Friday, March 8, 2013

Salted Peanut Banana Bars with Brown Butter Frosting

So...I betcha thought I fell off the ends of the earth, right!  Might have been more fun, however, I received a jury summons for this past week and had to sit in the "Jury Room" for two days, waiting to see if I would be called for a trial.  As it turned out, I wasn't assigned to a trial and got sprung yesterday knowing that I did my civic duty.

Well, anyone who knows me, knows that I'm not a sitting kind of person and, furthermore, I don't like to talk on the cell phone in public, so what else was a gal to do to pass the time?? I was thinking of recipes I want to try.  The first one, because I noticed there were some ripe bananas on the counter:-( would be a banana bar.  I have to chuckle because sitting in the courthouse and thinking about jail bars made me think of doing a bar to begin with:D!  Also, I know it seemed like something I hadn't tried with bananas and that's what enticed me to create a memorable snack.

Salted Peanut Banana Bars with Brown Butter Frosting
Shortbread Crust:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees. Use a 9" x 13" baking pan (and for ease, line with aluminum foil, making sure you extend the foil beyond the sides, and spray the foil with a non-stick baking spray)
I use a 9" x 13" springform pan--makes it easy to cut and remove bars.

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together thoroughly.  Scrape down the sides with a spatula, as needed.  Add the flour and salt and mix until combined--mixture should hold together when pressed between your fingertips.
 Distribute shortbread dough on the bottom of the baking pan and, with impeccably clean fingers, press the dough out as smooth as possible.
Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven while you mix up the banana layer and melt the butter for the brown butter frosting.  Don't turn off the oven.
Heat 1/2 cup butter over medium heat

Reduce heat to low and cook the butter until it turns a golden brown.  Remove from the heat and transfer to a glass bowl to cool before using in the frosting.
Banana Bread Layer:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup mashed bananas (3 medium, but measure just in case)
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. Banana flavoring (optional, but enhances the flavor)

1 tsp. Vanilla extract
2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup Salted Dry-Roast peanuts, chopped

You don't need to wash the bowl you mixed the shortbread up in.  Cream the butter and sugar together.  Add the mashed bananas, Banana Flavoring and Vanilla Extract and mix on medium speed.  Add the egg and beat well.

Add the dry ingredients and the salted peanuts and mix on low just until incorporated.  Spoon over the shortbread crust and use an off-set spatula to spread evening.  I placed the 9" x 13" baking pan on a baking sheet so the shortbread crust wouldn't become too brown.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until the bars are golden brown and a wooden skewer comes out cleanly from the center.
Allow to cool for 10 min, then, run a straight spatula around the edges before removing the sides.  If you lined your baking pan with foil, you should be able to life the bars out of the pan to cool completely.

Brown Butter Frosting:

Melted and cooled brown butter (from 1/2 cup [1 stick] unsalted butter)

3 cups confectioners' sugar
2 - 3 T milk
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix the brown butter, confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract together.  Add milk, one tablespoon at a time until the frosting is spreading consistency.  Spread on top of the cooled bars and but into squares.

Now, it didn't take me two days to think this up, but I will tell you I thought of a whole bunch of options to make these even more unique.


  • Nuts--Substitute peanuts for pecans, walnuts, macadamia, or almond
  •  Add 1 1/2 cups of mini chocolate chips, Reeces peanut butter chips or 1 cup shredded coconut to the banana layer.
  • Pour a chocolate ganache layer on top instead of the brown butter frosting--Ganache --Heat 1/2 cup of heavy cream + 2 T light Karo syrup, until bubbles appear around the circumference. Pour heated cream over 2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips.  Let sit a few minutes and then, stir until smooth.  Pour over the bars before removing them from the pan. 
One last thing...everyone asks, "what do you do with all the things you bake?"  Well, these got packed up and brought to some friends at my favorite on-line craft supple store--Ellen Hutson, LLC.
I love sharing. Enjoy!
   

 

31 comments:

  1. That sounds delicious! How you find all of these different recipes? It is always an inspiration to come here.

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    Replies
    1. Bonnie, About 95% of my recipes are ones I've created. I'm lucky to have a good science background, combined with, the teachings from my mother so I know how to make ingredients work together:-D I also have a very over-active mind, XOXO

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  2. Yum!!! My kids are going through bananas so fast these days, I never have any "ready to bake" bananas anymore. Maybe I'll need to hide 3 from the next bunch :-).

