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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

{Better Choice} Frosted Banana Almond Bars


The end of my pregnancy brought about a sweet tooth that I've never possessed before, and of course it rolled over to post pregnancy. After 20 hours of labor I figured I 'owed' it to myself to continue entertaining these craving for a little bit. Especially when my mom came over and baked three pies! However beening at 2 weeks post delivery, it's time to start buckling down and loss the other half of my pregnancy weight!

With that said, I don't want to deprive myself, or my husband, so it's about little substitutions! This recipe uses less butter and sugar than regular banana bread plus substitutes applesauce for oil. Frosting is not necessary but definitely worth it and using fat free cream cheese does not sacrifice flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (I use organic raw cane sugar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas (1 1/2 cups about)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
Frosting:
  • 8oz fat free cream cheese
  • 1/3 cups softened butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • extra almond slices to sprinkle on top. 
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly. Add the eggs one at a time making sure to beat well after each addition. Beat in the bananas, applesauce and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into butter mixture just until blended.


Pour into a 9"x13" backing pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350' for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.



For the frosting, in a small bowl or mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the powder sugar and almond extract; beat until smooth. Scoop frosting onto bars and smooth out, sprinkle sliced almonds on top. Refrigerate until cool (frosting is set) before serving. 

You can use vanilla for the frosting rather than almond but trust me, you don't want to. 





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