Posts tagged treats
I tried to solve a couple problems with our family’s version of banana pops: first, cutting a banana in half and then dipping the whole thing in chocolate means that once you bite into the iced pop all the chocolate starts to crack. Gone goes the chocolate and your last few bites of banana are chocolate-less. Not cool. But if you cut up the bananas into pieces it’s easier for kiddos to help with the dipping and (equally importantly, really) you get plenty of chocolate in each bite. Second problem, as much as I like the combo of bananas and chocolate, there’s no crunch. Crush a few peanuts, problem solved.
Note: I’d recommend using popsicle sticks, not plastic knives and toothpicks (pictured). My middle daughter fessed up that my 500-count wooden popsicle stick stash had disappeared. Not to worry, they’re now houses for her Littlest Pet Shop family.
Servings: about 30 pops
Prep time: 15 minutes + 20 minutes freezing (twice)
3 large bananas
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cups chopped peanuts
Wooden popsicle sticks
- Cut each banana into 8-10 slices, then insert a popsicle stick into each slice.
- Place the slices onto a baking pan covered with waxed paper and freeze for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the microwave until smooth. (With my microwave I set it at half power then cook the chips for 2 minutes; stir.)
- Dip each banana slice into the melted chocolate and then into the chopped peanuts. Return to the pan and freeze again for 20 minutes.
They loved these mini banana pops that were drenched in chocolate and peanuts. My middle child–who normally avoids all things peanuts–even had one peanut-coated pop. She did prefer those that were peanutless, she said. What I liked about these easy treats is that my kids could do every part of this recipe on their own.
It’s a Pocky stick invasion. That’s right it used to be you could only find these Japanese treats at an Asian market. But now I’m seeing them pop up at my neighborhood grocers too (hint: look in the Asian food section or they’re sometimes stashed with the candy).
For Pocky newbies, here are the basics:
- Pronounce it pock-e, not how I sometimes say it to rhyme with hockey
- These are biscuit-like sticks that are coated in with a variety of flavorings, like chocolate and strawberry
- In a well-stocked Asian grocery store, you might be able to find Pocky sticks coated with crazier flavors like green tea, sweet milk, cookies ‘n cream and more
- Don’t buy just one box of Pocky sticks, get a couple since you’re likely to go through them quickly
- These make for great on-the-go treats as long as they don’t sit in the bottom of the bag–they crush easily
Ready to try Pocky sticks? Or are you already a Pocky fan?
Sweet & Silly
Ghost cookies. These “cookies” are really just melted white chocolate that your kids can make into ghost shapes. This recipe is fast & fun and a Halloween tradition around our house.
Sweet & Spooky
Ghost brownies. Help your kids create a ghostly graveyard using a brownie, white chocolate ghosts and chocolate-dipped cracker tombstones.
Creepy creature cake. I love any excuse to make a bundt cake–but here you create a freaky scene using the cake as the base. Love it.
Pumpkin seed toffee. Okay, so this isn’t spooky. But for a more grown-up candy, try this mix of roasted pumpkin seeds, ginger, cayenne, all wrapped up in toffee that’s topped with chocolate.
Savory & scary
Meatball mice. These little critters almost look like mice have invaded your spaghetti plate. These are easy to make–and the ham tails add a nice touch.
Chicken leg pot pie. You can thank Roald Dahl of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fame for this revolting recipe and more!
After finding each of my kids digging through the freezer looking for the yogurt popsicles I made last week (they’re all gone), I thought I’ve gotta to make more of these. But instead of yogurt I poked around the kitchen for ideas. My inspiration? Yet again leftovers, along with some candy-making molds from a friend.
The fruit. Yes, leftovers inspire me. Whenever I have fruit that goes uneaten or is a little on the squishy side, I chop it up and save it in the freezer. I toss it into sauces (savory and sweet), swirl it into smoothies, make fruit leather, and now use it in popsicles.
The molds. I’ve never used candy molds before, but since I don’t have popsicle makers or ice cube trays, I figure these would do the trick. I did notice the that molds don’t seem to like the cold. Next time, I’d take out the fruitsicles as soon as they became solid instead of letting them sit. The molds cracked a little bit on the edges but not so much that I couldn’t use them again. The molds happened to be of turtles. Why turtles? I have no idea. You could also follow the same technique though from the yogurt popsicles–no candy molds required.
The recipe. Simple, I thawed frozen strawberries and raspberries in the microwave (you could also let them just come to room temperature on their own), added 2 Tablespoons of water per one cup of fruit (you could also use fruit juice) then poured it into the molds. Instead of popsicle sticks, I used little swords (maybe it was the hot temperatures outside but I was feeling silly; paper popsicle sticks are fine too). So here are our turtle pops. My girls liked playing with these as much as eating them.
Looking for more ideas? Check out these for summer fun with a twist. As part of the Motherboard crew I’ve been clicking through for inspiration myself–I’m going to have to try the tweak on picnics by doing an after dinner dessert mixed in with some stargazing.
Your turn–care to share any ideas for summer fun you’re planning on trying out as the temperatures rise?