Chocolate-crusted Banana Blondies: bar cookies for grown-ups!

Every time I see a recipe using ripe bananas (what I call “mushy bananas” in the privacy of my own kitchen), I get excited. Since I always have a few bananas in stock, some of them are bound to get over-ripe and once they reach that brown-spotted-too-soft-to-the-touch-weird -looking-thing stage, no one in my family will get near them. I personally enjoy them that way, finding the real banana flavor is only detectable when the fruit has reached a nice level of ripeness but I can only eat so many mushy bananas.

So…that is why I am always on the lookout for the recipe that will allow me to use and not waste that delicious fruit. Thus, I was very happy to find this Banana Blondie recipe in the New-York Times a few weeks ago. The fact that it has a wonderful texture, (soft top , crunchy bottom) and the lovely taste of  rum is just added bonus!!


Chocolate-Crusted Banana Blondies

You’ll need:

  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (1 1/4 cups), more for greasing pan
  • 200 grams chocolate wafer cookies (to make about 3 cups crumbs)
  • 55 grams light brown sugar (about 1/4 cup)
  • 3 grams fine sea salt (about 1/2 teaspoon), plus a pinch
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 455 grams dark brown sugar (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 130 grams all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • 80 grams toasted walnuts, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)


Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment, and grease with butter.
Melt 1 stick of butter in a saucepan over low heat or in microwave. Put the chocolate wafer cookies in the bowl of a food processor and process to make fine crumbs. Add the light brown sugar, melted butter and a pinch of salt. Process until the mixture is the consistency of damp sand. Dump the mixture into the pan and press it into an even layer. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the surface is firm. Remove the pan and set aside.
Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 12 tablespoons butter, then let it cook until the foam subsides and butter turns a deep nut brown, about 5 minutes. Cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together bananas, eggs, dark brown sugar and rum. Whisk in brown butter. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and fine salt. Fold into batter along with the toasted walnuts. Pour the mixture over the prepared crust and spread evenly. Sprinkle top with flaky salt if using.
Transfer pan to oven and bake until the top is firm and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges with a few crumbs attached (or clean) but not wet, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack; cut into 24 bars.
24 bars
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