Banana Chip Bars

Banana Chips, Coconut, Dark Chocolate

This time I blame the banana chips. Due to a last minute panic-induced purchase for a school event, I had a bucket of them sitting in my refrigerator. You might understand the situation which led to this:  Worried that (heaven forbid) not enough dessert would be provided for a tropical-based menu for a lunch at my daughter’s school,  I threw a few, er, many packages of banana chips into my shopping basket on the way to the lunch – just in case the mob inhaled all 47 other dishes represented in the school-wide buffet and were up in arms about not enough sugar to complete their smorgasbord. (As if banana chips would be sufficient to stave off an angry sugar-deprived crowd – what was I thinking?)  As it turned out, any testy unrest was avoided, since we (naturally) had too much food in the first place.  And so the banana chips came home with me and have been patiently waiting in my refrigerator to be put to use – until today.

It was a baking kind of day today, and I decided to throw together a simple bar cookie. Normally I include coconut and chocolate chips in my bars, and figured the banana chips would make a nice addition. I chopped a bunch up in my food processor (you may want ear plugs for this) and folded the chips into the batter. They added a wonderful chewy texture with a mild buttery flavor to the bars, without an overpowering banana flavor or excess sweetness. Toothsome and chewy, they almost made the bars feel…healthy? Ok, that may be pushing it.

Banana Chip Bars
Makes 24 – 2 inch bars

1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened coconut, plus extra for the topping
1 cup coarsely chopped banana chips
1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. (180 C.) Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking pan. Line the bottom with parchment and butter the parchment. Whisk sugars and butter together in a large bowl. Add egg and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Combine flour, wheat germ, baking soda and salt together in a bowl. Add to the sugar and butter and mix well. Stir in coconut, banana chips and chocolate chips. Pour into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle evenly with additional coconut. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan.

13 thoughts on “Banana Chip Bars

  1. I love your decision to add banana chips to these bars. What a great way to use up your mass amount! Sounds like these would be absolutely fantastic. 🙂

  2. What a great idea ! I love bananas and chocolate, my mind is now racing to all sorts of cookies and bars I might jazz up with chopped banana chips. Thanks for the inspiration ; )

  3. Wow! Now that’s an idea! I always have banana chips on hand. Every time we go to Trader Joe’s my daughter insists on a bag of banana chips. She eats them for a few days and then doesn’t want any more. Hmmm. Hmmm. Hmmm. Now you’ve got me thinking. 😉

  4. I can so relate to over purchasing!! But just as you cleverly did, I find a way to use up my excess purchases…and this just sounds amazing. I thinking it adds a crunch like heath bits. I know when I see banana chips in the store I’ll be thinking of this recipe!

  5. This is the kind of thing that, if made in my house, would be gone by the end of the day. Sounds so deliciously, dangerously good!

  6. You just got me on “chewy texture with a mild buttery flavor to the bars, without an overpowering banana flavor or excess sweetness” I have never tried banana chip now might be the time.

  7. Eureka! – I have a bag of banana chips in my pantry as well and to be honest, I’m not much of a fan of eating them plain. Love the idea of incorporating them in a bar, and am guessing that their softening a bit would make them much more enticing to me. Great idea, Lynda! – S

  8. Thanks so much for this recipe – it was exactly what I needed to use up my supply of banana chips. I had accidentally bought a big bag of the unsweetened kind, which no one in the house will touch. This was the perfect way to use them, and they came out great. I took some to work and sent more to work with hubby, and they disappeared. The only thing I changed was to replace 1/2 c of the a.p. flour with white whole wheat flour. I’ll definitely be filing this one for use again in the future!

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