I'm always looking for new recipes to use up overripe bananas. I got this recipe for Banana Magic Cookie Bars from Anna's blog. The original recipe had a graham cracker crust, but Anna gave it a chocolate shortbread crust. I liked that the crust cut the sweetness of the bars, but it was a bit crumbly the first day I tried them. By the second day in the fridge, though, the texture was perfect and I had a hard time keeping away from them.
Banana Magic Cookie Bars
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch salt (optional)
1 cup unsalted butter, salted
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 bananas, mashed
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
1 cup walnuts or pecans (I like pecans, but used walnuts this time)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9 inch pan with no-stick foil or parchment.
Sift together flour and cocoa powder. Add salt (if using) and set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter and confectioners sugar until creamy. By hand, stir in flour mixture until well incorporated and moist. Press mixture into bottom of pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
Mix together condensed milk and mashed banana. Pour over baked crust. Mix together chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Sprinkle over top. Bake for 25- 30 minutes.
Let cool completely and then chill before serving.
The next recipe could have used Anna's deft hand at cutting the sweetness. The combination of the cinnamon chips and the frosting made it cloyingly sweet, and the oatmeal gave it kind of an odd texture. If I made it again I'd substitute nuts for half of the cinnamon chips, but I'm not sure I'd bother making it again. Here's the recipe in case you like things really sweet.
Frosted Apple Cinnamon Bars
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups uncooked old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 package cinnamon-flavored baking chips(10-ounce)
1 medium apple (1 cup) chopped
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 package cream cheese (3-ounce), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
Ground cinnamon, if desired
Heat oven to 350°F. Combine flour, salt and baking soda in medium bowl; stir in oats.
Combine butter, brown sugar and sugar in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until well mixed. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture. Beat until well mixed. Stir in cinnamon chips and apple by hand.
Spread batter into greased 13x9-inch baking pan. Bake for 33 to 38 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely.
Combine all frosting ingredients in small bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Spread over cooled bars. Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.