roasted banana bars with maple glaze
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
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