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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Banana Oat Bars with Peanut Butter Chips

I made these on a whim because I was looking for more excuses to use up the bananas Ryan's parents brought us and I wanted to do something than the standard banana bread (even though I LOVE banana bread...favorite recipe here). I started searching online for a good Banana Bar or Banana Blondie recipe, but wasn't liking anything I was finding. So, I did something I typically avoid when baking, and opted to come up with my own recipe.

Nervously, I put the pan in the oven, unsure of what I'd find when I opened the oven door 25 minutes later. After cutting into them and shoving a tiny corner in my mouth, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. They were edible! In fact, they were good!

These bars are moist and inundated with banana flavoring. If you'd like them a little more cake-like, I recommend adding more flour or oats, or using few bananas. However, I loved them as is! The peanut butter chips were a perfect addition; one of my favorite snacks in college was crunchy peanut butter spread on a sliced banana. You could easily substitute another kind of chip, or if you're feeling really crazy, add some spoonfuls of peanut butter to the batter. This is a great base recipe for some ooey banana bars-perfect to make when you don't feel like waiting 60 minutes for banana bread or you're in the mood for something different!

Banana Oat Bars with Peanut Butter Chips

-1 1/3 cups old-fashioned oats
-2/3 cup whole wheat flour
-1 tbsp wheat germ
-1/3 cup brown sugar
-2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1 egg
-1/3 cup skim milk
-4 ripe bananas
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 cup peanut butter chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a small bowl, combine the oats, flour, wheat germ, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine egg, milk, vanilla extract, and bananas.
4. Pour dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix until blended.
5. Stir in peanut butter chips.
6. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 9 inch pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.