Banana Split Brownies – What a Fabulous Gift!

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Last year for our son’s baptism I ordered a tray of brownies from a local supermarket as part of our food plans. It was easy and they looked tasty enough. There were some that were chocolate frosted and some that had a delightful cream cheese frosting. They all had a stemmed maraschino cherry on top.

They were amazing.

Amazing!

And adorable.

I have not stopped thinking about them. They were bite-size and perfect.

They are the inspiration for these Banana Split Brownies.

I decided to make some bite-size brownies AND a large brownie because they offer different looks depending on the type of brownie gift that you want to share with someone. I am also adding the flavor of banana because I had some that I needed to use and the idea of a Banana Split Brownie seemed like one of the best decisions I have ever made.

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I thought that you might need to take a “Can’t stop thinking about you” food gift with you this weekend as you celebrate Memorial Day and these will do the trick. The creamy banana flavor in the topping is just the right amount, just a hint, and when it meets the maraschino cherry….ohhhh…they were made for each other.

My daughter is not a big fan of the banana flavor at times so I made the bite-size brownies with her in mind, using some of the brownie mix. That way I can leave off the banana topping to individualize her brownies. What a momma I am.

She does not know what she is missing.

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I added half of a ripe banana to the rest of the brownie mix and poured it into a glass pie pan – I love to see the brownie through the glass. Nuts would be delicious added to the brownie batter too, but my wee ones are not big fans of nuts IN their baked goods.

I suspect it is because they know that “you are what you eat…”

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Look at all of those banana pieces swimming around in milk chocolatey goodness…oh my!

I baked the bite-size brownies for 15-17 minutes, enough to still be soft but not stick too much to a toothpick. I baked the glass pie pan of brownies for 38-40 minutes, which was less than the box called for since I took some of the batter for my bite-size brownies.

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The brownies can be left to cool completely.

Now it is time to work on the topping.

Beat 1/2 package of cream cheese for a few moments and then add 1 mashed ripe banana and mix on medium to high speed for a few minutes to incorporate. Then, add 3 cups of powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, and mix on medium to high. Add 1 tablespoon of heavy cream, half n half or milk for some slight creaminess and finish mixing.

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Because I wanted a lighter topping for the brownies I added 2 cups of whipped cream. I used store-bought because I had it on hand but you could also make your own. Carefully fold in the whipped cream trying to keep some of the fluffiness.

Using a spoon add a small amount of topping to the bite-size brownies. It is a creamy topping so it will run down the edges if you put too much on. That does not have to be a bad thing!

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Top the bite-size brownies with halved maraschino cherries, that have been patted on a paper towel to remove some of the juice.

For the pie pan of brownies, spread the topping on. I liked a big amount of topping, but you can reduce the amount that you use. Top with chopped walnuts and maraschino cherries.

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You could also put the topping in a bowl and serve the brownies “Brownie-Bar” style. Cut the brownies into squares, put nuts and cherries in a bowl, even diced pineapple and sliced strawberries for the whole banana split experience, and let guests serve themselves. Awesome idea if I do say so myself…I will have to revisit that in the future…

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Yahhhhh….that’s a beautiful gift!

Banana Split Brownie

– 1 box of brownie mix
– 1/2 package of cream cheese (4 oz.), softened
– 1 and 1/2 ripe bananas – separated, mashed
– 3 cups powdered sugar
– 1 tablespoon heavy cream, half n half or milk
– 2 cups whipped cream or whipped topping
– chopped walnuts and maraschino cherries for garnish (I chose to sue cherries without stems because they will be easier to eat)

Mix the brownie batter as directed on the box.

Add 1/2 mashed banana to the brownie batter.

Pour into prepared pans and bake at temperature on box. If you separate the batter into a variety of pans, adjust your bake time like I did. (15 – 17 minutes for 15 bite-size brownie cups and 38-40 minutes for glass pie pan of batter).

Cool completely. If you use cupcake liners for the bite-size brownies, remove them while brownies are slightly warm. It will be easier.

For topping:

Cream 1/2 package of softened cream cheese for a minute or so. Add 1 mashed banana and mix on medium to high speed for a few minutes.

Add 3 cups of powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition.

Add 1 tablespoon of heavy cream and mix.

Fold in 2 cups of whipped topping.

Top the brownie to your liking and garnish with nuts and maraschino cherries. Keep chilled until ready to eat.

Arrange bite-size brownies on a fabulous plate, a plate that you may even leave as a gift, or take along some fun paper plates to serve the brownies on. Make sure you get a brownie before everyone else eats them…believe me…they will go fast!

Make It Easy!

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If you do not want to or do not have the time to use the recipe above, here are some shortcuts for a “thoughtful gift made easy”…

– Purchase canned whipped frosting and a tub of whipped topping. Mix together and add your garnish – nuts and cherries. Keep chilled until ready to eat.

– Purchase the whole “shebang”! Pick up some ready-made brownies in addition to the frosting and whipped topping. Frost the whole brownie or cut brownie into bite-size squares, dollop on your frosting, garnish with cherries and go!

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