Magic Banana Cookie Bars

If there’s a Magic Cookie Bar quota to be met in this lifetime, it’s been met here at Ginsberg Central. So with apologies to Eagle Brand, this will be my last Magic Cookie Bar for a while. Maybe.

For those of you who are now craving them, here’s a recipe for Magic Cookie Bars made with bananas aka “Magic Banana Cookie Bars”. The recipe is from my friend Val, who informed me that in this version the bananas are mixed in with the condensed milk.

Val’s version was perfectly good, but with my addiction to changing things, I decided to use a different crust. In this case, I decided to sub the graham cracker/butter crust with a not-too-sweet chocolate shortbread/tart crust recipe from Sherry Yard. If you’re a chocoholic, I highly recommend this. If not, feel free to use a graham cracker version or maybe even a peanut butter or butter shortbread. In the end, the biggest flavor that comes through is chocolate and banana. As for the nuts, my opinion is that they need to be here to cut the sweetness.

banana cookie bars

Magic Banana Cookie Bars

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch salt (optional)
1 cup unsalted butter, salted
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 bananas, mashed
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
1 cup walnuts or pecans (I like pecans, but used walnuts this time)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9 inch pan with no-stick foil or parchment.

Sift together flour and cocoa powder. Add salt (if using) and set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter and confectioners sugar until creamy. By hand, stir in flour mixture until well incorporated and moist. Press mixture into bottom of pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

Mix together condensed milk and mashed banana. Pour over baked crust. Mix together chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Sprinkle over top. Bake for 25- 30 minutes.

Let cool completely and then chill before serving. This is the hard part. Magic cookie bars are so much better after they’ve cooled, chilled and become one with the universe. Straight out of the oven, they are just too gooey.

As usual, I do not have the yield. Cut them whatever size you want!

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  1. says

    I made these yesterday. I liked the banana flavor. Your using a not-very-sweet chocolate crust to cut the sweetness of the bar was very clever. I agree that magic cookie bars as a rule can be over the top in terms of sweetness.

    I’m thinking you meant to type the butter should be softened, not salted — right?

    Also, I’m beyond honored that you put me in your list of contest champs. I’m not sure I’m worthy to be in the company of the people listed, but thanks!

  2. Michele says

    Haven’t tried this “banana magic bar” recipe as yet, but I encourage all to try their favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe sometime with the inclusion of (1) one medium size, very ripe banana (chopped into small “chip-sized” piece blended into the dough, and baked as usual for the recipe.
    I (improv) incorporated a (very ripe) banana to my family’s best-loved chocolate chip/walnut & oatmeal cookies, baked ’em as usual, and was amazed by the yummy results! The moist, warm-n-chewy oatmeal-cocoa-n-banana aroma and flavor will have you eating the whole first batch before asking for a 2nd opinion from anyone…

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