Friday, November 13, 2009

State Fair Marbled Banana Bars

This recipe won top honors at the State Fair of West Virginia in Lewisburg. That's good enough for me as an indicator of deliciousness. I'm picturing a judging panel line-up of old ladies with beehive hairdos and men with bow ties and thick dark-rimmed glasses. I'm sure that's not how it is today, but I prefer that image.

I've made a lot of banana desserts, but this might be the first time I've marbled banana with chocolate. Come to think of it now, it's such a natural thing to do because banana is light in color and works perfectly to contrast the dark color of chocolate. More recipes should suggest this!! The resulting bar not only looks good, but it's a yummy, moist cake, pretty light and airy, and (watch out), could take eating almost the entire tray before you got full. I don't know this from experience, I swear. Hypothetically speaking, of course. Wink Wink.

Marbled Banana Bars
Recipe from Blue Ribbon USA: Prizewinning Recipes From State and County Fairs by Georgia Orcutt and John Margolies.

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Confectioners' sugar for dusting (optional)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan. Combine the sugar and butter in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed, scraping the bowl several times, until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the bananas, egg, and vanilla and continue beating and scraping the bowl until well mixed, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and stir with a whisk to blend. Add to the banana mixture and beat on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes, scraping the bowl several times, until the batter is well mixed.

Measure out 1 1/2 cups of the batter and drop it by spoonfuls into the prepared pan, leaving a few spaces. Add the cocoa to the remaining batter in the bowl and beat on low speed for about 30 seconds, or until well mixed. Drop the chocolate batter by spoonfuls into the pan over and around the banana batter. Using a knife, swirl the chocolate batter through the banana batter to make a marbleized pattern. (Do not overswirl.) Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely in the pan. Just before serving, dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired. Cut into bars.

Makes about 36 bars.

Step-by-Step in Pictures
Prepare the batter...

Take 1 1/2 cups of the batter out of the bowl...

Drop spoonfuls of that 1 1/2 cups of batter into the baking pan...

To the remaining batter in the bowl, add cocoa powder...
This becomes the chocolate (and dark colored) batter, perfect for marbling...

Drop the chocolate batter by spoonfuls around the yellow batter...

Marbleize the two colors by dragging a knife back and forth across the pan until you have your desired design...

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes...



kristina said...

Hi Marni- I loved your comment and glad you liked the post! These bars look awesome - we must have similar tastes because I want to try every single thing you write about! :)

Sharon said...

oooh, I have about a half dozen bananas in the freezer. Think I just found a recipe for them!

Ellen said...

Made these today for a holiday cookie exchange--sooo good! Thanks for sharing.

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