Pan of whole wheat banana bars with caramel frosting

Banana Bars with Caramel Frosting

It’s funny how a few ripe-enough-that-they-must-be-eaten-today- bananas will throw my plans for the day into a new direction.

As I made my breakfast, those three bananas were just begging for attention, and I decided to make my first banana bars. I remember having them (with caramel frosting) growing up and wanted to try making them myself with freshly-milled flour. Of course trying to replicate a childhood favorite is always a tricky endeavor.

Banana bars with caramel frosting

Recipes

Bars: Taste of Home Frosted Banana Bars; Frosting: Caramel Frosting I from allrecipes.com

Process notes

  • cut bars recipe in half to use a small baking sheet
  • to cut the 3 eggs in half, used 1 egg + 1 yolk
  • 75 gm hard white wheat flour + 75 gm soft white wheat flour
  • baked 30 min
  • made frosting as directed, using cream instead of milk, but forgot to add in the vanilla

Results

It’s amazing how many bars can be made from one little 8×11 pan! I cut 24 bars from the sheet (giving my husband plenty of treats to take for sharing at work).

The bars have that somewhat greasy, crumbly texture that I’ve gotten from several of my cakes. It’s consistently happening when I use butter as the fat (as this recipe called for) instead of oil. I think a lightbulb just went off over my head. Next time I make something cake-like, I need to use oil instead, at a ratio of 75% of whatever the butter measurement called for in the recipe.

I also think I need to try this chocolate chip cookie recipe that is written for oil instead of butter.

I like that the frosting crusts, but was unprepared for how challenging it would be to spread on the tender bars. The top kept wanting to peel up as I spread the frosting on. Which, as anyone who’s iced a cake or bars knows, is an unsettling, near-panic inducing experience!

Pan of banana bars with caramel frosting

The frosting (which I could have improved by mixing in more cream to thin it out) was actually too sweet for me and overpowers the more subtle banana bars. I prefer a deeper, richer frosting. I’d probably try a different recipe instead of this one next time.

The best part of this baking this treat is making the oil/butter connection — I’m excited to make something with the oil substitution plan to see how it fares.

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