Friday, July 13, 2012

Quick Banana Bake

Last night, I noticed there were four bananas of perfect ripeness sitting in my kitchen.  In another day or two, they would have been too ripe to eat plain, and I really wanted to bake something with them besides banana bread (I've made it way too many times).  I began brain storming all my options in my head....banana granola bars, frosted banana bars, banana muffins....but I wanted to make something quick and simple.  So I thought...why not banana cobbler?  I mean really...I've probably made every type of fruit cobbler out there, but I had never had banana cobbler.  So I went through some batches and came up with this yummy, comforting, nutritious recipe!  The bottom is soft, sweet, banana-ness, and the top is a crunchy, brown-sugary, cinnamony topping.  The topping compliments the banana so well, both in textures and flavors.  After eating it, I decided not to call it a banana cobbler because it's not cakey like a cobbler is.  Banana Bake seemed like a good fit.  I had it for dessert, but it would also make an awesome breakfast.  You can refrigerate it and reheat it in the microwave the next day (It's also great cold, though!). I ate one of mine plain, and the other one loaded with toppings...vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and -of course- peanut butter.  I should have added some Nutella or chocolate syrup in there too, now that I think about it(;  But it's amazing plain as well.  Even my daddy loved it, and he's not even a banana fan!  

Yield: 4 servings

4 large bananas
¼ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
½ tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into little pieces
4 individual serving baking dishes

Garnish:  vanilla ice cream, whipped cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 400° degrees. Slice bananas in 1/4 inch pieces. Place the bananas cut side down in individual serving prepared baking dishes. Place dry ingredients into a medium-mixing bowl. Add the butter to the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly. Spread the crumble mixture over the bananas in an even layer, pressing down slightly. Place the dish in the oven and bake about 10 to 15 minutes.  Let sit at least 10 minutes before serving.  Garnish with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream if desired.

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