I used to spend a couple of weeks every summer outside the city and at my grandparents. Those hot days in July and August were like fresh flowers and freedom. It was an escape from poor air quality and congestion. It was an escape to a simpler way of life.
waste spend hours outside by myself throwing the ball against the fence. When you grow up an only child you find ways to keep yourself busy and happy. And when I visited with grandparents, I was just that. I would play in the gigantic backyard trees with roots big enough to dig under the neighbouring property. I would catch butterflies, or at least try. I would do anything to stay in the moment. The days there would turn into nights with a blink of an eye and I couldn't count sheep fast enough so I would awake to another bright day.
One of the routines at their house would be to take a car ride at night. Load the three of us into the old four door sedan and take a trip around town. It didn't matter back then that we travelled slower than snails and kept a lineup of cars trailing behind us. They would honk and smirk at us as they passed. I would always smile back, oblivious to the commotion. We were on our way to the local Diary Queen, and nothing could distract me or change my mood.
We used to make a habit of those trips and I would always order the same item or two. I would look up at the daunting menu and see the same things calling my name and tempting me to pick them. The banana split was the big daddy of menu items. It was the all-American classic and probably the best selling item. Yet I never had a thing for them as a kid. I liked the standard chocolate-dipped cone or DQ sandwich. I loved the chocolate cookies sandwiching ice cream. It was right in my comfort zone.
Years would fly by before I started to appreciate the combination of bananas and ice cream and chocolate sauce. I used to experiment and make mine with crumbled ginger cookies, chocolate sauce, shredded coconut and peanuts. It had a plethora of toppings and they all played nice together.
Now that I'm older, I like to flip recipes around and play with ingredients and flavours and recipes. I thought it was the perfect time to spin an old classic into a new classic. Deconstruct it and twist it. So I came up with this Frozen Banana Bomb. Bananas dipped in melted Nutella, rolled in shredded coconut and crushed peanuts and ginger. Once frozen it took on the taste and characteristics of the banana split. Only it was better.
This is the perfect summer escape and it's simple and quick to make. It starts with slicing a banana in half and dipping it in melted chocolate, done so in a double boiler. I then throw some peanuts and ginger cookies in a bag and crush them with a rolling pin, going back and forth until smooth. I mix those up with shredded coconut and place them on a baking pan lined with a sheet of parchment paper. Dip the banana into the chocolate and roll it into the mixture of your favourite toppings. Cover it with another layer of parchment paper and place in the freezer for an hour.
I'm glad I didn't know about this back when I was a kid because half of the fun to me was those long car rides together. I'd do anything to bring them back and load them in my car and hand them one of these. Take them for a spin around the city I used to visit but now live in. And let the cars line up behind me, just for the memories.
From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!
Labels: bananas, chocolate, coconut, dessert, ginger cookies, Nutella, peanuts, summer, treat