Sunday, February 19, 2012

Merry Picnic Frozen Bananas

I have no idea why I never tried to make my own frozen bananas before. Ask Garrett - I couldn’t wait for fair season to come around just so I could get my Arrested Development on at a chocolate banana stand – and I couldn’t stop talking about it, months before any fairs would be happening in our area. This week I realized I could make them myself, and they’re easier to make than I thought. I looked up a bunch of recipes online then settled on my own version – using just a microwave because I’m too scared/lazy to attempt to use a double boiler. With five bananas (halved), cake pop sticks, a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, shredded coconut, peanuts, and peanut butter, we ended up with three regular frozen banana halves dipped in chocolate, four banana halves dipped in chocolate and covered in shredded coconut, and four frozen banana halves with a layer of peanut butter, covered in chocolate, and topped off with chopped peanuts. All were AMAZING. The bananas are like ice cream, and they’re just perfect with the chocolate shell and other toppings. Here’s the recipe: 

Merry Picnic Frozen Bananas

What you’ll need:

5 bananas, halved
10 cake pop sticks, or popsicle sticks
12 oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-2 tbsp. butter
Parchment or wax paper
Optional toppings: Peanut butter, chopped peanuts, coconut flakes, sprinkles

What you’ll have to do:

1.     Cut the bananas in half and insert a cake pop stick or popsicle stick into the flat side of each half. Place onto parchment paper-lined plate or container. Freeze for at least an hour.
2.     (If you’re going to use a peanut butter layer, follow this step. If not, skip to Step 3.) Take out frozen bananas you want to cover in peanut butter. Use a butter knife to spread the peanut butter on. Place on parchment paper and put back in freezer to freeze the peanut butter.
3.     Pour the entire bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl. Add butter. On medium-high heat (I used 70% power), microwave for a minute, then stir. Continue microwaving in 15 to 30-second intervals on 70% power until the chocolate is melted.
4.     If you’re using toppings other than chocolate, have them ready on a plate to roll your chocolate-dipped banana in.
5.     Take bananas (regular, or covered in peanut butter) out of the freezer. Using a butter knife, scoop some chocolate out of the bowl and cover each banana half. You can also use the knife to spread the chocolate evenly on the banana. If you’re using toppings, spread the chocolate quickly because the chocolate will harden on the banana before you can get the shredded coconut or peanuts to stick. If using toppings, roll the chocolate-covered banana into the topping. (We rolled a few in shredded coconut, and we rolled the ones with peanut butter in chopped/crushed peanuts.)
6.     Place your finished banana on parchment paper and put back in freezer until the chocolate hardens. If you’re going to save them for a while, store in an airtight container.
7.     Enjoy!

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