The Firehouse Foodie: Banana Bread Brownies

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By Frank Vaerewijck

Living at a Fire Station ten days a month is a unique experience. Doing so with another family to whom you’re not related is a whole other story.

While we are all different and share varying opinions, knowledge base, and skill sets, due to our similar training, we collectively bring it together to work as one.

Much like cooking, we use a recipe for success to achieve the desired result. Also, like cooking, a recipe is nothing more than a guideline to get you there. There is nothing saying you can’t alter the recipe to satisfy your palate. Just as there is no universally defined standard of training, or incident completion that must be stringently adhered to; thinking outside the box is encouraged.

We all learn differently. I  am a more hands- on active learner, whereas a guy on my shift can recite the book he just read, as if he wrote it. That same guy has a hard time putting two and two together if he is just shown how to do something, He does much better if he has time to read and study the manual or training material prior to the practical application portion of the training. We both get there, just in different ways.

I am the main cook on my shift (go figure), but I’m not the only cook, and we eat well. The thing is, none of us cook the same. Our time management skills in the kitchen are different, the way we prep is different and the way we present and serve is often uniquely different too. The best thing about all of this is, in our own way, we get to the end result, and that’s Bringing the Firehouse Home!

When is a brownie not a brownie, but still thinks it’s a brownie, and is incredibly delicious? When it’s a banana bread brownie…. and OMG these things are unbelievable! Think outside the box and enjoy!

Banana Bread Brownies


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 c. sugar
  • 1-3/4 (3 or 4) ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

Brown Butter Frosting:

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp. milk


  1. Heat oven to 375 F. Grease and flour 15×10-inch jelly roll pan for the brownies, in a large bowl, beat together sugar, sour cream, butter, and eggs until creamy. Blend in bananas and vanilla extract. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and blend for 1 minute. Stir in walnuts.
  2. Spread batter evenly into pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Meanwhile, for frosting, heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until boiling. Let the butter turn a delicate brown and remove from heat immediately.
  4.  Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Whisk together until smooth (it should be thicker than a glaze but thinner than frosting). Using a spatula, spread the brown butter frosting over the warm bars (the frosting will be easier to spread while the brownies are still warm).

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