Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The BEST Banana Bars EVER!

Today was a gorgeous day outside, perfect fall weather - sun shining, slight breeze, cool enough for a sweatshirt, just perfect.  Of course, to me, that meant I should bake something because I was in such a good mood.  Today was all about bananas ....

My mother brought home some over ripe bananas last week and I immediately put them in the freezer for a later baking date.  Her one request:  bake something for everyone at work.  OK, not a problem, I knew exactly what to make.  My grandmother's banana bars!  This is a no-fail, delicious, addictive recipe.

I grew up eating these bars and helping my grandmother make them is a very fond memory.  I can still picture them cut into bars and stacked on the oven, dusted with powdered sugar, waiting to be eaten ....

The aroma in the kitchen ... in the house ... is enough to get your taste buds watering.  There is nothing more homey then the smell of banana and vanilla wafting from the stove.  My kitchen still has that intoxicating smell from hours ago.  It has taken me all my strength to not eat it all!

These are traditionally dusted with powdered sugar.  However, for my mom's coworkers, I decided that a very thin cream cheese frosting layer would be a perfect mid-morning treat.

Without further yapping, here is the best banana bars recipe.

My Grandma's Best Banana Bars
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 cup scant flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
2-3 mashed bananas (over ripe the better)

Preheat oven to 350*F and prepare a cookie sheet.  Cream the butter and sugar.  Add eggs, sour cream, and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda.  Add to the wet mixture until just combined.  Add in the mashed bananas.  

Bake on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Serve with either powdered sugar or cream cheese frosting*.

* Cream Cheese Frosting:
3/4 stick of Neufchatel cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup confectioners' sugar

Cream together the cream cheese and vanilla with a hand mixer.  Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time.  Spread evenly on the banana bars.

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