I love the combination of bananas and chocolate. It’s one I never get tired of. And I often end up with an overripe banana or two sitting on the counter to experiment with.
What do you do with overripe bananas?
The first thing that usually pops into my head when considering ripe banana recipes is banana bread. (I’ve never claimed to be particularly creative.) So, my initial thought was to add chunks of dark chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips to a loaf. But then I decided to try to come up with lighter healthier banana chocolate chip bars instead.
I checked a few cookbooks and websites and decided to adapt a recipe for banana chocolate chips squares from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cookbook.
To make them lighter and healthier, I reduced the amount of butter called for and increased the bananas to compensate. Then I fiddled with a few other minor changes, including adding a handful of coconut.
These banana coconut chocolate chip bars are tasty, moist and delicious, but turned out more cake like than I would have liked. They definitely get better with time, so I strongly urge you to try and let them sit overnight before cutting and serving them. The next time I make them, I’m going to see what I can do to make make them bit more dense and blondie-like.
The family seems to approve of them because they are disappearing quickly
- 1 cup flour (all-purpose or white whole wheat)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup mashed bananas (about 2)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup sweetened coconut flakes
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- Position an oven rack in the center and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8- inch square pan with non-stick foil or parchment for easiest cleanup. Or lightly grease the pan with non stick cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt until well blended.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy.
- Add the egg, mashed bananas and vanilla and beat until well blended.
- Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and stir just until combined, then stir in the chocolate chips, coconut and walnuts.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake until set, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
- For best results let the bars sit overnight before cutting and serving.
- Cut into 16 bars.