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Banana Chocolate Chip Bars

Yield:36 cookies
This recipe comes from the Nitty Gritty publisher's Cookies cookbook written by Lou Seibert Pappas. This was one of my first cookie cookbooks and is the source for many favorite recipes. The Banana Chocolate Chip bar was one I made often when I was a kid baking at home. I kind of forgot about it for 20 years or so and rediscovered recently. What could be better than bananas, cinnamon, chocolate and pecans baked together into a slim and soft bar cookie?

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup mashed bananas (about 2)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1. Beat butter and brown sugar together until creamy. Beat in bananas and vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, wheat germ, soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture, beating well. By hand, stir in the chocolate chips and half of the nuts.

2. Spread the mixture in a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with remaining nuts.

3. Mix together the granulated sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the nuts.

4. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

5. Let cool and cut into bars.