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Caramel Fudge Brownies (With Banana)

Here’s a list of things I hate about going to the gym in the evening (hint: these all revolve around Long Island’s finest, steroid-packed, short-bald-overly-tan-blown-out-of-proportion-long-shorts-wearing men over 40).

What is it with those guys?  I hate it:

  1. When these men feel it is within their rights to blatantly stare at any woman who is innocently (or not so innocently, in some cases) trying to work out, but it’s particularly disturbing when these woman could be their daughter’s age.  Enough with the creepy in-the-mirror eyeballin’, guys.  It’s gross.
  2. When these men (or to be fair, any man, woman, or child) places a sweaty towel on a machine, thereby “claiming it” until the end of time, and then stands next to said machine for 15-20 minutes shouting to their equally as tan, short, and bald friends about the young women they are currently ogling.  Can I use that machine to work out, or do you need to continue to stand next to it whilst I desperately try to avoid making eye contact?  Also–I can hear what you are saying, and I don’t appreciate it.  This iPod does not make me deaf.
  3. When these guys lift gigantic weights way too fast, for an entire four reps, and then violently throw them to the ground so that every innocent bystander is forced to admire how heavy their weights are.  Or, to give me a heart attack because that 50 pound plate just bounced past my foot.
  4. And of course, there’s the women who don’t appear to come to the gym to work out, but to socialize.  To be fair, I wear a good amount of tight spandex, so that’s not my gripe.  It’s when they stand (stationary) on the cardio machines or next to these overly tan guido-dads in the free weight section, either talking on cell phones or flirting, that drives me nuts.
  5. I am aware that this sounds like a series of badly-written stereotypes, but this really is what the gym experience is like from 6:00pm to close.  The mornings are full of grandpas and moms, and it is heaven.

Whew.  Had to get that off my chest, man.  I think this is partially the reason that I have grown to love running outside so much more.  What are your least-favorite gym gripes?

Anyway, back to something we’d all like to discuss.

Brownies, that are more like squares of fudgy and caramelly heaven with a hint of banana.

Use the coconut caramel sauce from yesterday, or any other caramel sauce recipe/premade stuff you can get your hands on.  I don’t think it’ll make much of a difference.

I slightly adapted these brownies from my banana nut brownies, and took out the nuts and baking powder for (seriously, guys) the most fudgy and gooey brownies ever.  And the banana just took it to the next level.

Caramel Fudge Brownies

  • 2 ripe bananas (I actually used three weirdly small bananas)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/3 C coconut oil (vegetable oil or butter would be fine)
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 C flour
  • 1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 C caramel sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 8″ square pan.

First combine the banana, egg, vanilla, and coconut; then add in the remaining ingredients except the chocolate chips and caramel.  Just gently let the mixer (or do it yourself) mix it up until just combined–don’t over mix!. Fold in the chocolate chips and pour into the pan.

When I say “pour” I really mean alternate between scooping it into the pan and into your mouth.  Oh my gosh golly gee I can’t resist unbaked brownie batter.

Or any chocolate at all, to be honest.

Before baking, dollop some big spoonfuls of the caramel over the top (five scoops for me–one in each corner and one in the center), then swirl it into the brownie mix with a butter knife.

Bake on the middle rack for about 30-40 minutes.  Because of the caramel, these may need to cook a bit longer.  They’ll also still look pretty gooey in some places even when they are fully baked.

That’s the magic of these brownies.

Let them cool in the pan, then divide into 16 brownies, eat three, and store the rest in the fridge.

They are best at room temperature, when their gooeyness is at its most…gooey.

Fudge.  In caramel-brownie-banana-chocolate form.

(And by the way, though the banana is definitely noticeable, it’s a brownie first and banana second.  Have no doubt).

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  1. Hannah

    Can we add to that list the NOT cleaning your icky sweat off a machine when you are finished? Haven’t had a gym membership in a long time, but that used to really bug me. Funny list, and great looking brownies to give us a reason to go to the gym…if we didn’t already have several

  2. Christina

    JUST got home from the gym and it was EXACTLY like that! I know right – what’s with throwing weights on the floor? It just makes him look too weak to take it right down to the ground. I was griping too.. As long as we don’t let them get the better of us and inhibit us from working out..

    Those banana brownies were SUCH a hit, I am more than tempted to try this version also. Still trying to get my hands on coconut oil up here – but olive/canola seems to do the trick. Its recipes like these that make the hard work out (and not-so-lovely company) worth it huh!

  3. natalie@thesweetslife

    These sound awesome–I have tons of ripe bananas in my freezer, so I will give these a go soon!

    ps. I’ve been reading through Google Reader lately but clicked over and LOVE your blog header!

  4. Leah at One Vignette

    I go to an all-female gym (*totally* worth the higher fee just to avoid the weight-throwers), and my peeve is the space-holders–the women who will place their towels in a spot on the floor before a cardio class so they can run to the bathroom/gab to a friend upstairs. They’re the same women who will glare a newbie who, heaven help her, accidentally tries to stand in “their” spots, and who, no matter who is in their spot, will take that spot anyway, even if it means she’s kickboxing 1/2 foot away from somebody’s head. It’s why I started going at 5 in the morning. You don’t have that competition when you’re surrounded by bleary-eyed moms and teachers!

  5. ATasteOfMadness

    Wow. chocolate? Caramel? Bananas? What more could I want?
    I went to the guy around where I live one time, and that was all I could stand. Now running around the park and working out at home make me feel more comfortable.

  6. Remya

    Hey Lauren,

    The brownies look awesomely yummy! A coincidence, but I saw your recipe among the recently punched hot recipes, along with mine, which also happens to be brownies. :) And loved the gym write-up too. Been there, seen all of that too. 😉

    Hope to see you on my blog too.

    Gourmet Dilettante@http://www.remya-r.blogspot.com.au/
    FB page: My Cooking Experiments

  7. Jenny @ BAKE

    That sounds like gym-hell! as if working out isn’t bad enough! I had to quit a gym because creepy old men would come and lift weights infront of me (and other girls) working out on the cardio machine. I think you deserve a whole plate of brownies just to deal with them!

  8. Kelly

    Nice recipe. I love a simple brownie recipe which is easy for the kids :)
    I also like the below brownie recipe.
    Thanks for sharing,

  9. Tor

    Love the photo with the cat peeking in! I’ve never been to a gym, but I actually have a running gripe – those big crowds of people who take up the whole pavement and run too slow. Drives me insane!
    These look really good. Brownies, imo should be fudgy and not cakey – there are wayyy too many cakey brownie recipes around.

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