RECIPES: Nutwhats show off simple, sweet after school snacks

Lisa Rast, owner of Nutwhats, stopped by to show off her simple and sweet school snack ideas.

Here are recipes from Wednesday's show:

Segment 1: Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas

    8 medium bananas, peeled
    8 wooden popsicle sticks
    32 ounces semisweet chocolate or dark chocolate, chopped or chips
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil

Dipping toppings: granola, chopped nuts, sprinkles,  crushed cookies, and toasted coconut, bacon bits, crushed potato chips

Line a sheet pan with waxed paper. Cut each banana in half and insert a popsicle stick into the cut-end of each  half banana, pushing the stick halfway in, leaving the other end exposed for use as a handle. Place the bananas on the sheet pan and freeze 1 hour.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally.

Arrange the dipping decorations on several flat plates. Working with 1 banana at a time, dip it in the chocolate and turn to completely coat (spoon some on, if needed). Roll the dipped banana in the desired decorations, transfer to the sheet pan, and return to the freezer.

Once frozen, store the bananas in an airtight container.

Segment 2: Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut Butter Cups:
1/2 cup  creamy peanut butter or homemade peanut butter,recipe follows
2 tablespoons  unsalted butter, room temperature
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar
Chocolate Coating
9 ounces  semi sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
9 ounces  milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon shortening or vegetable oil
Home made peanut butter
15 ounces roasted peanuts
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil

For homemade peanut butter, place the peanuts, salt and honey into the bowl of a food processor. Process for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Place the lid back on and continue to process while slowly drizzling in the oil and process until the mixture is smooth, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Place the peanut butter in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
Line 36 miniature muffin cups with paper liners.

Place the peanut butter, unsalted butter, and salt in a microwaveable bowl, and heat in the microwave for about one minute or just until soft, but not melted (check and stir the ingredients every 20 seconds). Stir in the confectioners sugar.

Melt the chocolates and shortening in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water.
Drop a teaspoon of the melted chocolate into each of the paper lined miniature muffin cups. Top with a  little less then a teaspoon of peanut butter mixture. Then top with another teaspoon of melted chocolate. Refrigerate until set. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Makes about 36 peanut butter cups. Preparation time 30 minutes.

Segment 3:

    8 granny smith apples, or any variety
    1 cup heavy cream, divided
    3/4 cup light corn syrup
    1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
    1 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup toppings of your choice.
Here are some topping ideas: sprinkles, nuts, pretzels, m&ms, marshmallows, chocolate chips, crushes up cookies, gummy bears, or even sour worms.
Wash and completely dry the apples. Insert a stick into the stem end of each.
Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil. Place the toppings into the lined pan.
Fit a heavy-bottomed saucepan with a candy thermometer. Over high heat, cook 3/4 cup of the cream, the corn syrup, butter, and sugar to 245 degrees F (which is firm ball stage); at this point the syrup will be golden. Remove from the heat and carefully swirl in the remaining 1/4 cup of cream and the vanilla. Use caution; this is very hot and it may splatter.
While the caramel is hot, dip and turn the apples into the caramel to coat and let the excess drip off. Dip the bottoms of the apples into the toppings. Arrange the apples on a nonstick or waxed paper-lined cookie sheet and let cool.


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