“There’s Money in the Banana Stand!”

It may be early in the summer, but with temperatures rising north of 100 degrees, it’s hard to think about anything but ways to feel refreshed.  One of my favorite refreshing treats, which is great for kids and adults, is our chocolate dipped frozen banana.  I love it for so many reasons–mainly it’s delicious, but also:

– they make a fun indoor (read air-conditioned) activity to do with your kids.
– they’re healthier than Mr. Softee.
– they don’t drip as much as ice cream cones or Popsicles.
– coating the banana in chocolate fondue makes them easier to eat than ones with a hard chocolate shell.
– you can make endless “Arrested Development” references.
– they’re super easy to make…

What you need:
4-6 large bananas
8-12 1/4 inch wooden dowels, popsicle sticks or drinking straws and skewers
1 1/2 cups (about 1/2 lb) dark or milk chocolate
1 1/2 tbsp heavy cream
1 1/2 tbsp light corn syrup (honey can be substituted)
Approx 2 cups toasted coconut, chopped peanuts or sprinkles (optional for topping)

1. Peel the bananas and cut each in half (width-wise).  Insert the dowels or drinking straws through the center of the banana from the cut side, about 2-3 inches into the banana.  If using drinking straws, then insert the skewers in the middle of each straw, for added support.
2. Place the bananas on a sheet pan covered with parchment or wax paper, and put them in the freezer while you prepare the chocolate.
3. Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl placed over a pot of boiling water, stirring constantly.  Add the heavy cream and corn syrup, and continue to stir until combined, then remove it from the heat.
4. Spread the toasted coconut, peanuts or sprinkles on a plate next to the bowl of chocolate.
5. Remove the bananas from the freezer, and dip each to coat in the chocolate mixture.  Tilt the bowl as necessary to get an even coating all around the banana, then let any excess chocolate drip off.
6. While the chocolate is still wet, roll the banana in your topping of choice, and gently shake off any excess.  Place it back on the sheet pan, and then repeat with remaining bananas.
7. Once all the remaining bananas have been coated, return them to the freezer for 30-60 minutes, until the chocolate has hardened.
8. Enjoy immediately, or wrap them in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to one month.

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