I’m back from spring break in Vermont with my gal pal/kindred spirit Kristin—it was marvelous! We did lots of adventuring and took in some pretty scenery.
We also made time for important things like sitting on the couch while watching Sister Wives and eating dessert. Kristin pointed out on 3/14 that it was “Pi Day.” While I don’t care about pi, I do care about pie, and I’ve been wanting to try the banoffee variety for awhile. (“Banoffee” = mash-up of “banana” and “toffee”—it’s a British thing, I think.)
We made the banoffee pie for a little gathering to watch the finale of The Bachelor, and thank God we did. I’ve never watched the show before….but I must say that the “After the Final Rose” special was pretty emotionally taxing. I mean, if two beautiful people who got engaged after a contrived, videotaped six-week courtship are struggling to make it work, is there hope in love for the rest of us? This is the kind of thing that’s easier to ponder while eating pie.
Here’s the link to the recipe we used. It worked like a charm. Only alterations: store-bought graham cracker crust instead of homemade, and 3 sliced bananas instead of four. Oh, and I sprinkled mini chocolate chips over the top, because when did that ever make anything worse?
(I don’t have a picture of the finished product, but I assure you it was very cute.)
Today I set out to create some banoffee-inspired blondies. They turned out really well, and, because they don’t involve a can of sweetened condensed milk, they won’t violently attack your blood sugar quite like the pie. Note: I used store-bought toffee bits in these, but you could go to this link and make your own! That would be a nifty little project, huh?
Banoffee Blondies (makes 12 bars)
- 6 tbsp butter
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 c. white flour
- 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 c. toffee bits (plus some extra for the top)
- 1/2 of an overripe banana, mashed with a fork
- optional chocolate chips to sprinkle on top
Melt the butter in a small frying pan over medium heat. Cook and stir for 4-5 minutes (there will be a lot of foam) until it’s golden brown. (Browning the butter creates the caramel-y flavor that will put the “offee” in your banoffee.) Take the pan off the stove and allow the butter to cool for a few minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the browned butter and brown sugar. Then add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the flours, salt, and soda and mix until well-incorporated. Fold in the mashed banana and toffee bits. Press the dough into a greased 8×8 pan and sprinkle the top with extra toffee bits and a few chocolate chips if desired. Bake at 350 for about 17 minutes.
P.S. I do have some Vermont maple syrup—I promise there will be some sort of maple-themed creation within the next few days and I’ll be sure to report. (Unless it’s gross.)
P.P.S. If you happen to be looking for a beautiful, fascinating novel to read you should definitely check out Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. I finished it on the plane yesterday and cried my eye makeup clean off. So….maybe save the last 100 pages or so for the privacy of your own home if you don’t like weeping around strangers.