Life has been incredibly busy and hectic lately, and I try and be vigilant about how often and when I use the word “busy.” I just don’t like it, especially since it’s become one of my main responses when people ask me how I’m doing. They didn’t ask what my planner looks like, how many meetings I have this week, or how many dishes are sitting in my sink.
Anyway, between work and fixing up my sweet little cottage, my free time basically consists of the time it will take to write this blog post. Things have been so hectic that I haven’t been baking as much lately, and that actually hurts because it’s not like I’m not still finding recipes to try or thinking of flavor combinations to experiment with! The busyness also means I bought a bunch of bananas with the intention of, I don’t know, eating them, but I’ve hardly been home, so the poor things sat neglected until I absolutely had to do something with them. So, I started looking up creative ways to use bananas in baking because while I love my banana bread (which I will be using some of these babies to make), I wanted to branch out.
That’s when I found The View From Great Island’s recipe for banana blondies, and y’all…you have to make these. I love the texture of the blondies (somewhere between cake and fudge) and the banana flavor from good, almost too-ripe bananas is strong enough that you don’t have to use any artificial banana extract to get that flavor. The caramel frosting is just lagniappe on an already delicious dessert that’s perfect for a small batch and small bites. When I make them again, I might cut the sweetness of the caramel frosting with just a little bit of salt, but whether you do that might just depend on how much of a sweet tooth you have. The truth is I don’t have a sweet tooth as much as a bread tooth, so my tolerance of overly sweet things is low. These banana blondies, though, are one of the few exceptions.
Yield: 25 1-inch blondies
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup packed brown sugar (I used light brown)
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 medium banana
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (light brown again)
- 2 TB cream or whole milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9×9 square baking pan or spray with baking spray.
- Cream the butter and sugar together for about 2 minutes until creamy and well-combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
- Add banana to bowl and using the beaters of the handmixer (or a fork if using a stand mixer), cut the banana into small pieces (about 1/2-1 inch). Beat the banana pieces into the mix until mostly smooth and no large pieces remain.
- Add the flour and salt. Mix until just combined (or else, the mix will begin to stiffen and separate).
- Pour the batter into the prepped baking pan.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until center is set. Insert a cake tester or a toothpick in the center to check for doneness.
- Let blondies cool in pan. When blondies are mostly cool, make the frosting.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter, brown sugar and milk or cream. Whisk constantly so the butter and sugar don’t burn. Whisk until the mixture comes to a boil, then turn off the heat and add the sifted powdered sugar, a few spoonfuls at a time. Whisk until completely smooth.
- With the blondies on a wire rack, spread the frosting immediately onto the cake. It will solidify very quickly as soon as it hits the air, so have a spatula ready to spread it over the blondies how you’d like.
- Once cool, cut into 1-inch pieces, and serve.