Chocolate Bottom Banana Bars

by Lori on April 19, 2010

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe for something sweet.  I did that on purpose.  I didn’t want you to think that all I do is bake even though it’s one of my favorite things to do.  I feel the same way about gardening.  (This reminds me that I really need to complete the ‘About Me’ portion of this blog.  I’ve been putting it off for a while now.)

One of the things I will incorporate into the less-than-1200-word-description-of-myself is that I am married to a captain in the fire department.  It has it’s advantages.  Many.  And he is a wonderful man with a number of attributes (like how he washes my car once-a-week, fixes whatever I tell him is broken, and sweeps the floor everyday).  However, there is a dark side.  He is regimented beyond belief.  Any time I am away from our home for a length of time (as I was for the past week or so), he “reorganizes” parts of my kitchen.  What?  It sends me through the roof every time it happens!  He has reorganized my spice cabinet and pantry before, but I just did both of these myself so I think his radar wasn’t sounding any alarms about these sectors. So this time around he had to find something to keep up with his demented traditions.  He focused on the refrigerator.  Apparently there are better places to put mayonnaise and other essential items in our refrigerator in his opinion.  Why is this activity necessary?  Was the mayonnaise in a bad place before?  I thought it was very conveniently located.  When a busy mother is hastily preparing meals or school lunches in the morning, she needs to know exactly where her go-to items are.  I am convinced that this unnecessary refrigerator reconfiguration was exactly why my well-intentioned attempt at brewing a desperately-needed pot of coffee Friday morning went awry. My worn-out, fatigued brain spent so much time trying to locate the mayonnaise that by the time I found the coffee grounds, I had forgotten why I grabbed them and ended up brewing a pot of hot water.  I would prefer my husband channel his neurosis into bathroom cleaning.  That is mutually beneficial and no one is offended by a clean toilet.

I digress…

So it’s time.  Time for me to go reorganize his garage something sweet to balance things out, don’t you think?

I’ve been making Chocolate Bottom Banana Bars ever since I found the recipe last summer.  It seems that we always have over-ripe bananas in the fruit bowl, and this is a perfect way to use them up.  Those of you who know me will recognize this one…it’s from my Facebook archives.

The ingredients.

Grease a  9″ x 13″ pan.  I use Crisco (or butter if I have a small pat of it that needs to be used).  I have tried the spray can of canola oil.  I don’t recommend it.  It makes it really hard to spread the batter; it’s a little too slippery.  I use a Pyrex pan because my knife will not scratch it when I cut the bars.

Mash the bananas, about 3 of them.  You’ll need 1-1/2 cups.  Set aside.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  Mix together and set aside.

Butter and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  You could also use a hand-held mixer or do it by hand if you’re into that sort of thing.

Mix butter and sugar until well-blended and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.

Add in the egg and blend well, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is combined.

Add the mashed banana and vanilla to the butter, sugar and egg mixture and combine.  The mixture will look curdled when you’re done.

Slowly pour in the dry ingredients.  See the curdled appearance of the wet ingredients?  Normal.

Take half of the batter and put into a medium-sized bowl.  Eyeball it.  I have never taken the time to measure it.  Just guess and embrace it!  Leave the other half in the mixer bowl.

Measure out 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder.

Incorporate into one half of the batter

Mix well.

Spread chocolate layer into the greased pan.  Make sure to cover the bottom entirely.

Now put the other half of the batter right over the top of the chocolate layer making sure to cover the chocolate entirely.  Go ahead and use the same rubber spatula.

Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top.  I’ve used mini chocolate chips before, and I prefer the regular sized chips for this recipe.  No need to press the chips into the batter.

The scent of bananas and chocolate is overwhelming; it lures everyone to the kitchen.

These chocolate bottom banana bars are so moist with that stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth-kind-of-thing going on.  You’ll have a hard time keeping your hands off of them and make sure to wait until they’ve cooled before you cut them.

Chocolate Bottom Banana Bars

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups mashed banana (about 3 medium sized bananas)
1-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 cup chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Add egg, vanilla and bananas, beating thoroughly.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Divide batter in half.  Add the cocoa to portion of the batter.  Spread that portion in the bottom of a greased 9×13-inch baking dish.  Spread remaining batter on top and sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until batter tests done with a toothpick.  Cool completely before cutting into squares.

(recipe from Bunny’s Warm Oven)

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous April 23, 2010 at 5:52 am

SOOOOO Yummy. Laura & children

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Lemons and Lavender April 24, 2010 at 11:45 pm

If it passes the Laura & children taste test, it's a keeper! Thanks guys!!

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shannonl67 April 27, 2010 at 12:53 am

These were a hit in my house! I have only made them once so far, but they are on the menu for tomorrow. I can taste them already!

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Stacey April 27, 2010 at 10:06 pm

John and I are kindred spirits! I believe "a place for everything and everything in its place". Bless his heart for wanting to organize. I invite him to Camp Marston. I have a garage that needs him! My fireman won't let me touch that "room".

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