roasted banana bars with maple glaze

January 21, 2012

in Bars & Bites

Roasting bananas is a swift way to intensify the natural sweetness of the ripe fruit, leading to caramelization and a rich nutty flavor. Alone, the roasted bananas would make an excellent pancake or ice cream topping. I went one step further and baked them into fluffy cake-like bars covered with a browned butter-maple glaze (confession – I want to slather this glaze on everything, and I’m planning to feature it again in a future post). The combination of roasted bananas with warming spices and maple syrup gives these bars plenty of dimension – now I just need a reason to bake another pan!

Roasted Banana Bars with Maple Glaze
Adapted from Cooking Light
2 cups sliced ripe banana
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, diced
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cardamom
1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 mashed ripe banana
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs

Glaze
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp low-fat milk
1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 400°F and arrange bananas in a single layer in a baking dish; sprinkle with brown sugar and diced butter. Roast for 25 minutes, gently stirring mixture halfway through. Cool slightly.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and coat a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and cardamom in a medium bowl. Combine buttermilk, banana, and vanilla in a small bowl. Beat butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Reduce speed to low and add half of flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat just until combined. Add buttermilk mixture, then finish with remaining flour mixture.

Gently fold in roasted banana, then pour mixture into prepared baking dish and smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached. Remove from oven to cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

To make glaze, place butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Cool slightly. Sift powdered sugar into a small bowl; whisk in browned butter, maple syrup, and milk until smooth. Pour over cake and spread evenly with an offset spatula, then sprinkle with toasted pecans. Let glaze set before cutting into bars. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days.

Yield – 24 bars (serving size: 1 bar)
Calories – 158
Carbs – 26

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14 Comments

1 Anna January 22, 2012

The bars by them self sound delicious but the maple glaze sends them over the top! Yumm!

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2 Laura Kasavan January 25, 2012

The maple glaze is seriously delicious – let me know if you try the bars!

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3 Savory Simple January 22, 2012

Roasting for the win! These look wonderful.

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4 Mercedes January 22, 2012

These look amazing and I always love to find new ways to use bananas besides plain old banana bread!

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5 natasha {schue love} January 22, 2012

Oh these banana bars are calling my name!! They look super yummy!

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6 Matt @ RecipeLion January 23, 2012

This dish looks great! I would love it if you linked up this recipe to my comfort foods blog hop for a chance to win a Wilton donut pan: http://bit.ly/yMcu5R

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7 Monica (@gastromony) January 28, 2012

I *love* the idea of roasting bananas before using them in recipes! Very nice :D

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8 Lisa Smith January 31, 2012

These are cooling on my counter as we speak! The smell is killing me!

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9 Laura Kasavan January 31, 2012

I think the smell alone is worth the trouble of baking the bars! :) Hope you enjoy!

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10 Lisa Smith January 31, 2012

Results are in – D LISH!

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11 Mandiee March 29, 2012

Roasting bananas produces such a wonderful, deep flavor. I eat roasted bananas like candy! I’m sure the maple glaze just takes the flavor to the next level. Sounds delicious!

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12 Sarah April 15, 2012

I made these for a dinner party last night and they were so delicious/popular that my guests broke into them well before dessert and half of them were gone before dinner was served!! Fantastic recipe!

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13 Tutti Dolci April 15, 2012

Wow, you must know how to throw a dinner party! So glad these were a hit :)

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