So, yes.....It has been a few months--and a few major holidays--since my last post. But I see no reason to dwell on that, especially when there are pie pops to discuss. Agreed? Good. Onward!
When I owned Julie Anne's, a small bakery/cafe here in Las Vegas, we had a popular sandwich called the Cinna-Monkey on the children's menu.
It was on the children's menu, but several times each day an adult would shuffle up to the counter and sheepishly ask in a low voice, "So.....um.....can I still order that Cinna-Monkey thing, even though it's meant for kids?"
Like I said, it was popular. And why wouldn't it be? Sliced bananas, cinnamon chunky peanut butter and honey were grilled between two hearty slices of whole wheat bread until crisp and toasty on the outside and warm and ooey-gooey on the inside.
Seriously, what's not to love?
I was even known to opt for a Cinna-Monkey over a perhaps more sensible (but not nearly as fun) roasted vegetable salad after 8 or more hours on my feet. The classic combination of ingredients was comfort food at its finest, making mundane chores like calculating payroll at least slightly more tolerable.
The other day, I was flipping through my old cafe menu--not the best idea on an empty stomach--and I felt a bit of nostalgia for the muffins, cookies, scones, salads, soups and sandwiches that we used to prepare on a daily basis. I had also been planning to create a Valentine's Day heart-shaped pie pop for Peanut Butter and Julie, but--wouldn't you know it??--I had not yet decided on the flavor.
Then, the Cinna-Monkey Pie Pop was born!**
**Truth be told, that's a bit of an exaggeration.....but it makes a much better story. The Cinna-Monkey Pie Pop is actually a recipe that I created for my first cookbook (175 Best Mini Pie Recipes -- see sidebar), but I hadn't thought of using it for this post until I looked at the Julie Anne's menu.**
The crusts for these pie pops were created using heart-shaped cookie cutters, one slightly larger than the other to compensate for covering the peanut butter and banana fillings. If you don't have heart-shaped cutters, you can certainly make the pops round (trust me, your taste testers won't mind.)
I opted for a whole wheat pie crust--also from my book--to truly mimic the whole wheat bread used in the Cinna-Monkey sandwich. Although I encourage you to make your own crust (it's not that hard, I promise), store-bought crust can be substituted.
The fillings are a kicked up peanut butter ganache and a butter and brown sugar banana saute. For this recipe, I used Peanut Butter & Co's Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter, which they were nice enough to send to me for sampling, but regular peanut butter works just as well.
The sweet honey glaze finishes things off, topped with lightly salted chopped peanuts (optional, but recommended.)
Below is a video tutorial that I did on assembling pie pops, filmed and edited by my talented friend Brandi Farra (check out her website here.) The pops in the video are apple-filled and round, but it will give you the general idea. Also, I blink too many times, and I could loosen up a tad......so please be kind. That said, the pie pops are completely comfortable on camera--total pros 🙂
Have a Happy Valentine's Day!
loved your video---you are a beautiful and eloquent rock star
Julie @ Peanut Butter and Julie
Thanks so much, Lisa! I'm so hesitant to post anything like that, so I appreciate your kind words 🙂