Friday, July 19, 2013

Banana Bread Brownies with Browned Butter Frosting!

Happy Friday everyone!

To celebrate the best day of the week, I'm going to make all of you banana lovers so happy! Trust me on this.

I know its been a while since I've blogged, but I really have a good excuse this time. Ready?

Ok. So 3 weeks ago I drove back home to LA, and it really was such a long, exhausting drive! Marin to Stockton took about 3 hours, plus the horrendous heat wave didn't help one bit. I finally got home at 12:01 am, parked my car and just as I was emerging out of my car my right hand, specifically my right thumb got slammed in the driver door. It was only 12:03am. Damn, 2 minutes into my awesome, much needed vacation. Unfortunately, the pain got worse. About half of my hand was swollen. Oh super! Now it wouldn't have been so bad, but I practically use my right hand exclusively. So learning how to do things with my left hand was frustrating, I mean do you know how hard it is to put on a bra with one hand? Or let alone use chopsticks? Anyway to conclude, I'm finally getting back to normal. Although my thumb looks really disgusting. Just thought I'd share.

Thanks for reading, if you did.

So, last week my office mate Brenda, shared a wonderful recipe she found on facebook. I couldn't help but feel inspired! I decided to make and share them with my co-workers, I really don't know how fast the brownies disappeared (I slightly feared that nobody would like them, but I guess that's my perfectionist syndrome kicking in) but I did get many e-mail compliments and personal thank you's! And yes on the corny side, it really does make me happy when people enjoy what I bake, that is really why I do it all.

Banana Bread Brownies with Browned Butter Frosting


Banana Bread Bars:

1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup sour cream, room temperature (you can also substitute with buttermilk)
½ cup of unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
2 eggs, at room temperature
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 unsalted butter
1-2 cups powdered sugar (sift to get a smooth frosting)
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons milk or half and half


Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour 10x15 jelly roll pan or line with parchment paper (for thicker bars use a 9x13 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 (For a 9x13 pan, 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean--- I used this pan and it comes out thick and cake like) 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 brownies immediately. The frosting will be easier to spread once it's on the warm bread.


The Girl Who Ate Everything

Also, here's a great tip. If you need ripe bananas, because I never seem to have any on hand you can use this trick to get a ripe banana perfect for baking! Remember that the banana is the main ingredient in bread and in these delicious brownies, so a ripe banana and a unripe banana can make quite a difference.

To make this simple, preheat your oven to 300 Degrees Fahrenheit. Lay out your bananas on a shallow baking pan. Make sure your bananas are not green, you need to have somewhat yellow bananas for this to work (this trick saves you about a few days in the ripening process). It took me about 20-30 minutes in the oven to get my bananas to ripen. The time varies. And they will come out of the oven looking freakishly black. Don't worry, this means you did it right. For more specific instructions with pictures, please check out this blog! Thanks to Jessica, from clean, green, and simple!

Banana Bread Brownie with Browned Butter Frosting Review:

Pros: This is such an easy recipe, anyone can do it! My sister could, if she wanted to : ). It is super moist and the reduction of sugar in the frosting makes it pure deliciousness! You can eat this as a dessert or for the daredevils at breakfast with coffee or tea. It tastes great warm or cold. And you don't need too many special ingredients, if you have bananas use the tip I listed above. And seriously, banana bread and brownies combined to one fabulous dessert = pure magic!

Cons: ..... If I must put something down here, walnuts. I've never been a fan, but its optional. But as a baker enthusiast, people seem to like the crunch of the walnuts with the soft, pillowy brownie.

Now go ahead, happy baking and let the compliments start rolling in! ; )

Have a wonderful weekend!

All the best,