Tag-Archive for ◊ M&M’s ◊

04 Jun 2011 Frozen Bananas

Such an easy recipe, and one you’ll probably use all summer long, assuming the weather gets better.  June 4th here in San Jose, and it rained all day!  Unbelievable, but we ate frozen bananas for dessert anyway!  They were a hit.  I only wish we had waited 5 minutes for the bananas to soften a bit before we tore into them.  You can see the frost on the bananas in these pictures!  On hot days you won’t have to wait so long…

I’ve been making frozen bananas for a decade or so, and have decided that Hershey’s Special Dark is the best chocolate to compliment the taste of the banana (odd, since I am usually a milk chocolate devotee). There are a variety of toppings the chocolate covered banana can be rolled in.  The most popular, in my experience, are toasted coconut, chopped peanuts, and rainbow jimmies.  Other options include leaving them plain (for the boring people in your crowd!) chopped peanut butter chips, mini M&M’s, cookie crumbs, granola, and any kids cereal.  IMHO, bananas+cereal+bit of chocolate= a special summer breakfast.  I think your kids might nominate you for mom/pop-of-the-year, if you agreed with me!  Just think; frozen bananas as a special treat for a summer birthday (or for a summer half birthday for winter birthday kids–as all my kids were), or for the first day of summer vacation, or to celebrate the summer solstice…

Frozen Bananas

Quantities are approximate, as size of bananas varies widely.  If you end up with extra bananas, and not enough chocolate, just keep the extra bananas in the freezer until you are ready to make smoothies or banana bread.

  • 3-4 perfect bananas (not over-ripe and not green, no bruises or black spots)
  • 6 or 8 Popsicle sticks (if you don’t have Popsicle sticks craft sticks, lollipop sticks, chopsticks, or even the tops of plastic Popsicle molds can be used)
  • 2  4.25 oz. bars Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate (don’t substitute chocolate chips…if you do, you’ll have to add a few tablespoons of Crisco to help them melt…, and I think that’s yucky)
  • assorted toppings (rainbow jimmies, chopped peanuts or other nuts, mini M&M’s, chopped peanut butter chips, toasted coconut, granola, cereal…)
  1. Peel the bananas and remove any banana strings.  Inspect the bananas carefully and cut off any bruises or soft parts.  Cut the good bananas in half, and insert a stick into the flat, cut end, of each banana.  Place skewered bananas on a pan/plate/tray that will fit into your freezer and open freeze for an hour or so (or even overnight).
  2. Set out chosen toppings in shallow bowls or on pieces of wax paper or foil.
  3. Break chocolate into squares, place into good quality microwave safe bowl, and melt chocolate in microwave on 50% power for about 2 or 3 minutes.
  4. While chocolate is melting remove frozen bananas from freezer.
  5. Dip frozen banana into warm melted chocolate and, with a knife,  QUICKLY spread chocolate all over the banana.  Before chocolate hardens–work quickly–dip and roll banana in chosen topping.  Repeat with remaining bananas.
  6. Refreeze chocolate covered bananas for about 30 minutes or so.
  7. Remove bananas from freezer, place in a covered container or Ziploc bag, and return to freezer until ready to eat.  Frozen bananas keep well, or at least for a few weeks (I haven’t had any in the freezer for longer than 2 weeks…)

Thank for stopping by my kitchen today.  See you tomorrow!!

27 Oct 2010 Fun Face Cookie-Pops

Is it a cookie?  Is it a lollipop?  It’s a Fun Face Cookie Pop!  My kids  loved these, both making them and eating them.  We’ve been making these candy studded spice cookie pops  every Fall  since 1998 (unfortunately I don’t remember where I originally found the recipe). One of the great things about this cookie is the kids see this as a lollipop.  Get it?  If it’s a cookie, they want two or three.  If it’s a lollipop, they think one is enough! (and with all the candy on each pop/cookie, one is enough). Make these with your kids for a Halloween party (I’ve served several consecutive life sentences as a Room Mother and often took these as treats for a party) or make them after Halloween with some of their Halloween candy.  Fun Face Cookie-pops are a great lunch box treat for that week after Halloween!

A few hints about this recipe. One, the dough is extremely soft, so be sure to allow enough time, at least an hour and up to overnight, for the dough to chill in the refrigerator. Two, the cookies spread a lot, so leave enough space between each pop on the cookie sheet (as you can see by some of the pictures, I did not leave enough space).  Three, be sure to bake the cookies long enough.  If you don’t the cookie will be too soft and will drop off the popsicle stick.  Four, M&Ms, chocolate chips (and butterscotch, peanut butter, and cinnamon chips, too–vanilla chips brown unattractively), sprinkles and colored sugars are the most versatile candies for this project.  Rolos, Hugs, Kisses and mini Reeses Peanut Butter Cups are a bit big but super yummy on the cookie.  I have used candy corn to decorate these cookies, and it often melts into the cookie. Oh, and Five! Popsicle sticks are available at Michael’s or any another craft supply store. Be forewarned though! They don’t sell SMALL boxes!  One purchase will equal a life-time supply and only set you back about three dollars 🙂

Have FUN with this recipe,  it’s a GREAT kid-grownup cooking project!

