Friday, April 6, 2012

Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Creme Parfait

Whew! That title is a mouthful! But a delicious one, that you can be sure of ;)

Our anniversary is coming up so we were thinking of gifts to get each other, and what we were going to do to celebrate, and my husband says "For our anniversary, I want you to make a chocolate creme pie. Or a banana creme pie. Either one, your choice." He's so thoughtful ;) My choice. That's so nice. Just kidding, I really didn't mind, he knows I love to cook, especially sweet things, and if that's what he wanted for his gift, then I'd be glad to oblige.

Well, if it's not been clear from my other recipes so far, let me just go ahead and say it...I don't usually read recipes. Unless I am totally clueless as to how to make something, I just kind of think in my head what ingredients or method would make the product I am aiming for. Sometimes it ends up being the "traditional" way and sometimes it ends up being a little "unique," and I don't mind either really. I like to think I have a pretty good understanding of the science of food so I usually just wing it.

Anyway, with that being said, I don't know exactly how to make a creme pie and instead of looking up a recipe, I just decided to put my own spin on it. This is what we got...


Yes, yes I know. It looks sinful but it actually probably isn't that bad - the chocolate is relatively low-cal, and the bananas aren't very guilty, the worst part is the peanut butter but it's oh-so-delicious!
It's similar to chocolate creme AND banana creme pie, in one nice little mason jar...with peanut butter. Alexis and I LOVE peanut butter. If you have allergies, you could always use soy butter - it has a very similar consistency.

We did a little DIY home project a few weeks ago and needed a couple of mason jars for it, so I have a bunch left over and sure am relishing in it. I've made so many recipes in them the last few weeks, it's been fun. They were perfect for this one.

You'll Need:
1 regular-size box instant chocolate pudding mix (plus milk as per recipe on box)
4 graham crackers
1 banana
a little less than 1/3c milk (I know, I NEVER use exact measurements, but this time I did measure so I could be sure to share the right amount)
2 big scoops peanut butter (there's my trusty non-exact measurements)
mini marshmallows for topping
Containers to make your parfaits in. I used 16oz mason jars, and this recipe filled three.




Crush up your graham crackers. We always put things that need crushing into a plastic bag and let Alexis go to town.
(This picture is probably every mom's worst nightmare but I assure you, it wasn't smashed on her face, she WAS breathing, and this is the pose she chose for this picture).


Make your pudding as per the recipe on the box. Alexis thought it smelled "dewicious!"


In a small mixing bowl, add two big plops of peanut butter. You can see, I used a tablespoon from our silverware drawer for "measure." Then add a little less than 1/3c milk - we used 2% but I'm sure skim or whole would work the same.

Mix on low speed with a hand mixer for about 2 minutes. This will give the peanut butter a smoother, creamier, and lighter texture (my version of "peanut butter creme"). I think straight peanut butter in this parfait would be a little too heavy.


It will look a little like this. Be careful when you start mixing, the milk will splatter. I forgot about this and absent-mindedly ended up with milk all over the counter :)

Now it's time to assemble...


In first goes some crushed graham crackers. Because I was making three medium mason jars worth of dessert, I put about 1/6 of the crushed graham crackers into each jar, as we needed a little to put on top as well.

Next, do your best to divide the pudding into three and put each third right on top of the graham cracker in each jar.


On top of the chocolate pudding goes the banana. One medium banana, thinly sliced, was plenty divided among the three jars. I actually like MORE banana, but the one was enough. You could add more or less depending on your taste.


Just like the pudding, do your best to divide your peanut butter creme into thirds and add to the top of each of your jars.


You can use a spoon to spread the peanut butter to cover the bananas & chocolate pudding completely and to smooth it out.


Top all of that with the remaining crushed graham crackers and a few mini-marshmallows.


Mmmmm.


I put the lids on ours and popped them into the refrigerator for a few hours to set until after dinner, though I had to restrain myself from eating them all afternoon. They probably don't need a few hours to set; If you need them in a hurry, thirty minutes would more than likely do it, or you could just eat them immediately. I find  letting things like this "come together" make them taste a little better, but that could just be psychological for me, who knows!


And one more word of advice from someone who is now a professional at eating these ;)
As beautiful as they look layered, it tasted even better to mash and mix all the layers together and then eat it, mud pie style!

Enjoy!

Emily

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