Very pleased with the results of this recipe experiment! Banana bread is usually my go-to thing for using old bananas, but truthfully, there is only so much banana bread we can eat (even though we love it).
I had had a hankering for blondies--the delightfully basic vanilla flavor--but saw the spotted, sad bananas on the counter and thought, eh, add them in and give it a go. Also, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to use a maple frosting recipe I loved last winter, so that got swiped across the cooled blondies. The result is a soft and fudgy blondie kissed with banana plus a swath a creamy frosting tasting of toasty maple and caramel.
No kids? Adult it up a notch: add 1/3 cup chopped walnuts to the blondie batter and replace 1 tbsp. milk in the frosting for whiskey or bourbon.
Notes: Butter is unsalted.
BANANA BLONDIES + MAPLE CARAMEL FROSTING
Ingredients: 1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick), 3/4 cup light brown sugar, 1 egg at room temperature, 1 tsp. vanilla bean seeds or vanilla paste, 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 mashed medium banana. Frosting: 1/4 cup light brown sugar, 1/8 tsp. salt, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, 2 tbsp. butter, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1-2 tbsp. milk.
Makes one 8x8 pan of blondies.
1. Preheat oven to 350*, line an 8x8 baking dish or pan in one direction with parchment paper. Spritz lightly with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk melted butter and sugar together until glossy and sugar has dissolved. Add egg and vanilla, mixing well to incorporate. Stir in mashed banana gently, followed by salt and flour until well combined.
3. Spoon batter into pan, bake for 25-28 minutes, until tester comes out clean. Cool completely.
4. Make frosting: In a small skillet pan, heat brown sugar, salt and maple syrup over medium heat until gently bubbling. Whisk in vanilla extract and butter. Once butter is incorporated, immediately pour caramel mixture into a bowl with powdered sugar. Mix until smooth, adding milk (up to 2 tbsp.) until smooth and thickly spreadable.
5. Remove blondies from baking dish using parchment to gently lift them out. Frost, slice, enjoy.
Tip: These babies are delicious kept in the fridge and served cold!