TIP Eat chocolate-covered bananas straight from the freezer. They turn mushy fast.
COCONUT-DUSTED FRUIT SKEWERS
Makes 4 skewers
Use a mix of fruits, all cut to about the same size. Cut 1½-inch chunks of pineapple, mango, papaya, peach or nectarine, apple, pear, or banana, or use large seedless grapes, halved firm figs, or halved strawberries. For the jam, I find that apricot, peach, or raspberry jam and orange marmalade are all crowd pleasers, but any flavor you like will serve the purpose here.
¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted
1¼ pounds mixed cut fruit (see note above)
⅓cup jam (see note)
Spread the coconut in a wide, shallow dish and set aside. Thread 4 10-inch skewers with fruit (you’ll wind up with 4 or 5 ounces of fruit per skewer), making sure to include some of each type on each skewer.
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the jam, stirring, until just starting to melt but not fully fluid, about 2 minutes; remove from heat. Brush the fruit skewers with the jam and roll them in the coconut, coating them thoroughly and patting gently to make sure it adheres. Arrange the coated skewers in a single layer on a plate and refrigerate until jam firms up, 20 to 60 minutes. Serve chilled.
FROZEN CHOCOLATE-COVERED BANANAS
Makes about 20 1-inch pieces
Eat these immediately, and I mean immediately, upon removing them from the freezer. (But if you’re planning on freezing the snack for longer than 3 hours, skip the optional toppings — granola, crumbs, or coconut will get soggy.)
1½ cups toasted coconut or chopped nuts or crumbled granola or crushed pretzels or cookie crumbs or candy-coated sunflower seeds, optional
1½ cups chopped bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips (about 9 ounces)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 6-inch bananas, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
Spread toppings, if using, in a wide, shallow dish and set aside. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper and set aside. Set a medium bowl over a saucepan with 1 inch of barely simmering water (bottom of bowl should not touch the water). Melt the chocolate in the bowl over low heat, stirring frequently, then add the oil and continue stirring until smooth and glossy, about 3 minutes total.
Remove the bowl from the saucepan and, working quickly, add a couple of banana pieces and gently turn them to coat. Allow extra chocolate to drip off and, if using a coating, transfer banana pieces 2 at a time to the dish and dredge them heavily with the coating.
Arrange the banana pieces on the baking sheet, transfer the sheet to the freezer, and freeze until the pieces are frozen hard, at least 3 hours. Serve at once or transfer to a freezer bag and keep in the freezer for up to 1 week.
FROZEN CHOCOLATE-COVERED BANANAS WITH MEXICAN SPICES AND ALMONDS
Follow the recipe for Frozen Chocolate-Covered Bananas, stirring 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper into the chocolate mixture and using 1½ cups toasted sliced almonds to coat the dipped banana pieces.
TRIPLE GINGER-YOGURT DIP FOR FRUIT
Makes 1½ to 2 cups
Inspired by food stylist Catrine Kelty, this is a great dip for almost any sliced fresh fruit. For a creamier dip, use the optional cream cheese, in which case you may want to add an extra ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger, too.
1½ cups Greek-style yogurt
½ cup whipped cream cheese, at room temperature, optional
¼ cup light brown sugar
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
½ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (about 2 ounces)
In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt, cream cheese if using, brown sugar, the three gingers, and a pinch of salt until uniform. Cover and refrigerate to blend flavors, about 30 minutes. Rest at room temperature for a few minutes so the dip loses its chill, and serve with prepared fruit.