Big Bro was going to go swing like a monkey from the monkey bars. He was safe. . . for now.
Have you noticed that some the playground equipment has been seriously lawyered up since you and I were kids?
The slides are now about four feet tall and have bumpers and areas of thick soft mulch to fall in (we had rocks). Monkey bars are getting harder and harder to find, and the ones out there aren't exactly high off the ground (oh no, I might fall 3 inches!)
So with that memory, I did a little creating in Abby Lab snoopervized kitchen this afternoon. I just combined elements of a brownie and snack cake recipe using bananas I found on-line, then added a couple Johnson kitchen touches. When I brought the wooden spoon with a bit of the glaze to my husband, he tasted it, smiled and said, "you're evil" ( and he hasn't seen me with a waxed 20-foot slide).
It turned out better than I expected. The sides and bottom were chewy, like a brownie, the interior was light and moist like a snack cake and the glaze made a sweet aromatic crunch to the top. Add in the chunks of dark chocolate and the browned butter taste, it's going to be hard to keep your hands off of them.
3/4 cup sugar
2 very ripe bananas (skin starting to turn dark brown/black) sliced into chunks and then smashed
1/4 cup milk minus 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
A generous (overflowing)1/4 tsp Penzeys Cake Spice (a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves, or use an equivalent measure of one or more of those spices)
40 grams of dark chocolate (use a thin bar, roughly the surface area of a CD), chopped
1/4 cup butter (not margarine or spread, it WILL burn)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 Tablespoon plus 1/8 teaspoon milk
Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease an 8 x 8pan
For the bars
In a coffee mug, combine milk and apple cider vinegar. Stir well and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and cake spice.
In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the sugar and the egg, then add the bananas, beating until combined (it won't be totally smooth). Beat in the milk mixture and vanilla on low speed, then slowly drizzle in butter while mixing on low.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients all at once and stir with a spoon until blended. Then fold in the chocolate Spread the batter evenly into greased pan. Bake 22 to 26 minutes or until edges are dark golden colored and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (center will be light colored and appear soft)
Remove from heat and cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes, then make glaze.
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium/high heat until boiling, reduce heat to low and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the butter turns a darker golden brown color (like honey) and has a nutty aroma, moving it immediately from the heat. Depending on your stove, that's just a couple of minutes after it comes to a boil). Let it cool for a minute, then whisk in sugar, vanilla, and milk, blending until creamy. Spread on bars immediately, or it will start to crystallize up a bit.
Then retire to the shop with your stash to play with stuff that's almost as fun as playground equipment.