Look, I am a lady who likes her dessert. No apologies, no shame, just gimme something with sugar. Unfortunately, this becomes a problem come summertime, when the weather means that I want to avoid my oven like it’s a professor whose class I skipped. Not that that’s ever happened, I’m just saying: no cupcakes. No cookies. No cookies baked inside of other cookies. The sun is out but the world seems a dark, dark place.
But as I turned away to not look my oven in the eye, my gaze fell upon the freezer. You could take this as a metaphor, or a hint at how small my Small Kitchen is, but either way the point is this–the freezer is the oven of summer. Deep, right? If your fingers are off the keyboard snapping in bohemian agreement, it’s cool, I’ll wait.
Popsicles are an easy and affordable way to turn things you probably already have in your kitchen into a fun dessert, and there are exactly one million different ways to make them (good thing it’s summer and I had time to count). If you don’t have a mold on hand, you can always use Dixie cups and popsicle sticks, or you can enter to win the Zoku Quick Pops Maker Small Kitchen College is giving away with some other cool, summery gadgets (tune in tomorrow for details!).
Here I’ve chosen a nautical stripe version of an orange creamsicle, because it’s a fun twist on an old favorite, and it’s summer so maybe your popsicle has a sailboat it needs to get to! Also, after four years at a preppy Massachusetts school, I think my subconscious tries to make my food look as much like a J. Crew outfit as possible. In fact, as I write this very article, I am nibbling a bowl of Chex Mix… or is it a bowl of madras?
There’s also a great recipe for Frozen Banana Bonbons–if you’ve seen chocolate-covered whole bananas at the fair, or ever watched Arrested Development for that matter, these should look familiar. But in this bite-sized variation, they become a great dish to whip out for dessert at a summer party since they’re ideal for sharing. Also, no being tempted to ride the Gravitron and lose your dessert completely. Everybody wins!
Chloe was once a student at Williams College. Her next culinary goal along these lines is to make gingham a thing you can eat. Read more…
Striped Orange Creamsicles
2/3 cup thawed orange juice concentrate
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup yogurt or pudding (yogurt for tangier, pudding for sweeter)
1/4 cup half & half
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix the orange layer ingredients together.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the cream layer.
Transfer each mixture to a cup or container that will be easy to pour from without too much dripping (note: any extra measuring cups you have lying around will be great for this)
Pour an orange layer into the molds, being careful not to leave drips along the side. Place in the freezer until solid. (If using paper cups and popsicle sticks, wrap the top of the cup in tinfoil and put the stick through–this will keep it straight as the orange freezes).
Remove from freezer and pour a layer of the cream mixture into the mold. Place in the freezer as before. Repeat alternating layers until the mold is filled and pops are frozen.
Frozen Banana Bonbons
3 ripe bananas
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
Optional: Toasted coconut
Note: If toasting coconut, use either shredded sweetened or unsweetened coconut and place it in a small saucepan on low, lightly stirring until tips are brown. Best if prepared before starting the recipe.
Cut bananas into bite-sized pieces. Line a pan or a tray with a layer of tinfoil or wax paper and place banana pieces on top. Put in freezer for an hour, or until frozen.
Melt chocolate and peanut butter in the microwave.
Remove banana bits from the freezer and dip each in the chocolate mixture so that they are entirely covered. Place back on the tray. Use a spoon to put coconut or sprinkles on top of the chocolate-covered banana immediately so that they stick before it freezes.
Repeat until all bananas are covered. Place back in the freezer for at least an hour. Remove a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!