Spiced Banana Bars

When I have no idea what to make, I tend to look back at what I have made before and see if anything can give me any pointers as to what I should do. While I have not posted anything this month, I have been making items – mostly scones – and as such I was a bit sconed-out when I went looking for something a little different. Pumpkin coffee cake caught my eye, but I used up the last of my pumpkin mush a while ago. Oh, what to do…

This is when scrounging in the refrigerator comes into play. In the last few months, it seems that I have completely lost track of what we do or do not have in the fridge (outside of my half-and-half). It doesn’t help that the times I am looking in the fridge for a purpose outside of caffeination I don’t actually pay attention to what I’m seeing in the fridge unless I am looking for something specific – and with Mikal doing pretty much all of the cooking lately, my relationship with the fridge has become rather distant.

Much to my delight, I found bananas in the fridge. Since I was thinking about the coffee cake anyway, I looked up banana coffee cake recipes. There are plenty of recipes out there, but the following one intrigued me. It’s not so much coffee cake – it doesn’t have that fluffy texture I tend to associate with coffee cake, and generally behaves more like a lemon bar, or something of that sort. I do recommend using a medium-to-large glass baking dish; I used one that is about 6×8.5 inches and the bottom layer was a bit on the thick side, and the bars took about twice as long to bake as expected. Even so, they tasted pretty amazing.

Spiced Banana Bars

adapted from Shockingly Delicious

2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup (2 medium) thinly sliced overripe bananas
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup greek yogurt or sour cream
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar and butter and mix at low speed until crumbly.

Press 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture into a 13×9 inch baking dish. Measure out another 1/2 cup crumbs and set aside.

Combine remaining crumbs in mixing bowl with remaining ingredients. Beat on medium speed until well-blended. Pour evenly over crumb crust. Sprinkle reserved crumbs over top.

Bake until golden brown, 30-35 minutes.

Cool and cut into bars of whatever size you desire.

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