Banana Bars w/ Cardamom-Rum Frosting

A couple of weeks ago, I read a article about the effects sugar has on your body. It was very enlightening to say the least and made me immediately throw away all the sugar, Oreos, Captain Crunch and if I keep listing everything in my house that has too much sugar in it, I may overload this blog so I'll stop there.
It only took me a day to realize that my actions were a tad bit impulsive and I should not of thrown out ALL the sugar just maybe the Captain Crunch.
Then I looked for recipes that were mostly sugar free..attempted some and just couldn't do it..
That same day I went out and bought/replaced all that I had thrown away the previous day before.
I really tried.. Honestly..

There was this recipe for Banana Bars that sounded amazing..

Note the word "Sounded".. that gets a big AS IF

Maybe I just didn't follow the directions correctly; maybe I used the wrong proportions.
Maybe, I'm just a masochist who has to go to the gym constantly in order to burn off all the excess the food that I shouldn't be eating (but do anyway) leaves behind..

I'm gonna go with the last one..

Don't look at that splat of mix in the background

Luckily, the recipe was a good start.. to a great recipe.. it just needed a little (ok a cup) of sugar and  a few tablespoons of Rum

So I added what was missing, put it in a pan, baked it, topped with some out of this world frosting and then proceeded to eat the whole pan with no regrets..

Until the next day.. that was my normal day to go to the gym and work out with this new trainer that I have to admit is extremely "easy on the eye".. but is also the spawn of the devil.
He took one look at me and asked me what I had been eating, and since I've never been one to back down from anyone..not even a muscle bound Adonis of a man that walks around with a BMI chart like the Grim Reaper does with his scythe..

I told him about my delicious pan of banana bars and how good they were and how sorry I was that there were none left for me to bring him to try... he shook his head, muttered something under his breath and added 30 more minutes to my workout.


I want to like him.. I do..

This picture is dark..I know.. but that icing had my soul doing the Harlem it had to be captured..

But he and I have certain views that we just can't seem to agree on..
like how chicken should be baked and not fried.. WHAT
He is also extremely opposed to sugar and has lots of wonderful (I'm sure) tips on clean, healthy.. mostly sugar-free eating.
and see me.. well I look at it like this.. me and sugar.. sugar and I.. we've known each other for a long time, longer then I've know this trainer.. so if i had to pick which one to go..

It would be him

Banana Bars w/ Cardamom-Rum Frosting..
Prep Time- 45 mins Cook Time- 1hr  Yield- 12 Bars 
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine 


For the crust
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the center
1/2 cup butter
2 cups dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
3 medium sized bananas, mashed
1 tablespoon rum
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour

Cardamom-Rum Frosting
1/2 cup butter
4 oz cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons rum

Preheat oven to 350.
Coat a 13x9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray
For the crust- In the bowl of electric (stand) mixer beat 1 cup of butter on medium to high speed until light and fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.  Mix in flour, cinnamon, and salt, mixing until combined. Press mixture evenly into prepared baking pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until light brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in pan.
For the center-Using an electric (stand) mixer, beat 1/2 butter on medium to high speed for about 30 seconds. Add in brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. mixing until combined.
Mix in eggs, bananas, rum, and vanilla. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
Beat in flour until all ingredients are combined. Pour mixture over prepared crust and bake for 40-45 minutes (still at 350) or until an inserted wooden toothpick in the center comes out clean.
For the frosting-  In the bowl of an electric (stand) mixer- cream together butter and cream cheese until incorporated and fluffy. Add in powdered sugar, cardamom, vanilla and rum. Mix together until combined.

Spread frosting over uncut bars in the pan. Cut into bars and serve..

These made 12 large bars and lasted for 3 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Click here for printable recipe

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