Mom’s Banana Bars with Browned Butter Frosting

For all the banana bread, banana muffin, banana cake lovers out there; this is your cakey bar version of perfection. My mom has been making these bars for years and when it came time for my sisters and I to make desserts for our kids, the recipe was pulled back out. These banana bars are not just for kids, but there’s something about putting fruit into a dessert that makes it feel like a healthier “kid appropriate,” treat.

The browned butter frosting is what truly brings this bar to the next level. Don’t be afraid of the caramelized bits in the butter. That’s where all the flavor is at. Make sure those bits of awesome get into the frosting.

Mom’s Banana Bars with Browned Butter Frosting

Recipe by meltedkcCourse: Dessert, SnacksDifficulty: Easy
Servings

20

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes

Ingredients

  • Banana Bars
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/4 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature

  • 1 large egg, room temperature

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 large bananas, very ripe and mashed

  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/4 tsp salt (I use vanilla salt)

  • Browned Butter Frosting
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter

  • 2 cups powdered sugar

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/4 tsp salt (I use vanilla salt)

  • 1-2 Tbsp milk, cream, or half and half*

Directions

  • Banana Bars
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper** (or spray with baking spray) and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugars, sour cream, egg, and vanilla until well mixed. About 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the bananas and stir gently to combine.
  • Sprinkle the flour, baking soda, and salt over the mixture and stir gently until moistened.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean. These bars are not especially thick, so watch them carefully after 15 minutes.
  • Browned Butter Frosting
  • While the bars are baking, melt the butter in a saucepan or stainless steel skillet over medium heat to brown the butter. Swirl the pan often once the butter has melted. You’ll know the butter is ready when you can see the browned bits on the bottom and the butter has turned a light amber color. Immediately remove from heat and place into a mixing bowl.
  • Beat the still warm browned butter with the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and milk. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add more milk if needed to achieve a thick but spreadable consistency.
  • Let the bars cool 10-15 minutes before frosting. Dollop the frosting over the warm bars and spread in an even layer. If the bars are too warm, they will just drink up the frosting and it won’t sit on top the way you want- so be patient!
  • Cool the bars to room temperature. Cut into squares and serve. These keep well for 1-2 days on the counter, or a few days in the fridge.

Notes

  • *The thicker the dairy product, the thicker your frosting will be. I like half and half for this frosting, but I find that milk works just as well.
  • **I like to line the pan with parchment paper so that I can remove the bars from the pan and get neater cuts if serving these to others. If you’ll just be eating these from the pan, save yourself the trouble and prep the pan with baking spray and serve from the pan!

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