Banana Chocolate Chip Bars

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These came about because I was tired of making banana bread, had three over ripe bananas, and we were out of cookies to pack for school lunches. These delicious bars solved all three problems! In the photo, you can see that I initially made them and sprinkled the nuts and chips on top. The result was that the chips didn’t stick to the bars and they fall off while you eat them, which is messy and annoying. So in the directions, I changed it so that you mix the nuts into the batter and then you have the option of spreading the hot chocolate chips onto the bars after you take them out of the oven. Either way, they are moist, sweet, and delicious and have some whole grain and potassium in there to boot!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks), softened
  • 1¼ cups packed light brown sugar
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Lightly butter a 9 x 13 pan.

In a medium bowl whisk together flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the bananas, orange juice, and vanilla. Add the egg and beat until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add dry ingredients to the bowl and mix gently until combined. Stir in walnuts.

Spread batter into prepared pan. Let batter rest for 10 minutes to thicken while the oven preheats to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle on the chocolate chips. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and set the pan on a wire rack to cool. If you want the chocolate chips to be more of a frosting spread them around with a spatula right after removing from the oven.  When cool, cut into squares or bars and serve.

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