Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Bars

Even though I don’t have any children, it is my understanding that mushed up banana is one of the first foods that you feed a child and that they love the subtly sweet flavor and mushy texture.  Well, not this kid.  I’ve been told that I spit them out as an infant.  I refused to eat them as a child and, honestly, I still don’t like them.  I think it’s mostly a textural aversion, because I like banana flavor and always have.  I can still taste the banana flavored Popsicles and Banana Pudding Pops that were stored in our second freezer in the garage of our blue house at the end of a little cul-de-sac in Lakewood, Colorado where I spent my childhood.  My friend Stephanie and I spent every free moment either on our bikes or roller-skating in my driveway to the soundtracks of Saturday Night Fever or Grease or Xanadu.  I had a pink Huffy and the roller-skates that looked like sneakers- the 80’s were a magical time to be a little girl.
The fake banana flavor of my childhood will always be a guilty pleasure, but I just don’t eat that way anymore.  To replace that flavor memory, I look to mother’s Banana Bread.  I nag her at least once a month to make it and I finally convinced her to add chocolate chips.  Man, it’s good!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Bars

Makes 1- 9″ square pan

1 cup less 1 Tbsp organic cane sugar (use 1 cup if using regular sugar)

1/2 cup organic unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup mashed banana (about 3 bananas)

2 pasture raised eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla (we use homemade)

1 cup organic all purpose flour

1 cup organic whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda (Bob’s Red Mill)

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

1/3 cup + 2-3 Tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips (divided)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare 9″x9″ pan by lining with buttered parchment paper, allowing overhang to ease removal from pan.  Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Blend in bananas, eggs and vanilla.  Whisk dry ingredients together, add to mixture and stir thoroughly.  Stir in 1/3 cup of chocolate chips.  Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle top with 2-3 Tbsp chocolate chips.  Bake until top is lightly brown and top springs back when touched – about 30-35 minutes.  Remove pan to wire rack, let cool 10-15 minutes.  Lift out of pan by the parchment paper to wire rack and cool completely.

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