Happiest first day of August guys!
So here’s the deal, in my mind August is kind of the last month for summery things. Even towards the end of August I start thinking fall. To me September will always be fall. I think that is mostly due to that fact school always began in late August and I associate the start of school with the start of Autumn.
Thinking about it now, it seems a little weird that fall is my favorite season. Anything that I associated with school I hated, but somehow I have always loved fall. Weird.
I promise though, no more fall talk….yet.
Since we are on the topic of seasons though, weather seems to go hand in hand. Therefore, I have to say, summer in Summit Country, CO thus far has pretty much stunk. It’s been raining and cold here for the last month. Normally we get sunshine, at least in the morning, but the last two days have had tons of very cold rain, dark clouds and mist. Totally cozy fall weather. So I am honestly trying my hardest to not think fall, but after September all bets are off.
So here is what is going to happen this month. Tons and tons of summer! Meaning heirloom tomatoes, summer berries, garden vegetables, probably lots of corn, grilled things, frozen treats and most definitely a S’more recipe (or two or three).
Or at least I hope that is how it is going to go. Don’t hold me to it because nothing is actually planned (except one recipe that I am kind of excited to tell you about). You never know, I might just end up eating berries galore, or tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, and then run out of ideas for actual recipes. Which if I am being honest is totally fine by me. I think summer foods are kind of amazing just as they are. They really need no help.
Anyway, I figured we needed to start August off with a bang and what better way than S’mores?
And on a Friday too. It couldn’t have worked out more perfectly if I had planned it.
These are some extra special S’mores right here.
First off, they are on a stick and I think it is pretty clear that food on a stick is always better (hello popsicles)… and so much more fun. Second, you don’t even have to feel guilty about these S’mores. See, here is how I justified these to my mom.
You start with a healthy, potassium loaded banana. Then you roll it in a little peanut butter and a little Nutella. Peanut butter for lots of muscle-building protein and healthy fats, Nutella for antioxidants and well, its deliciousness. From there you get a little whole grain and healthy cinnamon in the form of whole wheat graham crackers (at least I used whole wheat). Finally, there is more protein from the whipped egg whites in the marshmallows. As for all the sugar that gets mixed with those egg whites, well for that I cannot tout any health benefits. I justify the sugar by the fact that it’s Friday, it’s the summer and at this moment, who really cares??
Hopefully not you.
So you see now? You have to make these.
The other huge bonus – these s’mores are so easy. They only take fifteen minutes or so to assemble and once assembled you can actually leave them in the freezer (for a long time) or fridge (just a few hours) until you are ready to toast them up.
The only thing I need to mention is that if you handle the bananas on their sticks too aggressively, or just too much, they may slide down or fall off. So you need to be careful when working with these, especially if you are toasting them over an open fire. I found it best to use ripe, but still very firm bananas. I really had no problems as long as I was gentle. If you decide to freeze the bananas completely than you won’t have to deal with any slipping issues at all.
Lastly, yes I did build a mini fire in my kitchen just to toast these S’mores. It was raining outside, but even if it wasn’t, I really didn’t want to start a big campfire just for little old me. So I did something probably really stupid and made a fire in a bucket – in my kitchen.
Don’t worry though, I had the fire extinguisher right next to me the entire time. I was so worried before hand about burning my whole house down that I even read the instructions just be extra safe.
I mean, you gotta practice good fire safety.
But um, I did almost catch that cat on fire. Well not really, but he was getting way too close, so I put him in my room. I wasn’t looking for any Christmas Vacation scenes mid summer!
Inside Out Peanut Butter and Nutella Banana S’mores.
Yields: 6 S'MORES ON A STICK
- 3 ripe, but firm small-medium bananas, peeled
- 3 tablespoon creamy or crunchy peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons Nutella
- 3 (1.5 ounce) milk chocolate Hershey's Bars, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
- Marshmallow Frosting
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Prepare skewers, wooden sticks or popsicles sicks.
Cut your bananas in half. Mix together the chopped chocolate and graham cracker crumbs in a shallow plate.
Spread 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter and 1/2 tablespoon Nutella onto one banana. Make sure the banana is completely covered in peanut butter + Nutella. You may need a little more or a little less depending on the size of your bananas.
Roll the banana through the graham cracker/chocolate mixture until the entire banana is coated. Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining bananas. starting at the cut side of each banana, stick a skewer (or whatever you are using, I used twigs) right up the middle of the banana. Be really careful when doing this, if you poke a hole anywhere in the banana it will not stay on the stick. Freeze the bananas (with the sticks in place) for at least 30 minutes*.
Meanwhile make the frosting. Bring a small pot of water to a simmer. In a heat proof bowl, add the egg whites, sugar and cream of tarter. Place the bowl over the simmering water and whisk constantly for 4 minutes or until a candy thermometer reads 160 degrees F. Remove from the heat and beat the mixture, starting on low speed and gradually increasing the speed until stiff peaks form. Stir in the vanilla.
After the bananas have been in the freezer 30 minutes remove them and spread the frosting over the entire banana. Toast the frosting over an open flame or under the broiler for 30 seconds to a minute (DO NOT use wooden sticks if you are going to use the broiler). Be careful if you are toasting these over a fire. They may slip off the stick, so hold them carefully. Once the bananas are toasted they have to be eaten. Right then, well hot. They may be messy, but that's a S'more! Enjoy!
*The bananas can be left frozen until ready to frost, but if you leave them longer than 30 minutes they will be slightly frozen even once you toast them. They are still delicious slightly frozen though! You can also keep the bananas (unfrosted) in the fridge for 4 hours or so, but any longer and they will probably start to brown.
**Marshmallow frosting is from [Martha Stewart | http://www.marthastewart.com/314199/marshmallow-frosting]
And just so we are clear, that up there was the best bite! Clearly.