5.27.14 Banana, Chocolate Chip, and Walnut Blondie Bars
I don’t know about you, but I had one fantastic Memorial Day weekend. Kicking off the wondrous Wisconsin summer in style, we followed our yearly tradition of traveling up north to my parent’s cabin on Madeline Island in Lake Superior. Our annual Memorial Day pilgrimage to the cabin has been going on for almost 10 years, and consists of copious amounts of beach bocce, sauna-ing and of course lots of beer and fantastic food. It’s basically amazing.
This year, we had another element of awesomeness in the form of icebergs! Yes, you read that correctly. Due to the extremely cold winter, polar vortexes, and all that, not all of the lake ice had melted, which was especially strange since the weather was absolutely beautiful! It was definitely very odd to soak up the sun on the beach in 80 degree weather and see icebergs floating just offshore. Odd, but awesome. So of course, we took advantage of this phenomenal occurrence and did some amazing iceberg kayaking, took some amazing ice pictures, and made good use of the icebergs that washed up on shore for important things like keeping our beer cold.
I’m sure you can imagine all that hard work playing with icebergs worked up quite an appetite. So obviously, we did a lot of cooking and eating up at the cabin as well. A lot. Everything from barbecued chicken and cornbread, to fantastic breakfast tacos, to these amazing chicken kebabs and, well, this. Oh yeah, and an experimental bar cookie I decided to try out this weekend. That’s right, the banana, chocolate chip, and walnut blondie bar, which was of course inspired by my favorite ice cream flavor of all time, Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey. And yes, they turned out to be fantastic (but really, being chock full of bananas, dark chocolate, and walnuts, how could they not?). So fantastic in fact, it would be a shame for me to not share this recipe with you immediately. After all, it’s finally summer. And serving a plate of these at your next barbecue or picnic would definitely be a good idea. A very good idea.
Banana, Chocolate Chip, and Walnut Blondie Bars
Makes one 9x9 pan of bars
Not only are these bars delicious, they are super simple to make! Which is good, because you will likely be making them many times. Like most banana baked goods, they are best made with very ripe bananas. Or if you’re like me and like to be able to whip up banana bars, banana muffins, banana pancakes, etc. at a moment’s notice, store some bananas (unpeeled) in the freezer (they’ll turn totally black, but don’t worry), then defrost, peel, and use as needed.
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup flour
- 1 banana, mashed
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x9 baking pan (8x8 will work well too)
2. In a large bowl, mix together the melted butter and brown sugar until well combined. Stir in the egg and vanilla.
3. Stir in the salt and flour, followed by the banana, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Mix until everything is well combined.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake until slightly golden on top, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly before cutting and serving.