February 5, 2012

What's Valentine's Day Without Chocolate?

Day 4

Posted by Ethne~

I have a bit of a sweet tooth.

Theodore has no teeth.

I passed it on to my kids.  Not sure if that’s nature or nurture.  Probably a little of both.

It always seems like I have to balance out salty and sweet.  If I have one, I need to have the other afterwards.  I’m pretty sure that’s all in my head.  Though I don’t usually need a reason, Valentine’s Day always gets me jonesing for chocolate.  And I can use it for a treat for my kiddos.

If the girls eat a good dinner, including their vegetables and fruit, I usually give them a sweet treat.  If I can make it myself, rather than have something highly processed, I can usually justify it a little better…

Naturally while scouring Pinterest, I see all sorts of ideas.  This snack: make mini sandwiches out of banana slices and peanut butter, dip them in melted chocolate ganache (chocolate and cream melted together – it’s the same thing you do to make chocolate fondue) place them on wax paper and freeze till served.

Making the little sandwiches, that’s pretty straightforward.  I did this in advance so they would be ready when the chocolate was melty.

Action shot courtesy of KD

To make the chocolate, make a double-boiler arrangement.  What this means is put about an inch of water into a pot and place a heat-safe glass bowl onto the pot.  The general idea is the steam makes the chocolate melt without the chocolate actually having to touch the bottom of the pot (ie, not close to the burner) – it’s far less likely to burn that way.  If you don’t have the glass bowl, use your medium-sized pot and your small pot.

NOTE: I used milk/cream in with mine to make it more
like a ganache, but it didn't freeze as well as straight
chocolate would have; don't let water get into the bowl
or the chocolate will seize up and be ruined.

Put a bag of chocolate chips (I always use semi-sweet) into the glass bowl.  Stir around until the chocolate is all melted smooth.  You don’t have to stir constantly because it will take a little while to melt.  It shouldn’t burn because of the double boiler situation.

When ready, I used two forks to pick up the banana sandwiches, and turned the sandwich over in the chocolate with the forks until it was all covered.  Then place on the nearby wax paper.  You’ll want to cover the sandwiches with chocolate as quickly as possible because the peanut butter will start to melt in the warm chocolate if you have it in there too long.

Once they were all covered, I left them out on the countertop until the chocolate had cooled to room temperature so it wouldn’t be runny.  Then I put the sandwiches (still on wax paper) onto a cookie sheet and put that in the freezer.  When the sandwiches are frozen, you can peel them individually off the wax paper and store in a plastic freezer bag.

Frozen till snacktime

The nice thing is these are little.  Perfect for a kid snack.  And since I was in control of the ingredients, I can sneak in some fruit and they won’t know the difference.  I’ll get my kiddos all the fruits and veggies I can.

And I can’t feel too guilty if I pop one or two myself.
I mixed peanuts (or pistachios are my fave) in
with the remaining chocolate and let it cool
on wax paper - yummy - store in freezer and break
off bits for snacks

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