Showing posts with label Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How to make Frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bites #dairyfree #glutenfree by Cleo Coyle

Chocolate and peanut butter make a classic combo. According to US sales, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are the #1 candy in America, and our household definitely contributed to that stat. Last fall, I even blogged an easy recipe for Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cake...


To download my recipe for this Easy Reese's
Peanut Butter Cup Cake,
click here.


My husband, Marc, is an especially devoted fan. Though he and I grew up in different Western Pennsylvania towns, we both well remember family trips to Hershey, PA.

We often throw Reese's minis in the freezer, especially in the summer months. They keep well and when you pop them in your mouth, they taste like an ice cream treat.

The problem? It's candy. Not the healthiest of daily treats.

A Healthier Alternative?

A few years back, Trader Joe's introduced Chocolate Covered Banana Slices. While this is a great idea, they sell out fast.

Today's recipe solved two problems for us:

(1) We can have chocolate covered banana slices whenever we want and...

(2) By adding peanut butter, these treats 
nicely replace our Reese's Peanut Butter Cup cravings. 

After a night in the freezer, the chocolate-enrobed
banana slices become wonderfully creamy, much like
ice cream. The flavor of banana becomes less pronounced,
letting the more powerful notes of chocolate and
peanut butter drench your tongue with that classically
satisfying combo.

This is a treat I make all the time.
I hope you enjoy it as much as Marc and I do...

~ Cleo



Cleo Coyle is author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries.
Learn more by clicking here.

Cleo Coyle's
Frozen Chocolate
Peanut Butter
Banana Bites



Trader Joe's went bananas a few years ago by introducing frozen chocolate covered banana slices, and many people went bananas over them.

Making your own is easy and economical. Even better, you can be selective about the ingredients and make them as healthy (or as decadent) as you like.

My two little contributions to this relatively simple process are...


(1) The addition of peanut butter sandwiched between the slices and...

(2) The use of Almond Milk in creating the chocolate coating. 

Almond Milk not only contributes wonderful flavor to the chocolate, it also lets dairy-free eaters enjoy the treat. 

FYI - Recent studies have shown that dark chocolate has great health benefits, but ingesting dairy milk with it can lessen those benefits

If you are a dairy-free eater, be sure to purchase dairy-free chocolate for the recipes. Below is just one example of a product that can help you out...


The "Enjoy Life" brand of semi-sweet chocolate chips are dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free, click here to learn more, read reviews, and/or purchase.

The recipe below is easy but can be tricky. I included some tips that I hope will help you get the best results. May you eat with joy...and in good health! 

~ Cleo




Click here
to download.
To download this recipe in a PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here.



Makes 10 to 12 Banana Bites

Ingredients:

1 banana, ripe but still firm (medium to large)

2 to 2-1/2 tablespoons peanut butter or almond or cashew butter 

3 ounces chocolate chips (depending on their size, that's usually 1/2 cup to a heaping 1/2 cup in volume) 

1 tablespoon Almond Milk (darker chocolates may need more)


Health notes on options for chocolate and peanut butter...

*Chocolate note: You can use any chocolate chips you like: milk, semi-sweet, bittersweet, or dark. In my photos today, I used Nestle Dark Chocolate Morsels. If you are a dairy-free and/or gluten free eater, be sure to pick up chocolate chips that say dairy-free or gluten free on the packaging.

*Healthiest chocolate choice: Dark chocolate has wonderful health benefits, click here to read more about them. Note that you may need to use more Almond Milk for darker chocolates.
To read a brand vs. brand
comparison on "Natural"
Peanut Butters,
click here.

*Peanut butter note: Use any peanut butter you like--or almond butter or cashew butter. For a healthy suggestion, try Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter. One of this blog's followers, Libby D., recommended it, and I agree with her. It's one of the best-tasting natural peanut butters on the market. No sugar or preservatives. Just two ingredients: peanuts and a small amount of salt. For more suggestions on natural peanut butters, see the link in the caption to the right. >>

DIRECTIONS: 

Step 1 - Create the PB banana sandwiches: 
Cut your ripe but firm banana into thin slices, pairing slices by size. Make sure you have at least 12 pairs (24 slices). Smear peanut butter on half of the slices, one for each pair. 




Put the slices together like little sandwiches. You should now have 12 little peanut butter and banana sandwiches.



