Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

I originally found this recipe in a Betty Crocker cookbook I received when we were first married.  It comes in doubly handy when I need to feed a crowd, and when I have some ripe bananas on my counter that have passed the stage of raw consumption.  Over the years, this recipe has been adjusted with changes to the sugar, oil, nuts, and doubling it to fit an 11 x 15" pan.  
Reminiscent of banana bread, this can be served in bars, or as a cake, and with or without frosting.  

2    cups brown sugar
4    very ripe bananas (brown is okay)
2/3 cups vegetable oil (or 1/3 c. applesauce + 1/3 c. oil)
4    eggs – lightly beaten
2    cups flour
2    teaspoons baking powder
1    teaspoon baking soda
1    teaspoon ground cinnamon
½   teaspoon salt
½  cup toasted walnuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350*. 
Mix bananas with brown sugar in large bowl. 
Add oil, then eggs. Mix until combined. 
Combine dry ingredients and add to the sugar and banana mixture – mixing until combined.  

Spread into a 11 x 15” pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned, and toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  

Allow to cool for 1 hour before frosting with cream cheese frosting, and serving.

Cream Cheese Frosting
6 oz. cream cheese softened
2/3 c. butter, softened
2 t. vanilla
4 c. powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla in medium bowl on low speed until smooth.  Gradually beat in powdered sugar until smooth.

Spread over banana bars after they've cooled.

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