Friday, September 23, 2011

Heavenly Vegan Banana Bars


When my boyfriend Scott told me he had thrown away some over the hill bananas I was shocked!  "You should have saved them for me!"  I said, "I could have made something out of them!" Any baker knows that over ripe bananas make the best bread and the sweetest cakes!  He didn't know any better, I love him anyways and forgive him for wasting good produce... hopefully next time he will think before he tosses and I can make him something yummy out of the bananas.  You can at least freeze them and make some wonderful smoothies.  I know how it goes though, I always end up with bananas that are too mushy for eating. 


Luckilly it forces me to come up with another creative use for them!  I had acquired a large bunch of bananas last week and did just that last Saturday!  Banana bread was out of the question, far too boring for me.  What I had in mind were some sort of bars. 


Bars that would be so full of delicious goodness that they would make me swoon.  So I began to think of what made the most delicious pairing with banana.  White chocolate, cream cheese, and pecans came to mind.  Vegan cream cheese swirled banana bars with banana chunks, toasted pecans and white chocolate was what I came up with! 


Oh my were they good!  From the minute I tasted the batter I had mixed up before pouring it into the pan and swirling it with the cream cheese I knew these were going to be the type of thing that you could not simply eat just one of!  They smelled like a banana cake when baking but were even better once they had cooled and I had a chance to cut them up and dive in! 


Sweet banana dough studded with crunchy nutty pecans, smooth white chocolate and decadent cheese cake like swirls.  Heavenly!  Better than any blondies I have tasted by far!  Those over the hill bananas had made them extra delicious...so that just goes to show there is no such thing as bananas that need to be tossed when they simply have a few black spots.  If you have some extra bananas and feel like baking try these out, you will taste why they are called "heavenly"!


Heavenly Vegan Banana Bars
makes 12

bars:
1 cup maple sugar, or granulated organic sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup Earth Balance vegan buttery spread at room temperature
2 medium very ripe bananas, pureed
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp banana extract
1/2 cup agave nectar
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups chopped vegan white chocolate
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1 large banana, sliced into 1/4 inch slices

Swirl:
1  8 oz vegan cream cheese (I used tofutti)
2 Tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp flour
pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a 7 x 11 inch square pan with foil and spray with non-stick spray.  In a large bowl, combine buttery spread and coconut oil with sugar and beat until fluffy and well combined. Beat in the banana puree, vanilla extract, banana extract and agave nectar until well combined. In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, then add to the large bowl, and mix until well combined, and stir in white chocolate, and pecans.  Fold in banana slices.  Pour into the prepared pan and smooth out.  In a medium bowl, beat together swirl ingredients until smooth, then drop by the Tbsp full onto the other batter in the prepared pan and swirl with a knife.  Bake for about one 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean but do not overbake!  Cool in the pan about 20 minutes, then lift out foil and set on a rack and let sit until completely cool.  Cut into 12 bars.

15 comments:

  1. These look insane! I love using banana in baked goods.

    I couldn't ever throw away extra ripe bananas, they're too delicious! But that's nice of you to forgive him! :)

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  2. Amy, I'm completely swooning over these! I have a hunch Scott will think twice about chucking old bananas after he noshes on the bars. Brava!

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  3. These look amazing. You know you have something good when the batter is scrumptious. I would have cried a bit about the bananas. I try to buy more and more every week hoping there will be some left to bake with but it never turns out that way.

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  4. Oh gracious, Amy! These look wonderful! I love baking with bananas too!

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  5. I always have a stash of overripe bananas in the freezer! I love the change of making them into bars, yums!

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  6. I'm going to make this for my hubby's family dinner this week and not tell them it's vegan. Its so delicious looking I bet they don't even think to ask! I love the pics!

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  7. Seems like Scott is learning fast! These look fabulous!

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  8. When I looked at the first picture I was hoping there was white chocolate in these. Wishes do come true!! Very good pics Amy.

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  9. This recipe couldn't have come at a better time. I bought a case of bananas hoping to get more raw foods in us again and they are ripening WAY too fast, so I started a Banana Challenge so I could use them all up and expand my recipe box at the same time. I changed it up a bit to use what I have on hand (no coconut oil- GASP! so I used veg shortening, added peanut butter cause I had no white chocolate and wanted something else in there). You are so right. It's delicious as a batter. I had to stop myself from eating it all before it even got in the oven. I'm going to link over to this post from my blog since it fits into my challenge. :)

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  10. These look delicious Amy! I have got to try them though I admit I will most likely use non vegan ingredients.

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  11. Such a perfect use of over ripe bananas!! Im glad you got to make these before your bf threw them out!!

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  12. Wow, these really do look heavenly! I love the "cheese"cake swirl idea; definitely brings them to a new level.

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  13. I just made these for the boy as a snowday treat since he is driving home from work currently in a blizzard. :/ I added in a little bit of cinnamon to the cream cake swirl and used dark chocolate instead of white. I also left out the nuts... but they smell AMAZING!!! Hopefully they will still be good- despite the changes... I can't wait for them to cool to try!

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