Banana Bread Brownies with Browned Butter Icing

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I was looking for another way to use bananas that was just a little bit different.  We get them from our awesome churchy‐music produce market when they're overripe and dirt cheap (less than $1 for a bunch or two!)  G likes his bananas overripe, but I'll only eat them if they've just turned from green to yellow, which means that I'm usually looking for things I can dump a bunch of mushed bananas into.

I'm always sticking them in smoothies or using them to replace the oil ‐ or even sometimes sugar and eggs ‐ in baking.  I try to make my banana‐bread‐loving husband happy and whip up a loaf fairly regularly, but more often than not, I'm using them for my yummy banana bread bites.

But what I was really after this day was a dessert that still tasted delicious, but was just a tad healthier than the cheesecake recipe that had been calling my name ever since our recent strawberry‐picking adventure.

I thought about the banana cake I made for Gv's birthday last year, and then I thought about how much I wanted some brownies, so what resulted was kind of an amalgam of the two.

G thought they were fabulous, but he said he wouldn't call them brownies.  I guess that's because he just thinks all brownies are plain and chocolateflavored.  He also likes brownies that are more like cake than the moist, gooey squares I usually pull out of the oven, so I declared we'd just have to agree to disagree, because these were moist and delicious and just like how I like my brownies to be!

What You Need (Brownies):

1 cup plain yogurt

1 stick softened butter (or 1/2 cup oil of your choice)

2 eggs

45 mashed bananas (you could use a few more, or less, depending on how many bananas you need to get rid of)

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped nuts (I don't always like nuts in my banana bread or brownies, but if you do, then add them)

** I did not add any sugar into the brownies because I knew I wanted to ice them and also that the bananas would probably make this dessert sweet enough for us.  But if you're not used to desserts without sugar, then you might want to add in a 1/2 to full cup to this list.

What You Need (Browned Butter Icing):

2 Tablespoons butter

1/2 to full cup powdered sugar (I used half)

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 Tablespoons milk

What You Do (Brownies):

1.  Cream butter, yogurt and eggs in your stand mixer. (If you're adding sugar, throw that in here, as well)

2.  Blend in bananas and vanilla.

3.  In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt, then add it to your wet mixture. (The nuts, too, if you're adding them)

4.  Spread the mixture into a 15" x 10" pan and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

5.  Allow these to cool just a bit while you make your icing...

What You Do (Browned Butter Icing):

1.  Heat and stir butter until it boils and begins to brown.

2.  Add in the rest of the icing ingredients and then spread onto the stillabitwarm brownies.

3.  Feel free to fiddle with the ingredient amounts in this icing.  You might want to add in more butter and sugar to make it thicker and sweeter.  If you do, you'll probably also want to add just a bit more milk to help it get to the consistency you want.  I wanted just a thin glaze of sweetness to make this feel more like a dessert, so that's what my amounts will give you.  I suggest adding 2 Tablespoons of butter for every 1/2 to full cup of powdered sugar you add.

4.  Try not to eat the entire pan at once, like I almost did.  I mean, seriously, this is baked in my largest lasagna pan, and there is just absolutely no reason a person should consume five or six of these things at once, no matter how delicious and semihealthy they are! {wink}

What do you think?  Are you on my side, and agree that these tasty treats should be called brownies, or do you fall into the same camp as G, and think they should get a different name?  I'd love to hear - leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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