More often than I would like, Amos has to head to work-only social engagements. I get a wee bit jealous, given that after a day of entertaining myself, I am ready for some social engaging (let's focus on me, me, me, me, me). I can't really complain -- try as I might -- when my day consisted of leisurely coffee, calligraphy class, errands to the drugstore (fyi: lotion or face cream is called face milk here; that was a tricky one to figure out), and a nap. I mean, I want to complain, but I'll lock it up. Stiff upper lip and all that.
I was faced with a unexpected evening to myself and in an effort to cheer up, I decided to give into my baking urges. I really wanted to make Orangette's peanut butter cookies, given that I had recently scored a jar of the elusive PB, but I was nervous about trying out our one teeny-tiny cooking sheet in the toaster oven. I thought I'd try that out ingredients I'm less emotionally attached to, given that I'm still a newbie in our kitchen.
I decided, out of fear / because I'm a big pansy, to skip the baking part of baking and stick to the freezer. Keep it simple, yes? My friend, Ty, had posted this delicious recipe to his Pintrest board and, as he is a great cook and I was feeling a tiny bit homesick, I decided to give it a go. Banana's + peanut butter + chocolate + freezer... this just might be doable in a Japanese kitchen. Dear Lord, what would being a expat be life pre-internet days? I shudder to think. Facebook, Vonage, Facetime, Pintrest; they all make daily appearances on my gratitude list.
Amos isn't a huge one for sweets, and as I am already too big for Japanese clothes and not looking to make it even harder to find pants that fit, I halved the recipe. I also used dark chocolate, which is more Amos' style than mine. All things being equal, I would eat 90% of the desserts for his 10%. By combining two of his favorite ingredients, peanut butter and dark chocolate, I'm aiming for a more respectable 70/30 split. If it was just me and I had no regard for my waistline, it would have been milk chocolate all the way.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Bites
Adapted from Nom! Nom! Nom!
Slice one banana into coin shapes and spread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If you are expat in Japan, use your itty-bitty baking sheet. It will fit your one medium banana snugly. Take the peanut butter and put a small dollop on each slice (I used Peanut Butter & Co's Smooth Operator). Eat a tablespoon or two of the peanut butter straight from the jar for good measure. Your husband is out drinking beer with his boss! Live it up a little!
Break up 1 bar of dark chocolate. (My bar was 58 grams, but it was a bit short at the end. If you're using chips, I'd up it a couple grams.) To melt the chocolate, put a saucepan of water on the stove and then place a small bowl in the water. Put the chocolate in the bowl. As the water heats up, stir and your chocolate will slowly melt. Add a bit of water to the bowl if your chocolate is looking a bit thick. You don't want it too runny, but it will thicken up as it cools. Or, if you have a microwave, you can nuke the chocolate.
When you chocolate has melted, remove it from the stove and lift each banana and dunk it. My bowl wasn't deep enough for a full dunk: I did a drizzle and then placed in the bowl and scooted to cover the sides. It wasn't elegant, but it got the job done.
Once your peanut butter bananas are properly covered with chocolate, pop them in the freezer. If you're like me & two of your bananas were not covered adequately, eat them now and call it Quality Control. Once they are solid (give 'em some time), you can store them in a tupperware or Zip Lock baggie.
Yield: 12 slices, minus the 2 I ate before the tray even hit the freezer.