Polly’s Fun Face Cookie Pops

½ cup butter
½ cupsugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup molasses
1 egg
2 cups flour

Beat butter for 30 seconds.  Add in sugar and spices.  Beat in molasses, baking soda and egg.  Stir in flour.

Refrigerate dough for at least an hour, up to overnight.

Divide dough into 16 equal pieces, about 1 oz. each.

Roll each piece of dough into a ball.  Stick a popsicle stick into the middle of each ball.  Flatten each ball with the palm of your hand.

Decorate cookies, making faces, with m&ms, nuts, chips, sprinkles, colored sugars, Rolos, Hersheys Hugs or Kisses, mini Reeses peanut butter cups, etc.

Bake in preheated 350º oven for 12-13 minutes.

Let cookies cool on tray for 2 minutes then remove to rack to cool completely.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.  Here’s a picture of my Grandson, Zade, decorating his first Fun Face Cookie Pops on his second birthday!  He ate the peanut butter cups, and some of the M&M’s, and his Mom did the decorating.  He is not, alas, a cookie decorating genius just yet!

06 Feb 2010 Chocolate Chip Cookies with Four Variations

My recipe for Chocolate Chip cookies…, the only one I’ve used since 1981.  I haven’t even looked at another chocolate chip cookie recipe since then. This recipe makes a straight-up chocolate chip cookie; nothing fancy, just pure goodness. The ingredients are butter, sugar, chocolate, and flour with a leavening agent and some eggs thrown in. No spices. The cookie is not cakey.  It’s not crisp. It’s slightly crunchy around the edges, slightly chewy in the middle, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.  Like I said, pure goodness!   This recipe doesn’t fool around either.  You start with a pound of butter and end up with about 6 dozen good sized cookies. (They freeze well.  They travel well, too.  My son in college is getting 3 dozen by US Mail for Valentine’s Day.  Shhhh.  Don’t tell him 🙂

Pure Goodness Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 lb. salted butter, at room temperature (there is no other salt in the recipe, so don’t use unsalted butter)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 cups light brown sugar
3 eggs
2 T. vanilla extract
6 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
12 oz (about 4 cups) chocolate chips (semi sweet is usual choice, but some people prefer milk chocolate, or a combination)
2 cups chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a small bowl.  Beat with a whisk to aerate then set aside. In another bowl beat butter with an electric mixer for about 30 seconds, add in white sugar and beat for 2 minutes, then add in brown sugar and beat for 3 additional minutes or until light and fluffy.  Slowly beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Gradually add in flour mixture to creamed egg-butter mixture.  Once the flour has been incorporated stir in 12 oz (about 4 cups) chocolate chips. Scoop about 1 T of dough for each cookie and place onto ungreased or parchment lined cookie sheets.  For a more refined looking cookie, roll the balls and then flatten slightly with the heel of your palm.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 – 12 minutes.  I bake mine, in my current oven, for 11 minutes, which means I take them out of the oven when they still look a smidgen-and I mean a smidgen-undercooked.  Cookies firm up on cooling.  Cool on trays for a few minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely. Makes approx. 6 dozen good sized cookies.

Chocolate Raisin Cookies I love chocolate covered raisins, and Chocolate Raisin cookies are one of my all-time favorites.  Omit the nuts, and use 3 cups chocolate chips (semi sweet or milk) and 3 cups raisins. YUM.

Mixed Chip Cookies My daughter Abby uses 1 cup butterscotch chips, 1 cup white chocolate chips, 1 cup milk chocolate chips, and 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. In high school, she was famous for her chocolate chip cookies. She rolls the cookies in nice neat balls, flattens them, and then tops them with one of each kind of chip…to die for!

M&M Cookies Mix in 2-3 cups of the chocolate chips, roll dough into balls, flatten a bit, then press 3-5 M&Ms (depending on the size of the ball) into the top of each cookie.  The M&Ms can be color coordinated to the holiday…red and green M&Ms for Christmas; pink, red and White for Valentine’s Day; orange, purple and black for Halloween; pastels for Easter…

Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies For Christmas, of course.  In place of nuts stir in 2 cups coarsely crushed candy canes.  Be sure to bake on parchment covered cookie sheets.

Thanks for stopping by!  What variation is calling out to you?