Makes 24 bars
2½ sticks unsalted butter (1¼ cups), more for greasing pan
3 cups chocolate wafer cookies
¼ cup light brown sugar
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½ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus a pinch
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 large eggs
2½ cups dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment, and grease with butter.
2. Melt 1 stick of butter in a saucepan over low heat or in microwave. Put the chocolate wafer cookies in the bowl of a food processor and process to make fine crumbs. Add the light brown sugar, melted butter and a pinch of salt. Process until the mixture is the consistency of damp sand. Dump the mixture into the pan and press it into an even layer. Bake for seven to 10 minutes, or until the surface is firm. Remove the pan and set aside.
3. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 12 tablespoons butter, then let it cook until foam subsides and butter turns a deep nut brown, about five minutes. Cool.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together bananas, eggs, dark brown sugar and rum. Whisk in brown butter. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and fine salt. Fold into batter along with the toasted walnuts. Pour the mixture over the prepared crust and spread evenly. Sprinkle top with flaky salt if using.
5. Put pan in oven and bake until top is firm and toothpick inserted in center emerges with a few crumbs attached (or clean) but not wet, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool fully on wire rack; cut into 24 bars.
By Melissa Clark, The New York Times