Step 2: - Melt the chocolate: Pour the chocolate chips into a clean, dry, shallow microwave-safe bowl. Pour the almond milk over the chocolate and stir to coat the pieces well. 



Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave with care. Once you boil or burn chocolate, its taste is ruined and there is no saving it. Zap it for 20 seconds, stir. Zap again in small bursts until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth (see my photos).



Step 3 - Troubleshoot (adjust): If the chocolate seems a little thick for dipping, try the following. Pour a very small amount (1 teaspoon) more of the almond milk onto the chocolate. DO NOT MIX IN. Place the bowl back in the microwave and zap for 10 to 15 seconds. Remove and stir. The chocolate should be looser. If you it's still too thick, repeat until you get the desired consistency. If chocolate becomes difficult to work with, return it to the microwave and re-warm it.

Double-Boiler option: You can also place a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water and create a double boiler. Place the chocolate and almond milk in the bowl and stir until melted. Then dip the banana bites into the bowl. While a little more trouble, this method has the advantage of keeping your chocolate warm and pliable through the entire dipping process.

Step 4 - Dip and freeze: One at a time, drop the PB banana sandwiches into the bowl of melted chocolate. 



Using two forks, gently flip the little banana sandwich, moving the chocolate around it until it is coated. Lift the coated banana bite with one fork, allowing the chocolate to drip off...



Be patient and get as much excess chocolate off the bite as you can. Place on a flat pan or plate that's been covered with parchment paper or wax paper.

WARNING: If you don't use wax paper or parchment paper, the chocolate will stick to the surface of your dish or pan as it dries and freezes. 


Ask me how I know. :)



Place your finished bites in the freezer for about 3 hours
or overnight. These are frozen treats, delicious right out
of the freezer. Think of them like ice cream bites.

If serving for a party, keep them frozen
as long as possible. Like ice cream, they will
begin to melt after about 15 to 20 minutes
out of the freezer.



To download
Magic Shell recipe,

click here.

MAGIC SHELL OPTION

I like the fudgy chocolate this recipe produces because it re-creates the
chewiness of a rich candy. 


If you'd rather make a crisp, thin, hard "Magic Chocolate" shell for your banana slices, that's an easy variation. Just use coconut oil instead of almond milk. For the correct ratios, see my Coffeehouse Banana Split recipe by clicking here



http://www.coffeehousemystery.com/userfiles/file/Cleo-Coyle_Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Banana-Bites.pdf
Click here to download
today's recipe, and...


Eat with joy!
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.







To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.
 





Now a National
Bestseller in Hardcover

A Coffeehouse Mystery 

*Starred Review* -Kirkus

"Top Pick"  -RT Book Reviews

"...a highly satisfying mystery."
-Publishers Weekly



See the book's
Recipe Guide
by clicking here.



* * * 


Coffeehouse Mystery
Free Title Checklist
(with mini plot summaries)


The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
13 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


* * * 


Haunted Bookshop
Free Title Checklist, 



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake from Cleo Coyle (A Great Use for Halloween Treats)





The Reese's Peanut Butter Cup is the number one most popular candy in America. This delicious marriage of chocolate and peanut butter is also the number one favorite of this blog's followers. 

(To see the results of the poll you took last week, click here.)

https://polldaddy.com/poll/7496295/?view=results
To see the results of last week's
Top 10 Candies Poll, click here.
Many of you left fun comments about your favorite candies from past Halloweens. Some of you even shared brands that I'd forgotten about or were new to me, including: the Violet Crumble (made by an Australian candy company); the Triple Decker; and the ingenious Sky Bar

Among the comments was this one from ceblain, which mentioned a marriage of something more than chocolate and peanut butter. She wrote:

"...For our 50th wedding anniversary in November our daughter and son-in-law are taking us (and our three grandchildren) to PA and our first two day or three day stop is in Hershey....Should be fun and it will be wonderful to be with our daughter and her family as we celebrate a half century of being married."


Happy 50th Anniversary, ceblain! 
I would love to send you the Reese's Mug as an anniversary gift from me and my husband, Marc. We have a long way to go for 50 years, but we certainly hope we'll make it, too! Contact me via my public mail box and I'll get your address to send you the mug. My mail box is CoffeehouseMystery(at)gmail(dot)com.


BTW - The winner of last week's comment-to-win contest (via random number generator) was Wendy West


Congratulations, Wendy,
you won the Reese's Latte Mug!



