When I was younger my Grandma Grillo used to take me to Knott's Berry Farm. For all you non-Southern Californian's out there, Knott's is a theme park, like Disneyland, but on a slightly smaller scale. There were rides, roller coasters and my favorites included the soap box car races and the log jammer. I also remember having dinner at Ms. Knott's restaurant quite a few times (I think that was the name) where we ate things like fried chicken, biscuits, salad, where I noticed red cabbage for the first time, pie or cobbler, and a berry drink which was always my favorite. Knott's berry farm is known for boysenberries and products made with them (jams, syrups, etc). What they are not known for-at least not that I know of- are chocolate covered frozen bananas. However, it is forever burned in my mind that whenever we would pass those people selling food in carts around the park, I would get a chocolate frozen banana covered in finely chopped peanuts. Maybe, it was just once. I have no idea. But my little mind likes to think it was every time. Those things have stayed with me as a fond memory ever since, probably because when bananas are frozen they taste a lot like vanilla ice cream, and who doesn't love vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and peanuts?
I saw a recipe for these banana bites on pinterest and knew instantly I had to try them. They are a little different because you cover chunks of the fruit with a melted mixture of both chocolate and peanut butter, and then cover them in shredded coconut. You could just as easily cover them with peanuts, rainbow sprinkles or almonds. I love that you can eat them like a bon bon, are rich so you only need one or two, and are a snap to make.
My kids wolfed these down for dessert and my daughter actually requested that I make them for her birthday. The best part is that I felt good about what they were eating. And I won't feel too guilty if after those kids are in bed, I sneak off to the freezer to grab a couple more...
Thank you Grandma, for taking me to do such special things when I was little. I remember each and every time.
Frozen Chocolate and Peanut Butter Banana Bites
2 ripe bananas
1/3 cup semi sweet or dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter or almond butter
2 tablespoons shredded sweetened coconut for sprinkling
Peel and chop bananas into 5-6 equal pieces each. Melt the chocolate chips and peanut butter together in a saucepan over very low heat and stir until just combined and chocolate has melted. Dip each banana chunk in the chocolate and peanut butter mixture and place on a wax paper lined sheet pan. Sprinkle the coconut over top and freeze for 2 hours or until hard.