Sunday, March 13, 2011

Monkey Bars

If you thought this post was about playground equipment, I hate to disappoint you! However, if you make this tasty bread, you might be willing to forgive me.

I brought this glorified (albeit delicious!) banana bread into work for our weekly staff meeting, where I made the mistake of calling it "monkey bread". Well, everyone got unusually excited, and I was confused by how my glorified banana bread managed to incite such a reaction. Turns out monkey bread is something else. Ever hear of it?

So, let me put it out there that this isn't monkey bread. But what it is is a hearty banana bread with nuts, raisins, whole wheat flour, and other delicious spices and flavors. It also has some low-fat ingredients substituted in, so you can feel okay while you're snacking on it too!

If you have an extra, brown-spotted, over-ripe banana hanging around, give this one a try! I don't think you'll be disappointed!

Monkey Bars Recipe


1/2 cup raisins
1 1/2 tbsp. bourbon or dark rum
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
3 tbsp. 1% milk or low-fat buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Cooking spray

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9" x 9" baking pan or 9" pie plate with cooking spray. You can also double the recipe and use a 13" x 9" baking pan.
  • In a small microwaveable bowl, combine raisins and bourbon/rum (whichever you’re using). Stir and then microwave for 60 seconds. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the two flours, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl or stand mixer, mix brown sugar and butter on medium speed until well combined. Add banana, milk, vanilla, and eggs. Mix until combined. Slowly add dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in raisins and nuts, and pour into a baking pan.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Remove and cool on a wire rack. 

Click here for the printable recipe!

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