    PS -- I was going to give you until tomorrow morning before I put out an APB, so glad to see you back!!

    xoxox, Kat

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    Replies
    1. LOL! I was going to put out an APB on me!!

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  3. OMG Susan. These are amazing. PB and banana and that frosting???? YUM!

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    1. I know you could kick these up too, my friend, XOXO

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  4. These look super--and I'm always looking for new uses for over-ripe bananas! Love pairing them with peanuts.

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    1. I really like the taste of the peanuts and thought, since I love peanut butter and banana, it would be a perfect pairing. XOXO

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  5. This looks just wonderful. Oh how fun for those who know you to be the recipients of your baking. Thanks for telling me about the brown butter frosting, too.

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    1. Brown butter adds a lot of flavor to frostings and baked goods in general; I tend to add this stepped up ingredient when I think it would make the recipe even better, XOXO

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  6. So that's where you've been--jury duty--our civic duty, but not exactly my idea of fun. My hubby had this duty for February and was not a happy camper.
    I'm going to need to buy some nanas to make these wonderful bars. xoxo ♥
    Martha Ellen

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    Replies
    1. It wasn't my idea of fun either...especially since I have a pile of work and deadlines staring at me. My hubby loves jury duty and actually said he'd do it for me, but they wouldn't let him substitute since he had just been on a jury last year. I think when he retires he'll be either at the courthouse or doing Fantasy Sports; his two favorite things:-D

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  7. Susan? My mouth is salivating at those fabulous bars. Mmm mmm mmm I'd like one right NOW.

    Thanks for your visit and comment, by the way.

    Glad you did your civic duty. Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had had several Excuses over the last few years and couldn't get out of it. I'm just glad I wasn't assigned to a jury; my workload right now is unbelievable. However, I do have some other ideas I'll be sharing that I came up while sitting!

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  8. Hey Susan! I had jury duty this month, too! but I lucked out and when I called the night before they said I had fullfilled my civic duty for the year....no cases pending! phew!
    You can send me some of your banana bars anytime. love, sue

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    Replies
    1. I'm not that lucky--when I called the night before, they said "all groups need to show up!" I've actually been "hounded" for almost 3 years, but with Kelly's passing and then, the lawsuit, I had been excused, so I needed to do this. I'm wondering how they would ship; maybe I should give them a try--are you up for being a guinea pig:-D

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    2. I'm your guinea pig! send away.
      stamping sue
      http://stampingsueinconnecticut.blogspot.com/

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  9. I never would have thought of combining bananas and peanuts. You are so creative!

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    Replies
    1. I used the dry-roasted ones, but I'm thinking Virginia Peanuts would be good too. However, whether you're nutty or not, this was a pretty good recipe I came up with while sitting:-D

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  10. This looks so good. Bananas almost never get overripe around here.

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    Replies
    1. My hubby goes through banana periods and more often than not, there's a few leftovers. If not, buy some "aged" bananas at the store--this really was a hit with my friends, XOXO

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  11. Glad you're back! I love peanuts in just about anything. I love this frosting, I've never done the browned sugar thing. Someday...I think these would be amazing with the ganache, too. ;) Lv, me

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  12. Oh well at least the 'waiting' wasn't a 'waste' since you came up with these awesome 'jail bars'!!! Glad you are back! I'm still in Houston enjoying time with my Mom!
    hugs, Linda

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  13. Wish I lived nearby! I'd have offered to meet you at Ellen's... now that would be heavenly! A great dessert and shopping in person at Ellen's.
    DeniseB

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  14. Num num, those look wonderful!

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  15. It looks fantastic even without the frosting and I am dang sure it tastes heavenly with the brown butter frosting!

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  16. OMG!! Amazing! Definetly a try. Thank you for your amazing recipes

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  17. Hello Susan....As always, the recipe is amazing. Tell me something about the lovely cake stand in the first photo. Is that a bunny?

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  18. You are just killing me with all these wonderful recipes!!! I have to try these for sure, they look so delicious and I know they are...thanks.

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  19. Yum! These banana bars sound wonderful! :)

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