Monday, October 1, 2012

Monkey Squares

When your sister moves home and brings bananas that have been sitting in her freezer for who knows how long and they look like this...
And you can't stop coming across this picture everytime you get on Pinterest...
 Photo courtesy of Life's Simple Measures
You really only have one choice: make them. It might be a rule of life. It would probably be a sin to put those bananas to waste.
I haven't actually told you what these are yet because I didn't want you to run away and start baking just yet. They're banana bread bars with browned butter frosting. 
Did you catch that? Browned butter frosting. On banana bread bars...
Ok, just making sure. You now have permission to leave this page and start baking away. 

In my opinion, they were less like a bar and more like a cake, and though I didn't think it was possible, they exceeded my expectations. The frosting is perfectly sweet, the cake is moist, and the walnuts are the perfect, soft crunch in each bite. They're light and fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth-whycan'tIstopeatingthese!? good.

Heaven's rays of approval? Most likely. 

Banana Bread Bars:
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
½ cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 ¾ cups (3 or 4) ripe bananas, mashed
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Browned Butter Frosting:
½ cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
about 3 tablespoons milk or half and half

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour 10x15 jelly roll pan. Beat first four ingredients until creamy. Blend in bananas and vanilla for one minute. Add dry ingredients and blend for one minute. Stir in nuts and spread in pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool slighty until warm but not hot and frost with Browned Butter Frosting (recipe below).

For the Browned Butter Frosting:
Heat butter in saucepan over medium heat past the melting point until it is boiling and a delicate brown. Remove from the heat and immediately add the remaining ingredients. This should be thicker than a glaze and thinner than frosting. Using a spatula smooth over the top of the Monkey Squares immediately. The frosting will be easier to spread once it's on the warm bread.

Original recipe here!

P.S. Sorry you have to look at pictures from my iPhone! I really need to upgrade to an ACTUAL camera...

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