Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Frosted Banana Bread Bars {with a secret ingredient}

It's no secret that we love a good banana-based dessert with delicious frosting on
top, as evidenced by our favorite Frosted Banana Cookies recipe from a few years
ago. So, when my friend told me that she had whipped up a batch of banana bars
earlier in the day that were cooling at home, I was intrigued and had to find out what
she wa stalking about, so I started researching the idea of banana bars.

Some called them Banana Brownies, or Banana Bread Bars or even Monkey Bars.
But they all had two things in common - banana goodness and frosting! So I set out to
put together the best of all of them into a yummy banana dessert that I knew my kids
would go crazy for and maybe add just a little bit of a healthy twist to it.

Most of the recipes I found for Banana Bars used sour cream in the recipe. Well, I've
never loved sour cream and so we don't keep it on hand at the house because we don't
eat it on any of our savory foods. So, a few years ago, I started substituting Greek
yogurt for any recipe that called for sour cream. It's a 1:1 substitution, it has the same
texture, I love the tang of the Greek yogurt, and I love that it has protein in it. So that
makes anything you bake it in healthy, right? Ha! I wish!

I love that I can substitute in the Greek yogurt and my family is none the wiser!
I've done it in my zucchini brownies, my funeral potatoes, my hot corn dip and
several other family favorites. It's a simple substitution that makes me feel a little bit
better aboutthe foods I am feeding to my family.

So, let's get started! To make these delicious frosted banana bar brownie squares -
or whatever you want to call them - you are going to need:

1.5 cups sugar
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 or 5  bananas)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda 
3/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease your jelly roll pan. Beat the first four
ingredients together until creamy.
2. Blend in bananas and vanilla for one minute.
3. Add in dry ingredients and blend for another minute.
4. Spread into prepared jelly roll pan and then bake for 20 to 25 minutes until they
look perfectly golden brown.
5. Cool slightly and frost with Browned Butter Frosting (below)
while they are still warm.

1/2 cup butter
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
about 3 tablespoons of milk

1. Heat butter in a saucepan on medium heat until it is boiling and has 
turned a light brown color. 
(If you've never browned butter - Our Best Bites has a great tutorial.)
2. Remove from the heat and immediately add the remaining ingredients.
It will be thicker than a glaze, but thinner than a regular frosting.
3. Use a spatula or frosting knife to frost the Banana Bars immediately. It will be
easier to spread if your bars are still warm.

And there you have them! Protein packed Banana Bars that are practically
healthy because of the bananas and Greek yogurt. Never mind the sugar and flour.
Hee, hee. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do! I took them to the park 
to share with friends and the kids went crazy for them!



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