Decadent Chocolate-Banana Bonbons with A Variety of Coatings ~ How-To Tips and Tricks ~ By Bonnie Banters

 www.bonniebanters.com     (This method should work well w/whole strawberries also.)                       

Ingredients     (Makes approx. 18 banana bites)                       

The Chocolate Dipped Bananas*

  • 2 firm and not overly-ripe bananas
  • 8 oz.* (approx.) either fresh, premium 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate morsels or chocolate-flavored candy melts or candy bark, plus about 4 oz. extra in case you need*

The Coatings (optional)*

Choose from approx. 1/2 cup each of the following (or a coating of your creative choice):
  • chopped cashew pieces, salted or unsalted (my favorite coating and included in the above photo)
  • either chopped roasted peanuts, pistachios or almonds, salted or unsalted
  • sweetened coconut flakes (included in the above photo)
  • butterscotch chips (ideally mini, if you can find them)
  • semi-sweet chocolate mini morsels (included in the above photo)
  • crushed vanilla wafers

Supplies

  • half-sheet pan
  • wax or parchment paper
  • plastic fork toothpicks (or wooden toothpicks)*
  • mini-paper cups

©Bonnie Banters™.  All rights reserved                                     (page 1 of 2)



Directions

  1. Line a half-sized sheet pan with wax or parchment paper.
  2. Measure any coatings you plan on using and place in small bowls.
  3. Cut one banana at a time into about 1" slices (remove any brown spots).  Place a toothpick into each slice.  Set aside on the counter.
  4. Boil about 2 c. of water and keep hot on the stove.  In a small glass bowl, melt (only 4 oz. at a time*) of the chocolate morsels, chocolate-flavored melts or bark in the microwave on 50% power for 45 seconds.  Pour about 1/2" of the hot water into a stainless steel or glass bowl and set the glass bowl with the microwaved chocolate into it (it's very important to avoid getting water into the chocolate).  Stir vigorously until the chocolate is melted and leave over the hot water to keep melted.
  5. Working quickly and one at a time, swirl and cover each slice of banana in the melted chocolate; then roll in your coating of choice.  You can cover the entire banana slice or just the bottom and sides with the chocolate and coating, leaving the top of the banana slice exposed (this is the easiest and quickest way).
  6. Place onto the lined sheet pan, spacing about 1-2" apart.  Transfer to the refrigerator or freezer to set.  Will keep in the refrigerator up to one week.  If you freeze, allow to thaw at room temperature about 18-20 minutes for optimum chocolate flavor and texture.  Serve in mini-paper cups.*

*Tips and Tricks

  1. As the chocolate sets rather fast and the sticky substance from the sliced banana mixes with the chocolate, melt and work with only 4 oz. of chocolate at a time.
  2. The 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate morsels will provide the best flavor (and worked better for dipping the banana slices than semi-sweet chocolate morsels).  The chocolate-flavored candy melts or candy bark are good options as far as how well they work for dipping the banana slices, possibly the slightest bit easier...just not my first choice for flavor. 
  3. I do not recommend adding vegetable oil or shortening to any of the chocolate, as it seems to make the chocolate difficult to work with in coating the banana slices.
  4. If the chocolate hardens before you've completed dipping the banana slices, remove it from the bowl and place on a sheet of wax or parchment paper.  Melt new, fresh chocolate.  (After you've dipped all your banana slices, you can knead and roll leftover chocolate into bite-size candy pieces (coat or not) and save in the refrigerator for nibbling...bring to room temperature before eating).
  5. The plastic fork toothpicks provide more control for dipping; however, you can use wooden toothpicks.  Before setting, I prefer removing the toothpicks; and after setting, serving in mini-paper cups (coated sides up), as the banana slices may break off into pieces from the toothpicks as eaten (unless each slice is eaten in one bite, of course).
  6. This same chocolate melting and coating method should work well with cleaned, whole, fresh and firm strawberries (stems intact).  Leave the top and stem of each strawberry exposed when dipping in the chocolate, and serve the strawberries stem sides up. 
  7. For fun mini-dessert sandwiches, place each coated banana bite between two vanilla wafers! ©Bonnie Banters™.  All rights reserved. (page 2 of 2)
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