It is fascinating how a recipe can become a family favorite. The first time I made these brownies, originally just called “Banana Brownies,” it was because I had an abundance of overripe bananas.
Farmers, warm memories, and a new favorite recipe
Years before I discovered this recipe, my grandmother gave me the National Grange Bicentennial Year Cookbook. “The Grange” is a National Fraternal organization, originally made up of farmers and was (according to the cookbook), the “very first organization of the country to give women an equal vote with men.” My grandparents, dairy farmers, were faithful attendees of Pennsylvania Grange meetings; once or twice they invited me to accompany them. My cookbook invokes warm memories of my grandparents and of being proudly introduced to their friends. The original Banana Brownies recipe appears on page 188, and was submitted by Denise Smith, Sonora Grange, Grinnell, Iowa.
Floating brownies get renamed
My children always liked these brownies. Then, my niece came to Montana for a visit. We packed a picnic and took her canoeing on the Jefferson River. The cooler held an assortment of sandwiches, fruit and beverages – and these brownies. Eaten chilled, on a hot summer day in the middle of a pristine river, they tasted like pure perfection. Their name was changed that afternoon to “Canoe Trip Banana-Butterscotch Brownies.” I frequently make them for family, friends, team dinners, large parties, and always, for when we go canoeing.
“Canoe Trip” Banana-Butterscotch Brownies
2/3 cup shortening
1-lb box brown sugar (=2 1/3 cup)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
3½ cup flour
1 TBSP baking powder (2 tsp. if adjusting for high altitude)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
6 oz. package butterscotch bits
Glaze (recipe follows)
PRE-HEAT OVEN to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 10×15 inch (jelly roll) pan.
Using a wooden spoon or electric mixer, cream shortening and sugar in bowl.
Blend in eggs and bananas.
Stir in dry ingredients, then vanilla, nuts and butterscotch bits.
Spoon this mixture into prepared pan.
Bake, about 30 minutes, until lightly golden.
Spread with Glaze. Cut into squares while warm.
Using a fork, mix the following ingredients until smooth and runny:
- 2 TBSP mashed banana
- 1 ½ tsp. lemon juice
- 2 ¼ to 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
With my minor alterations to the original recipe (published in 1977), this recipe may become such a favorite of yours that you may also change its name!
Smith, Denise. “”Banana Brownies”” National Grange Bicentennial Year Cookbook. Montgomery, AL: Favorite Recipes, [c.1976]. 188. Print.
More by Susan Foster:
A Split-Second, Super-Easy Snack
How to Make a Cake With Both Chocolate and Vanilla Frosting
The BoltBus: My Bus Adventure