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Best Banana Bars

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4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature

1 large egg, room temperature

1 tsp Vain Mexican vanilla extracted in Kentucky Bourbon

2 large bananas, very ripe and mashed

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

Browned Butter Frosting

4 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 tsp Vain Mexican vanilla extracted in Kentucky Bourbon

1/4 tsp salt

1-2 Tbsp milk, cream, or half and half


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper (or spray with baking spray) and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugars, sour cream, egg, and vanilla until well mixed. About 1-2 minutes.

Add the bananas and stir gently to combine.

Sprinkle the flour, baking soda, and salt over the mixture and stir gently until moistened.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean. These bars are not especially thick, so watch them carefully after 15 minutes.

Browned Butter Frosting

While the bars are baking, melt the butter in a saucepan or stainless steel skillet over medium heat to brown the butter. Swirl the pan often once the butter has melted. You'll know the butter is ready when you can see the browned bits on the bottom and the butter has turned a light amber color. Immediately remove from heat and place into a mixing bowl.

Beat the still warm browned butter with the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and milk. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add more milk if needed to achieve a thick but spreadable consistency.

Let the bars cool 10-15 minutes before frosting. Dollop the frosting over the warm bars and spread in an even layer. If the bars are too warm, they will just drink up the frosting and it won't sit on top the way you want -- so be patient!

Cool the bars to room temperature. Cut into squares and serve. These keep well for 1-2 days on the counter, or a few days in the fridge.