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Banana Nut Brownies

Why, oh why has it never occurred to me to combine banana bread and brownies before?

Because, boy did it occur to me yesterday.  And an entire pan of brownies is already gone, 24 hours later.

So it may actually be a good thing I’ve never thought of this before.  But I ran three miles yesterday and went to Zumba today, so I think I’m allowed to eat a few brownies.  And it’s Fritz’s spring break, so he has to have some extra treats.  And Henry.  Well, he definitely licked a few dishes in the sink clean before we caught him and banished him to the bedroom.

Banana Nut Brownies

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/3 C vegetable oil
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 C walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350. To make these as easy as possible, I just combined the wet ingredients (bananas, egg, vanilla, and vegetable oil) until mixed. I left a few banana chunks, but nothing crazy.  Oh, and I used vegetable oil since I was totally out of butter (oops!); you could probably swap butter with no problem–I might go up to half a cup if I used butter.

Add the dry ingredients (sugar, salt, baking powder, cocoa powder, and flour).  Be careful not to overmix–you don’t want a bread consistency here.

And top off with chocolate chips and walnuts.  The batter (if you can call it that) should be very thick and sticky.

Grease a small 8×8 square pan, and spread the brownie batter out evenly, pushing it into the corners.

Bake on the middle rack until cooked through, about 20-30 minutes.  My brownies went from looking incredibly raw to fully baked in what felt like seconds, so watch them carefully!


Allow them to cool, then cut into squares.

These were so good I can’t even talk about it without wanting to make more.  They tasted like dark chocolate gourmet brownies, with just enough banana flavor to make any banana bread lover happy.

The crunch of walnuts and melted chocolate chips went so perfectly with the dense fudginess of these little squares.

I really wish we had more.

I also am glad they are gone, since I’m trying to maintain my girlish figure in time for summer.

These might be my new favorite treat.

Today I managed to get a lot of those annoying to-do list items crossed off, including some planning for graduation.  My mom definitely won’t be able to make it to my graduation, and it’s looking like my dad won’t be able to come either.  With Fritz’s parents in Canada, I’m kind of toying with the idea of saving myself lots of moolah by skipping the ceremony and celebrating here with Fritz and then on another date with my parents.

What do you think? Silly? When I graduated with my B.S. I did go to the ceremony, which was nice, but honestly not that special, other than being with my friends and family. I feel that skipping this one won’t take away from the honor and excitement that comes with graduation–but I also don’t want to regret it later.  As long as I get to celebrate with the people I care about most then I’ll be happy.

What do you think? Go or no go?

Also…my first day of my new clinical is tomorrow and I am so nervous that I might not be able to sleep tonight. Wish me luck!


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  1. Caitlin

    I don’t like chocolate chips in my banana bread but banana bread brownies?? That sounds delicious!!
    As for the ceremony, do what makes you happy! If you want to go you can always go then celebrate with friends and family later on :)

  2. Gina

    I skipped the big ceremony (yawn) for grad school but I did go to the “hooding” ceremony for masters students. It was more intimate and a good way to celebrate with my classmates. If your department or graduate/doctorate students in general are doing something special, I’d do that and skip the big one. But I guess it depends on what your school is like and your personal preference. Congrats either way. And while the world always needs more PTs you should definitely consider becoming a professional chef/blogger! Just my two cents.

    -One of your fans and fellow blogger (but not a food blogger…in my dreams maybe),

    Gina (http://www.holdingthedistaff.blogspot.com)

  3. Quee

    OH MY GOSH these are happening in my life ASAP. Holy cow.

    As for graduation, I think that the best part of them is being surrounded by people you love to celebrate a big accomplishment in your life. If you can do that without a ridiculous hair-squashing cap, I think that you’re not going to have any regrets. Just don’t forget to celebrate some other way!!

    On the other hand…if you decide to do it, maybe I can come be your family representative :)

    Love you <3

  4. Jen

    Oh you devil put ideas in my head hehe. Looks absolutely tasty!

  5. Hannah

    Brownies: fantastic. I’m making some too. But tonight I’m baking an apple pie (all assembled in the ‘fridge so we’re good to go)
    Graduation: I didn’t go to either of mine, and I have no regrets about that. BUT, I didn’t have a crowd of people I cared about to go with, and I finished in December and had to get on with life. Regrets? Not really, more a “wondering what it would have been like”. Plus UConn is HUGE and it would have been dreadful. And it wasn’t a doctoral ceremony, that’s a big deal. You should go – you’ve worked hard, and I want to see it (via internet from England if I can pull that off) or Fritz can tape if for me. Don’t let the $140 rental make your entire decision for you First Dr. in the family should be celebrated somehow. (or we can have a party when Erin and Liana and Bruce and Kristen and You and Fritz are all home….)

  6. Simply Tia

    What fantastic looking treats!!!! These brownies look so rich and decadent. Nicely done.

    When I graduated with my BA (in New York) I didn’t go to the ceremony because my family lives in the Caribbean and couldn’t make it (I was supposed to graduate the May but graduated earlier (December) and they had not planned for it (financially)) so there was no one there to support me so I thought “Whatever” I did my last final on the Friday at 10 am and was out of that college town by 1pm. Got my diploma in the mail a few mths after. To this day it’s my biggest regret. I have no cap and gown photos. No memories of the day and I do get jealous when I see other ppl’s photos. I always say “Whyyyy didn’t I go to my ceremony?!!”

    You should totally go to yours. Celebrate it! But go!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      your comment may have pushed me over the edge to going! :)

  7. Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen

    Just beautiful! I always giggle when someone says “love child”…. But love child of Banana bread and brownie! oh, you’re making me cry! CRY!

  8. Nuts about food

    You worked hard, why not go celebrate? And then you can celebrate after with those you love afterwards… You may not have the time of your life, but at least you will have no regrets later.

  9. Joanne

    It’s your Doctorate! GO! You deserve it. Enjoying your blog and all the stores from your Dad.

  10. Jenny @ BAKE

    Wow these brownies look delicious and not too bad for you! I loved my Graduation, it was a nice goodbye to the people I had spent time learning with. My vote would be to go!

  11. Heidi Bundles Of Hugs

    Those look delicious next time I’m in the mood for brownies I’ve gotta try this recipe. Just bookmarked it!!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I definitely recommend it ;)

  12. Christina

    And.. these are baking away in the oven! So much cocoa makes for a deliciously rich batter. Nom. I’m not going to deny that I purposely left the bowl with a decent lining of batter that was ‘too hard to scrape out with a wooden spoon’. Oh dear, will just have to lick it clean. Thank you for the brilliance of combining two of the world’s best baked goods – you’re a legend.

  13. Linni

    I made these brownies 2 nights ago and they are SOOOO moist and yummy! They are also very rich and gave me heartburn from the cocoa overload. Do you think they would turn out with only 1/2c of cocoa … would I have to make any other adjustments (like with sugar) if I tried that? I can’t cook other than following recipes, so I have no clue :)

    But other than the heartburn, these were the best brownies I have ever tasted! Thanks so much for the recipe!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      sub the cocoa you take out with flour? that’d be my best suggestion!

  14. Samantha

    I was ready to make these but then my sister ate one of my ripe bananas :( so my question is would it make a big difference with just one banana? I figured it just wouldn’t b big on banana flavor but I don’t wanna mess up the consistency, what do u suggest?, being six months pregnant n always craving baked sweets I need these in my life now lol

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