Monkey bars are moist snacking cakes that might remind you of banana bread.
1/2 cup raisins
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum or apple juice
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
3 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine the raisins and rum in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at high for 1 minute, and set aside. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 3 ingredients (flour through salt) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Set aside.
Combine brown sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add banana and next 3 ingredients (banana through egg whites), beating well. Add the flour mixture, beating just until combined. Stir in raisin mixture and walnuts.
Spread the batter into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden. Cool the bars completely on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
So I made some alterations to this recipe. Like some others, I replaced the raisins with semi-sweet chocolate chips, added another 1/4 cup walnuts, and increased the amount of bananas to a full cup to ensure that I got the full banana taste. And....I fell in love! Thank you so much for such a wonderful recipe. Highly recommended!
I too have been making these for years and really love them. Tonight I subbed chopped roasted UNsalted peanuts for walnuts and found that a great idea--kind of like peanut butter and banana. I do use a whole egg instead of whites unless I just happen to have a carton of whites. Also use half whole wheat, half unbleached for a nice texture. I agree that a TB of ground flaxseed also enhances the nutty flavor.
My family loves this. I have been making it for years. The only modification I make is to use 1/2 white whole wheat flour, & 1/2 white flour. Truly delicious. A great after school snack for teenage boys, it disappears from the pan when I'm not looking!
Since my kids don't like raisins OR nuts in things, I substituted chocolate chips for the raisins and flaked coconut for the nuts. Used apple juice instead of rum and used powdered buttermilk mix. Only one of my kids liked the bars, but the adults liked them a lot. The addition of coconut makes them really special. Very moist - more of a cake than a bar.
When i made this i used skim milk, no nuts, and added rum (one of the best parts haha!). It turned out moist and delicious! Maybe just a lil too rummy tasting for me, but my boyfriend seemed to enjoy it like that. Next time i'll add a little less rum. : )
Substitutions: flour (1/2 wheat, 1/2 white), for butter (1/2 butter, 1/2 low-fat plain yogurt), skim-milk instead of buttermilk and finally for walnuts (half walnut and half semisweet chocolate chips). It was sooo good and mine turned out like a bar (not so much cake-like)
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