Banana's Foster Cookie Bars

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Bob's Red Mill is having a nationwide cookie party called the United States of Cookies and we are SO PUMPED to be a part of it, representing Louisiana. The low-down is there are a bunch of blogs (well, 50), one from each state, making cookies to represent their home state. With all the craziness going on in the world, we can at least all agree that cookies are pretty freaking dope. We can all agree on that... right?

One of our first thoughts when asked to create a cookie about Louisiana was alligator sausage. It was a bad first thought. Our second thought was a bananas Foster cookie bar and O-M-G it was a very very good thought. If you're familiar with the New Orleans food scene, you've probably heard of bananas Foster. It's a dish you'll find in all the old school restaurants in the city, and basically involves bananas cooked in brown sugar and baking spices and rum before being SET ON FIRE (!!!!) for an audience. Then the whole thing gets topped with vanilla ice cream and eaten like a soupy sweet sticky amazing bowl of love. It's pretty much the best thing ever. We're using Louisiana pecans in the sugar cookie crust, a New Orleans rum to spice our cream cheese frosting, and brûléed bananas made with local cane sugar to top it all off. We've also slapped on some edible gold leafing, because the nature of bananas Foster is such a show (fire! clapping! you get it), so we needed something extra flashy. The end result is a thick, creamy, rum-filled, banana-loaded cookie bar and it is truly a fantastic situation. Truly.

Now we're looking forward to what everyone else is making! Will Idaho be shocking us all with potato-inspired cookies? Will California be making some kind of sustainable cookie that just replenishes itself every few hours (!?) we hope so! 

Alright, cuties, we've got both a step-by-step photo guide recipe below AND a written instructions recipe at the very bottom! Let us know if you make this recipe by tagging us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter - and also, if you haven't signed up for our giveaways newsletter, get on it! We've got some awesome holiday giveaways going on. Talk soon and happy cookie-baking to you all!


First things first: position a rack in the center position of your oven and preheat it to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13" baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some hanging over the edges as your handles (important - see 4th photo below for reference) and set aside.


Start by creaming your butter and sugar until slightly fluffy! We used a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, but you could use a hand-held mixer. You're going to want to be at about a 6 or 7 on the speed.

In goes the egg and both extracts. Beat it up on medium-high speed until fluffy and all mixed together, about one minute.

Now we're going to add our dry mix. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add it to the wet mix 1/2 cup at a time, mixing to incorporate fully between each addition.

Turn the dough out onto your prepared parchment lined baking pan and press down into the pan to create an even layer of dough. Sprinkle with the chopped pecans and use your hands to gently press the pecans into the dough. Bake in your preheated oven for 20 - 25 minutes until the edges are slightly brown. Let cool in the pan for about an hour, until completely cooled to room temperature. 

Once our cookie has cooled completely, use a piping bag fitted with a #195 piping tip to create swirls with your frosting (full recipe at bottom of post) on top of the cookie, covering the entire base. If you don't have a piping tip, simply snip the end off of your piping bag or zip-top bag and pipe desired design on top of the cookie.

Next, we're going to combine coconut oil and rum in a mixing bowl and toss bananas in to coat them evenly. Then we're gonna place our cut bananas in an even layer on top of the frosting, with the cut side facing up at us.

On goes a hefty sprinkling of sanding sugar (or raw sugar). Since the sugar is what turns brown and crispy during the torching process, basically the more sugar there is, the better your brûlée will be!

And now the fun part! Use your brûlée torch to brûlée the bananas! Try to aim carefully to avoid the frosting as the fire will cause it to melt a little, but even if you mess up slightly, don't sweat it. Once they've been torched and the bananas are a nice crispy brown color, refrigerate the whole pan for half an hour to one hour to let it all firm up. If you're in a rush you can skip this step, but will end up with a slightly sloppier cookie as the warm bananas will kind of slip and slide once you've removed them from the pan and cut them into individual cookies. But hey, that could be fun and also bananas Foster is typically served warm so maybe you'll just be even more authentic!

Once the pan has chilled, we're going to use our parchment "handles" (reference the photos above) to lift the cookie out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Now we're gonna use a super sharp knife to cut the cookie bar into desired shapes. We did four rows down and seven rows across to create 28 pieces. Now, serve as they are or top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you're feeling wild!

Notes

  • We used Bob's Red Mill Unbleached Organic All-Purpose White Flour in this recipe and, as always, it worked like a charm. We typically use this flour for most of our baking goods, and can stand behind it because the packaging is really cute but also because it is super versatile and doesn't have any additives. We've got a coupon for it, here!

Banana's Foster Cookie Bars

prep: 20 minutes // cook: 25 minutes // makes: 12 - 16

Pecan Sugar Cookie

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups Bob's Red Mill Unbleached Organic All-Purpose White Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans

Rum Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 oz spiced rum
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk (likely not needed, see instructions in step 7)

Banana Topping

  • 4 - 5 small bananas, cut in half across the middle and then cut in half lengthwise (reference photos above)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 oz spiced rum
  • 1/2 cup sanding sugar (or even "raw" sugar would work)
  • Edible gold leafing for garnish, optional
  1. Position a rack in the center position of your oven and preheat it to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13" baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some hanging over the edges as your handles (important for removal of cookie bar - see photos above) and set aside. 
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or in a mixing bowl with a hand-held mixer), cream together butter and sugar until slightly fluffy, about one minute.
  4. Add in the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract, and beat on medium-high speed for an additional minute. Turn the speed to low and add in the dry mix 1/2 cup at a time, waiting until each addition is fully incorporated before adding in the next - you may want a rubber spatula handy for this to help scrape down the bowl as necessary.
  5. Once all of the dry mix has been added and is incorporated, turn the dough onto your prepared baking sheet and press it into an even layer in the pan (see photos above for reference).
  6. Spread the chopped pecans in an even layer on top of the dough and gently press the pecans into the dough using your hands. Place the cookies into the oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until the edges are slightly brown. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 1 hour, until the cookie is room temperature (you don't want to frost the cookie until it is completely cooled down).
  7. Prepare your frosting by creaming the cream cheese (in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or with a hand-held mixer) until slightly fluffy, about 1 minute. Scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary, add in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, waiting for each cup to be incorporated before adding in the next addition. Once the frosting begins to appear super thick (around the 4th addition of powdered sugar, most likely) add in the rum and then continue with the remaining two additions of powder sugar. You want the frosting to be sturdy, as in slightly thicker than traditional cake frosting. If it is too thick, add a 1/2 tablespoon of milk at a time, mixing between each addition, until you've reached the desired consistency. 
  8. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag (or a zip-top bag) fitted with a piping tip (we used a #195 tip) or simply skip the piping tip and snip off the edge of your bag to begin piping. Pipe in swirls on top of the cooled cookie, ensuring you cover the entire base of the cookie.
  9. Combine the coconut oil and rum in a mixing bowl and toss in bananas to coat evenly. Place your bananas, cut side up, on top of the frosting in two even rows (see photos above). Sprinkle with a very generous amount of sanding sugar and use your brûlée torch to brûlée each banana individually, taking care not to flame the frosting as it will melt (which is also no big deal, it just looks prettier when the frosting is kept in tact).
  10. Once the bananas have all been torched, place the entire pan into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour to let firm up. This step can be skipped if you are in a rush, but it makes cutting them way easier and will yield a prettier product.
  11. Use your parchment "handles" to remove the cookie from the pan and place onto a cutting board. Use a super sharp knife to cut the cookies into desired shapes. We did four rows down and seven across  to yield 28 cookies. Serve just as they are or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and enjoy!

 

 


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