“So I was thinking I could make banana bread…” I hesitated for effect.

“Mmmm…”

“Or….I could make these,” and I flipped over the iPad and showed him the picture.

“What are those?”

“They’re like banana bread.  But with frosting.”

“Sounds good to me.”

I had a few versions of this while I lived in Salt Lake City.  Let me tell you, I was skeptical about Browned Butter Frosting, but it is beyond delicious.  It has a carmel type flavor to it which was incredibly amazing to me after I made it for the first time.  In fact, I didn’t feel too well afterwards because I kept taste testing it before the bread part was actually done.  I would taste and stir and whisper “Wow” to myself and then taste and stare in wonderment at this carmel-flavored frosting.  My kids loved it too and I was so excited that I happily handed over the bowl for them to stick their finger in again rather than telling them they’ve “already had enough” or “wait ’til after dinner.”  Needless to say, we LOVE this recipe.  And as the teachers at West Kearns Elementary School know (thanks to their fabulous PTA) it’s a great recipe to take to work to share. 🙂

 

Monkey Squares

IngredientsMonkey Bars2

For the Banana Bread Bars:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 (3 or 4) ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Browned Butter Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • about 3-4 tablespoons milk

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease and flour 10X15 jelly roll pan or line with parchment paper.
  2. Beat sugar, sour cream, butter, and eggs until creamy.  Blend in bananas and vanilla for one minute.
  3. Add dry ingredients and blend until just combined.
  4. Stir in nuts and then spread in pan.
  5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. When the banana bars still have about five minutes to cook, begin the Browned Butter Frosting.  Heat butter in saucepan over medium heat, past the melting point until it’s foiling and a delicate brown.  Remove from the heat and immediately add the remaining ingredients.  It should look thicker than a glaze, but thinner than frosting.
  7. After allowing the banana bars to cool only slightly, (unlike most cakes, this one still needs to be warm so you can spread the frosting) use a spatula to frost with Browned Butter Frosting.  (If the frosting has become thick it will get easier to spread over the warm cake.)

Notes- You can use a 9X13 pan for this (my pictures were taken after making them in that sized pan), but then I would recommend making only half the Browned Butter Frosting as it is rich.  It takes about 35 minutes to bake them with a 9X13 pan.  I prefer using the larger pan and having smaller squares.

Recipe from TheWelcomeMat

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