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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Banana Chocolate Chunk Bars

Does anyone watch "The Chew"?   I have to admit when the show first started I was on the fence.  I watched it really for one reason - Mario Batali.   He just might be one of the coolest, charismatic  chefs I have ever watched.    Over time though this show has really grown on me, mostly for another reason - Clinton Kelly. I never really watched "What not to wear" but he is just hilarious on The Chew.      They all just look like they are having a great time and get along so well.   They are creative, fun and they make nothing look overly complicated.   Since I happen to work during the day and I am very happy for the existence of a PVR so that I never really miss it.  I let them queue for a few days along with my recordings of Ellen,  then try and catch up some nights or weekends, while I sit and write this.  

I have never made it to a live taping of a show.  My hubby and I had a tentative plan to go to NYC this June, (which is not happening now) but our plan was to go see Jimmy Fallon and Jon Stewart.   If I could drag him to The Chew I would have but it doesn't seem likely.  So I will have to continue to wait and hope I make it one day.   My top three list of shows I would still like to sit in the audience though are the following in no particular order:
  • Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
  • Ellen
  • The Chew
All three just make me laugh.  Ellen I think is just the nicest, most caring person on the plant, so I would love to see her. 

Any shows you have been to or would like to go see? 

Thanks to The Chew and Mario Batali,  I saw these easy Banana Bars.   I couldn't resist a Batali baked good.

Banana Chocolate Chip Bars
(Adapted from Mario Batali)

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup 12 grain flour
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temp
  • 1/3 cup sugar or xylitol
  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
  • 1 Egg
  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate chunks
  • 6 oz semi sheet chocolate chunks
  • 1/4 cup praline pecans

1) Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a 9x13 pan with some butter or a non stick spray.  
2) In a medium bowl mix together flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. 
2) In a large bowl or your mixer bowl beat together butter, sugar and xylitol until creamy and well combined.

3) Add the egg and continue to beat until fluffy.    Add bananas and vanilla.

4) Add the flour mixture to the wet, mixing on low until just combined. 
5) Fold in chocolate chunks and pecans.

6) Spread into prepared pan.   Bake for about 30 minutes.  Edges will be brown and toothpick will just come out clean.    Let cool before slicing.

 These were wonderful.   More fluffy than your typical banana bread even after my flour adaptation.  The perfect amount of banana flavour with specs of chocolate and a little bit of pecan crunch.


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