I've made these banana bars many times, always with favorable comments and requests for the recipe. With this makeover, you don't have to be shy about grabbing seconds of this treat! —Susan Stuff, Mercersburg, Pennsylvania
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Dash salt
- 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating 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.
- Transfer to a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
- For frosting, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Frost bars. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 3 dozen.
Originally published as Makeover Frosted Banana Bars in Healthy Cooking February/March 2009, p22
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