sweet saturday: chocolate peanut butter banana pops
On Monday, while we were in New York, we stopped into the NBC Experience store. For those of you that have never been there, it is basically an awesome store where you can buy a ton of fun souvenirs related to your favorite NBC shows. There were quite a few fun shirts and knickknacks I wanted, but the shirt that I almost walked out of there with was this one:
If you are an Arrested Development fan you know how awesome this shirt is. If you’ve never seen Arrested Development, open another tab in your browser and go add it to your Netflix queue right now. I’ll wait.
Even though I didn’t walk out of there with the t-shirt, I was inspired to make my very own Bluth-style dessert. Frozen bananas are creamy, smooth and the perfect summer-y treat. They are a great substitute for ice cream and pack a powerful nutrition punch.
I’m one of those people who absolutely must have a dessert for my meal to feel complete. It doesn’t have to be a lot—a small piece of dark chocolate or a spoonful of ice cream—but it has to be something. Having dessert with every dinner can very quickly add up to a lot of sugar and a lot of nutritionally-void food. But these banana pops are great for satisfying the sweet tooth without wrecking your whole day.
The process for making peanut butter banana pops is super simple. No recipe needed. Start with just spotted bananas. Now usually, I like my bananas a touch green, but when bananas freeze, any “green” flavor tends to get intensified, so I find it best to stick with bananas with more developed sugars for freezing. Also, the greener the banana, the more likely it will spilt when you put in the sticks. I slice my naners in half and then cut off the ends so they are nice and neat.
Using candy-making sticks that you can get from any craft store, push a stick into each banana half about 1-1/2 inches. Don’t worry if some start to split a bit, it’ll eventually all get filled with yummy chocolate.
Next up, you’ll need to freeze the banana halves for about 30-45 minutes. This step is important for two reasons. First up, a cold banana means that when you dip it in the chocolate, it’ll harden quickly and you’ll avoid a drippy, chocolately mess. Secondly, fruit has a ton of water in it and water and chocolate do not like each other. Pre-freezing helps to solidify the water in the bananas before it ever touches the chocolate.
In the meantime, chop up your “toppings”. I used roughly chopped peanuts, but there are a ton of possibilities. Sprinkles, coconut, chocolate shavings, chopped up pretzels, toffee. Use your imagination!
When your bananas are about done in the ice box, start bringing together your chocolate coating. In a microwave-safe bowl, toss in a bag of chocolate chips and a large spoonful of peanut butter (I’d say about 1/4 cup). Microwave for 60-90 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until the chips are melted and it is well-combined.
Now it is time to dip! Dunk each banana in the chocolate mixture. Use a spoon to cover the entire banana (also use the back of the spoon to scrape off excess chocolate).
Once covered, roll them into your toppings and then place on parchment paper while you finish up the rest. You can try to make them stand on end, but chances are, they’ll want to topple over. Feel free to take a moment or two to admire the beauty that is freshly poured chocolate.
Once you’ve finished coating all the pops (that chocolate mixture should make enough to coat four bananas—eight pops), transfer to the freezer to finish chilling. 1-2 hours later, you’ll have hardened chocolate and a smooth, frozen banana middle.
Once they are frozen through, you can transfer them into a zip-top bag and store them in the freezer for easy desserting.
Michael Bluth approves.