Banana Bars

by Suzanne on March 1, 2015

in Sweet Things

Banana barsIf you asked me what my go-to recipe is for a sweet treat that everyone loves, it would be this recipe! I originally got this recipe from my sister-in-law but I decided it needed more banana flavor and a different kick to the frosting too, so I tweaked it a bit. I loved the changes I made and so does everyone else even my SIL :). My family that lives in California always asks me to make this when I visit them and so I usually do. My nephew loves these too and makes them himself now that he is on his own. I almost always have ripe bananas on hand and if I made these each time I had an abundance of overly ripe bananas I would be in big trouble since they are totally addicting. The recipe is basically a banana bread recipe made into a sheet cake and frosted with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Even if you aren’t a huge cinnamon fan you will like these frosted this way because it adds a little different taste that is subtle but tasty.

I recently tried making this recipe with coconut oil since it has some health benefits that is all the rave right now. They turned out just as good but they didn’t rise quite as high as when using butter so keep that in mind if you try them that way. The photos here are with me using the coconut oil, oh and one more thing, the coconut oil makes these extra moist too. I hope you love this recipe as much as our family does and that it becomes your favorite as well. Happy Baking!

Banana cars |

Banana Bars

1/2 cup softened butter or coconut oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
4 ripe bananas mashed
1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter softened
4 oz. cream cheese
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3 1/2 to 3/4 powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1-2 T milk
1 cup chopped nuts

Step 1: In large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Then add eggs, bananas, sour cream mix well.
Step 2: Add dry ingredients all at once and mix until incorporated well.
Step 3: Pour into a 15 X 10 inch. pan sprayed with cooking spray.
Step 4: Bake 350 degrees for 20-25 min. Cool in pan.

Making the Frosting:
While cake is cooling make the frosting.
Step 1: In large mixing bowl cream the butter and cream cheese together, add vanilla and cinnamon and beat.
Step 2: Add the powdered sugar and beat slow until most all is incorporated, then mix on high until frosting like consistency. If too dry, then can add 1 T. of milk until desired consistency.
Step 3: Frost bars and add chopped nuts on top if desired.

banana bar 3


applesauceIt really doesn’t get any easier than this to make applesauce, really! I just tossed all the ingredients into the crock pot and waited and enjoyed the smell throughout the house for 12 hours or so! After about 12 hours I just used my immersion blender and blended it all up. It’s up to you if you would like to run the sauce through a fine mesh strainer to get any small bits of skin out but it’s not necessary.

Applesauce made in crock pot |

The recipe here is not only easy it’s really tasty as well. The great thing about making your own sauce is you get to sweeten it how you want or flavor it how you want, in fact you could leave out the honey if you wanted too and make it sugar free. I hope you give this recipe a try and enjoy making your own apple sauce the easy way.

How to make apple sauce in the crock pot

4.5 pounds apples (I used a homegrown variety, I would recommend a tart variety)
2/3 cup honey
1 cup apple juice or water
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt

Step 1: Wash, core and slice apples. An apple corer works best but using a knife is fine too. You may peel the apples first, but I just left the peel on.
Step 2:Put the apples and the rest of ingredients into the crock pot and put the lid on, turn the heat to low, cook about 12 hours.
Step 3: Use and immersion blender and blend the apples in the crock pot until pureed well. If you do not have an immersion blender then put batches into a blender, fill to about half full , put the lid on the blend slightly ajar. (use a towel and hold onto the lid and puree) If you wold like to strain the apple sauce then use a fine mesh strainer and push through so that any pieces of skin are left behind.
Step 4: If wanting to can the apple sauce then follow canning directions for a water bath caner or click here to see the technique. I canned mine but you could probably freeze this as well by putting into a freezer safe container and dating it. This recipe made what you see in the photos, 1 quart and 1 pint, or 3 pint jars.

Crock pot applesauce
crockpot apple sauce


English muffin pancakes with ham & cheese scramble 2Hello, I’m sorry I have been away from my blog for so long, I have missed it. It has been a crazy 2015 for me so far and I’m trying to get back to a new normal. I will probably not be posting as many recipes this year because I will be going back to school very soon. I do love trying new recipes and posting old ones, writing about my successes and not so successful ones, the whole process is fun and a great creative outlet for me. If you are signed up to get emails from the blog then you won’t be over loaded from YMT :) (hint sign up) . I hope all my followers are doing well this new year and have a delicious 2015, now onto the recipe.

Have you ever wanted to make English Muffins, but things don’t go right, and you end up with something completely different? Well, that’s what happened with this recipe, yep, they were supposed to be muffins not pancakes :) … oops. The recipe came from the famous Foodnetwork star Alton Brown, but there is no way they turned out like they were supposed too.  I  decided to just go with what the batter was doing and make pancakes. I thought I followed the directions but apparently the batter was way too thin.

English muffin pancakes with ham & cheese scramble 1We usually eat our English muffins with egg, ham and cheese like a sandwich so I decided to make a little ham and cheese scramble and put it on top then drizzle with maple syrup. The pancakes were good they have yeast in them and taste different than your ordinary pancakes. The pancakes are not as fluffy as buttermilk pancakes, they were more flat but cooked up just like a regular pancake. I think that these English muffins pancakes are a nice change from the buttermilk variety and with the eggs, ham and cheese they were even better. What  appeared to be a mistake turned out to be a recipe worth sharing! Yum, I can taste it again as I write this post. What is the old saying when things don’t go quite right? ” When life hands you lemons, make lemonade”.

English Muffin Pancakes with ham & cheese scramble

1/2 cup non-fat powdered milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shortening (I used veg. oil)
1 cup hot water
1 envelope dry yeast
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
Non-stick vegetable spray
3-4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 to 1/2 cup cubed ham (depending on how much you prefer)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 T. butter
salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: In a bowl combine the powdered milk, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, shortening, and hot water, stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Let cool.
Step 2: In a separate bowl combine the yeast and 1/8 teaspoon of sugar in 1/3 cup of warm water and rest until yeast has dissolved.
Step 3: Add wet ingredients to the dry milk mixture. Add the sifted flour and beat thoroughly with wooden spoon. Cover the bowl and let it rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt to mixture and beat thoroughly.
Step 4: Preheat the griddle to 350 degrees F. Spray with cooking spray or use butter or oil on the griddle. Pour batter onto the griddle to the desired size pancakes you like. Cook until lightly browned, flip over and cook until done.
Step 5: I used a different pan than my pancake griddle, I did the eggs on the stove top, in a 10 inch skillet. First crack the eggs into a bowl and beat well with the 1/4 cup milk. Chopped ham and shred cheese to have ready to toss in.
Step 6: Turn heat to medium high, when pan is hot put butter into the skillet and swirl around. Add the egg mixture and swirl around. Take a spatula and move the egg mixture around so it doesn’t stick or get browned. When the eggs are still a little runny toss the ham and cheese mixture in and fold the eggs and ham/cheese together making sure not to cook too long. I like to let the eggs be a little wet but it is your preference here. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 7: Serve hot with pancakes and syrup

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown

English muffin pancakes with ham & cheese scramble
English muffin pancakes with ham scramble


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