I had to work from home so the plumber could do some work on our bathroom sink. Perfect opportunity to whip up some sort of baked good after my marathon of morning meetings, right? There were two super-ripe bananas on the counter and I can never decide what to do with them. Nothing that I make with ripe bananas ever wows me, with the exception of Dorie Greenspan’s Classic Banana Bundt Cake. But I had come across this recipe for interesting-sounding bars. The addition of chocolate chunks and oatmeal were what appealed to me. They came together really quickly, but I was stumped when the recipe said to spread the batter in a 15x10x1: baking sheet. Who has a baking sheet that size? I decided (wrongly) that a quarter sheet would probably work, so I spread the batter into the pan, threw it in the oven, and set the timer before getting on the phone for my next meeting.
Just as my meeting was ending, one of our troublesome (overly sensitive and really annoying) smoke alarms went off. Then another. Then I realized there was a ton of smoke hanging around the ceiling. My batter had overflowed and was burning on the bottom of the oven. I quickly checked to be sure there wasn’t a real fire, then ran around the house opening doors and windows, disabling smoke alarms and turning on fans. By now the bars looked about done so I removed them from the oven and promptly turned it to clean… which generated more smoke. I’m lazy, I should have at least cleaned out some of the big chunks of burned batter.
I apologized profusely to the plumber, who was finishing up in the bathroom, and eventually the smoke cleared out. In order to cut a bar for the plumber (reward for dealing with the smoke, plus we like him), I had to remove the crispy bits of overflow from the side of the pan. And I did. Removed it right into my mouth – it was delicious. And the bars, they’re pretty good too. Not as good as the cake, but better than banana bread or banana muffins. Next time, I’ll just use my smaller pyrex, though.
If you’re interested in making these, pay attention to your pan size – the recipe is online at Epicurious.com.
- Banana-Oatmeal Bars with Chocolate Chunks (Bon Appetit Desserts, p, 600)