It was January 8th - a lazy Sunday. I'd decided to come up with my banana recipe. I didn't know what I was going to do, only that whatever it was had to come out of my pantry and fridge, because I didn't intend to leave the house all day. I heard on a morning news program that it would have been Elvis Presley's 77th birthday. Immediately peanut butter and banana sandwiches pop into my head. But, hey, Elvis already created that recipe, didn't he?
What kind of spin could I put on peanut butter and bananas that would be unique?
Substitute hazelnut spread for peanut butter, of course. And since hazelnut spread is the "peanut butter" of Italy, why not pizzelle instead of bread? Best of all, I had all the ingredients on hand. I used the recipe for traditional pizzelle, adjusting to accomodate the flavor ingredients I wanted to use.
For the pizzelle ---
3 eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup SUGAR
1/2 cup melted and then cooled butter
1/2 T RUM
6 T pureed overripe bananas
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup finely ground hazelnut flour
2 tsp. baking powder
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar. Mix in the cooled butter, rum, and banana puree. Add the hazelnut flour and sift in the flour and baking power. The batter should be stiff enough to be dropped by spoon.
Drop heaping spoonfuls of dough on the heated pizzelle baker. It will take a bit of practice to know just where on the grid to drop the dough. A little to the back of center will compensate for the forward pressure of the lid as you put it down.
Because you want to make sure you fill the form completely, you will use more dough than you need for each pizzella. Don't worry, the extra makes a nice crunchy snack. (Or do what I do, break it into pieces and freeze it in a plastic bag to be used as a topping for icecream.)
With the lid down, it will take about 30-40 seconds to bake the pizzelle. Use a spatula to remove them from the baker to paper towels. While they're still hot, cut out the circles with a small sharp knife. Set aside to cool. Make sure you keep them flat.
For the filling ---
3 T hazelnut spread
2 T banana puree
1 T RUM
1/3 cup powdered SUGAR
Mix all of the filling ingredients together. Add more powdered sugar if it isn't stiff enough to spread without running. Spread the filling on the top of one pizzella and add another pizzella to make a sandwich. Set the sandwiches aside while you melt the dipping chocolate.
For the coating --
Melted semi-sweet CHOCOLATE
Crushed dried banana chips
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Dip each pizzelle sandwich into the chocolate. Spread the chocolate over both sides to coat completely. BUT, leave a small area uncovered. This both serves as a place to hold the sandwich without getting chocolate on your fingers, and it allows you to see the beautiful pizzelle underneath.
Immediately dip one side of the sandwich in the crushed hazelnuts. Then turn it over and dip the other side in the crushed banana chips. Set on waxed paper or parchment to harden.
Store in an airtight container to keep them from softening up. They also freeze very well.
I have to say that these were delicious. Everyone I tested them on loved them. I bet even Elvis would have approved. Now I'm wondering what other types of pizzelle sandwiches I can dream up.