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Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

I really don't know if this should be called a treat; health-food-on-a-stick, maybe?

Last week I first made these treats for my kids.   Sky-hued eyes were enormous above their chocolate smeared mouths. They affirmed yet again that I am the greatest mom EVER!  (This affirmation is often inspired by sugar, some form of media experience or a trip to the playground.) 

And  check out the ingredients:  fresh bananas, semi-sweet chocolate, lightly salted peanuts.  It’s practically health food!  Seriously, it deserves its own dessert. Okay, okay, so there is a weensy bit of heavy cream involved, but it’s hardly worth mentioning.  Besides calcium is important–can’t neglect your teeth and bones! 

You can google chocolate covered bananas and come up with a recipe that goes something like this:  skewer peeled, fresh bananas and freeze; melt chocolate melting chips; dip bananas in melted chips; freeze again and eat.  You will also find recipes that call for combining chocolate and paraffin wax.  

No, thanks.  If I’m eating wax, it better be in some awful, processed treat about whose ingredients I am blissfully ignorant.  I’m going to pause here for a melodramatic shudder.  You feel free to keep reading! 

Here’s how I turned a few ingredients into my kids new favorite frozen treat. 

Chocolate-Peanut Covered Frozen Bananas 

serves 6 

3 ripe, peeled bananas, cut in half and skewered on popsicle sticks or bamboo skewers 

Approximately 8 oz. of Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips.  (I just eyeballed 3/4 of a 12-oz package of chips) 

Approximately 1 cup of heavy cream 

3/4 cup of lightly salted peanuts 

Place skewered bananas on a platter covered with foil, plastic wrap, parchment paper, wax paper, etc. and set platter in the freezer until bananas are throughly chilled. 

While bananas are chilling, coarsely chop the peanuts using a food processor, blender, or by placing the nuts in a ziploc bag and using a rolling pin to break up the nuts.  Put the nut pieces into a pie pan or large plate. 

They didn't last long in my house!

Place chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl.  Heat cream in a small sauce pan over low to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until very hot. Do not let the cream boil. Pour hot cream over chocolate and stir briskly until all of the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.  One by one, dip the bananas into the chocolate, thoroughly coating the fruit, allowing excess to drip back into the bowl.  Immediately roll bananas in the nuts, then set back onto the freezer platter.  Repeat with the rest of the bananas and return them to the freezer until thoroughly chilled (30-60 minutes) or completely frozen (at least 2 hours.) 

The chocolate and cream mixture is basically a heavenly concoction known as ganache, without the butter. If you have peanuts and some of the ganache left over, stir the peanuts into the chocolate and put the mixture in the fridge until chilled enough to roll it into balls. Now you’ve got yourself an easy-peasy truffle that’s essentially a spherical, luxurious Mr. Goodbar.   Or, you could just dip  other things in the chocolate:  sliced apples, candied orange peel, strawberries, grapes, pretzels, graham crackers, animal crackers, potato chips, ants, grasshoppers, smalll children…kidding!  Just making sure you’re still with me. 

Happy snacking! 

~K

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I’m a fan of all things hot chocolate–as long as it’s not poured from a packet and mixed with hot water.  Simply Recipes has this recipe posted with several suggestions for delicious variations.  Unfortunately, I am not currently sipping a cup of this nectar because

  1. I don’t have enough bittersweet chocolate on hand.
  2. I have neither a vanilla bean, a cinnamon stick or an orange for zesting. (And that’s only one of the versions I want to try!)
  3. It’s 19 degrees outside and not even the possibility of the best hot chocolate I have ever tasted will get me out the door until it warms up to at least 25 degrees.

So if you happen to have the ingredients on hand, try it and let me know what you think.  I know I will have a response in less than twenty-four hours!

~K

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Chocolate BarsDid you see that movie several years ago with  Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp and a whole lot of luscious-looking chocolate?  Chances are that if you went into the theatre with an indifferent attitude towards chocolate, at the end of the movie you went straight to concessions and bought one of everything that had chocolate as an ingredient.  (I’ve never been indifferent to chocolate, so I was able to wait until I reached the privacy of my home!)

One of my all-time favorite treats is hot chocolate.  I adored it as a child when my Dad mixed it up on cold mornings and now I fix it for my kids (and myself) on cold mornings, afternoons and evenings. 

This is our recipe.  I know you’ll like it. 

 

 

Hot Chocolate

For each cup of chocolate:

2 heaping tsp. of sugar

1 heaping tsp. of powdered, unsweetened chocolate

a teeny-tiny pinch of salt

1 c. of milk

a drop of vanilla

Mix the dry ingredients. Then add the milk, a little at a time, stirring until you have achieved a smooth  mixture.  Stir in the rest of the milk, place the saucepan over medium heat and, stirring constantly, heat the mixture until thoroughly hot.

Make it even better:  Oh, the possibilities! I like to make it light on the sugar, with a tad more chocolate and then swirl in some heavy cream after I ladle it into each cup.  The kids like to have a candy-cane swizzle stick to stir around and spice up their drink.  Adults like to spice their drink with something a little more grown-up.  Then there are the traditional toppings:  marshmallows, marshmallow cream, whipped cream, a dash of cinnamon…

If you have a suggestion to make a good thing even better, or you have a beloved hot chocolate recipe of your own, please share!

Happy sipping,

~K

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