Monday, April 12, 2010

Banana Alaska by Sandra Lee

My favorite show on the Food Channel is Simply Homemade with Sandra Lee.  She combines 70% store bought ingredients with 30% fresh to make amazing appetizers, dinners, DESSERTS and cocktails! 

This last week, she featured an amazing looking Banana Dessert she called Banana Alaska.  As we were hosting Chris' parents for dinner over the weekend, I thought they would be the perfect guinea pigs wonderful diners to sample my amazing concoction! 

It turned out delicious, but I did modify the recipe to suit my tastes.  The recipe called for a meringue topping to be broiled, but I didn't think that flavor would be perfect.  So I opted for a can of spray whipped cream and it was perfect.  Great Banana flavor, amazing ice cream... and here's the recipe for your delight!

Banana Alaska - Dawn's style
  • 1 roll sugar cookie dough
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (plus a dash for dusting)
  • 1 - 5.1 oz. instant banana pudding
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 pints Haagen Daas Vanilla Swiss Almond Ice Cream, softened for 2 hrs. in refridgerator
  • 1 banana sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced, toasted almonds (I toasted them myself - bake at 350 for about 5 minutes)
  • Spray whipping cream
  • 10" spring form pan
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F.

For cookie layers:  In a bowl, knead 1/2 of the cookie dough w/ 1/4 cup of flour until flour is incorporated.  Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness on lightly floured surface.  Using the springform pan as a template, cut 1 large cookie.  (you want it to be slightly smaller than the pan as it will rise when baking)  Repeat with remaining cookie dough and another 1/4 cup of flour.  Place both large cookies on baking sheets or plates and cover them with plastic.  Place in the freezer and chill for 15 minutes.  Remove from freezer, place on cookie sheet (if it's not already there) and bake for 15 - 18 minutes until golden brown.

For pudding:  In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat pudding and milk until thickened.  Using spoon or spatula, fold in sliced bananas.  **Recommendation, after making this recipe, I would wait to mix this until an hour before you want to serve.  Then I'd make it and put it on the frozen layers and place in the refrigerator to set.  Then you'll get the banana cream pie effect without having frozen pudding.

To Assemble:  In the bottom of a 9 or 10" spring form pan, place 1 of the cookies.  On top of the cookie, spread with softened ice cream.  Layer with another cookie.  Top with banana pudding mixture and smooth.  Sprinkle with toasted almond slices.  Cover with a layer of plastic wrap and wrap a layer of aluminum foil completely around the pan over & under.  Freeze for a minimum of 8 hours, preferably over night.  See ** above for my recommendation. The double layer prevents leaking from the bottom of softened ice cream and it also stops the pudding from getting a layer of skin on top.)

To serve, use a hot towel or wash cloth, to soften the ice cream and pudding from the sides and release the springform pan.  Slice with knife heated under hot running water.  (It makes cutting through the frozen layers so much easier.)  Top with dallops of whipping cream and serve to your drooling guests! 

I'll definitely make this one again.  Next time, I'll use the ** recommendation so the pudding is soft and creamy rather than frozen.

3 drooling remarks:

Meg @ A Dash of Nutmeg said...

I love that show, too! I've heard other food bloggers crack jokes about Sandra Lee and basically say so much as you're not a real foodie if you use shortcuts like her, but I think her ideas are great. Sometimes saving time is just as important as saving money!

Dawn Doucette -Designs by Dawn Marie said...

Hi Meg! I know, it's been called "cheating" but that's how I cook best. I love to eat, but don't like spending oodles & oodles of hours preparing (or cleaning up for that matter.) So Sandra Lee is my culinary hero! Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you'll stop back again soon!


LollyChops said...

This sounds totally awesome! I'll have to give it a try!

P.S. Found you via Stacy.