Thanks to everyone who entered and left comments. Stay tuned for more giveaways as I count down the weeks to the release of my new Coffeehouse Mystery (Billionaire Blend).

As for my recipe this week, I was (obviously) inspired by America’s favorite candy choice (and yours). All you need is a few ingredients, including a handful of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. So go ahead and pinch a few from your kids' trick-or-treat bags. They won't mind, especially after they take one bit of this amazing cake. So let's start baking! 

~ Cleo



Cleo Coyle, who thinks
chocolate and peanut butter
make a good marriage, writes
The Coffeehouse Mysteries
with her husband.
Cleo Coyle's Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake

This classic cake is out of this world. Truly. My husband, Marc, absolutely flipped for it. It's impressive to serve because it's full of flavor and (despite the candy on top) not overly sweet.

While this Devil's Food may appear sinful, the peanut butter actually brings protein and nutrition to the dessert. Sure, the candy scattered on top looks decadent, but in truth it's no more than 4 snack size peanut butter cups chopped finely (after freezing--one of my tips for keeping the candy intact during the chopping process). 

For those of you who don't bake much, you'll be happy to know that I used a cake mix starter for this recipe, which means you can bake this crowd-pleasing cake without one worry that it will fall or come out uneven; and, I promise you, my added ingredients will do wonders for the flavor. 

And speaking of flavor: I think it's the vanilla in the peanut butter icing that takes it over the top, evoking that delicious Reese's peanut butter filling. And away we go...




To download this recipe in a PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here.



Makes one 9x13-inch sheet cake

Cake Ingredients:

1 standard box of Devil’s Food cake mix 

2 tablespoons natural, unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup low fat milk (1% or 2% is best) 

1/3 cup brewed and cooled coffee (*see my note)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter 

1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil 

3 large eggs, lightly beaten with fork

Ingredients to finish:

Peanut butter Icing (recipe included)

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, chopped into small pieces (In my photos, I used 4 "snack size" peanut butter cups; not regular size and not minis or miniatures) 

*Cleo’s Coffee Note: You will not taste the coffee in your cake. Coffee is a way to boost the chocolate flavor in any recipe. If you’d rather not use coffee, no worries; simply increase the milk to 1-1/3 cups.

Directions: First preheat your oven to 350° F. and put your peanut butter cups in the freezer (this will allow you to slice them without smushing them). 


Get out a 13 x 9-inch baking pan and lightly coat the bottom and sides with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. 

Place the “Cake Ingredients” into a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer blend on low until ingredients are combined and then beat on high for 2 full minutes. (You are beating air into the batter, so don’t cut it short.) 

Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes in an oven well-preheated to 350° F. Do not over-bake. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (with no batter clinging to it). Allow to cool, and then frost with my Peanut Butter Icing (recipe included). Garnish with chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (see my tips below). 


Cleo’s garnishing tips: Be sure to freeze the peanut butter cups before chopping them. Slice carefully, making sure to keep the pieces small but intact (do not smush them). Finally, when you place them on the cake, do it one piece at a time, turning the peanut butter side up and putting the ridge side down into the icing (as you see in my finished photos). This will give your cake a more pleasing appearance.




Cleo’s
Peanut Butter Icing 

Frosts the top of one 9x13-inch sheet cake

Ingredients:

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter 

4 Tablespoons butter (1/2 stick), softened (room temperature) 

4-1/2 teaspoons milk 

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 


1 cup powdered sugar

Directions: Using an electric mixer, cream the peanut butter and softened butter until fluffy. Add the milk and vanilla. Blend on low speed until smooth. Finally, add the powdered sugar and beat on high until you have a light and fluffy frosting. (If your climate is dry, and the frosting is still too stiff, add 1 to 2 more teaspoons of milk and beat again.)




Did you know the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup was invented by a former dairy farmer named H.P. Reese who worked for Milton Hershey as a shipping foreman?

Inspired by Mr. Hershey, Reese started his own candy company in the basement of his home, using Hershey’s chocolate to make the peanut butter cup. After the death or Mr. Reese, his six sons merged their company with Hershey’s—not unlike their culinary product. 

And speaking of culinary products:

I certainly hope this cake is one you will... 




Eat with (Halloween) joy!
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.







To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.
 







A Coffeehouse Mystery

Countdown to Release:
December 3rd




The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 



The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name
Alice Kimberly

To learn more, click here.