Thursday, April 22, 2010

Move Over Elvis, Mr. Brunch is Here (and he's got Girl Scout Cookies)

It all started with a tweet.
@mke_brunch (a.k.a. Mr. Brunch) declared that he was eating cookies in bed. Next thing we knew, we were meeting up at AJ Bombers for a Girl Scout cookie hook-up.

We promised Chris we'd come up with a clever way to use the 10 delicious Tagalong cookies he gave us, so I knew we'd have to come up with something pretty delicious. Fortunately, Peef declared that he had an awesome idea.

"How about a peanut butter-banana-bacon-Tagalong panino?"
I made a face.
Peef ignored me completely and hauled out a whole mess of ingredients and laid them on the island.
I was pretty skeptical, but I played along. After all, this idea could be crazy enough that it just might work. I suggested Peef start off by frying up the bacon.  Meanwhile, I cut up the bananas. 
I sliced them on the diagonal to increase their surface area, and then I threw them into a pan with a couple tablespoons of butter.  I let them sit in the hot butter for a couple of minutes without moving them at all. When they started browning on one side, I flipped them over.
Then, I added some brown sugar, a dash of cinnamon, and just a dab more butter.  I let the bananas cook for a few more minutes, until the sugar coated them nicely.  And then I pulled them off of the heat and let them cool down a bit.

They were awfully pretty... but they were also seriously hot (which I found out the hard way, by trying to taste one right out of the pan).  By now, Peef had finished up the bacon... so we started assembling our delightful creations.  First, we spread a few slices of bread with peanut butter.  Then we laid a few caramelized bananas down on the other slices.
We topped the peanut butter halves with Tagalongs... and the bananas with bacon.
And then we smashed everything together.
It's fortunate we have a nice panini press that accommodates thick sammiches -- cuz these little suckers were pretty tall.   Interestingly enough, it didn't take long for the stack to smash down into a melty, oozy, delightfully sweet mess.
I could feel the drool starting to accumulate in the corner of my mouth.  Slowly-but-surely, the skepticism I'd felt earlier in the day started to melt away.  And I found myself craving some of that peanut-butter-banana-cookie-bacon-bliss.
As we bit into those fantastic little sammiches, Peef's face said it all:
Turns out Tagalongs make a pretty fine panino. Especially when paired with caramelized bananas and bacon. The sandwiches were slightly sweet, with a delightfully peanut buttery flavor and just a hint of chocolate. The cookies lent a nice crunch, a lovely foil for the tender caramelized bananas.  The truth is, they really were pretty awesome.

What's even funnier about these little creations is that they'd be just perfect for brunch. Whaddaya think, Chris?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bacon Panini

While you're at it, don't forget to check out the Girl Scouts Blog (thanks for the info, Sarah!)

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  1. Oh my gosh, I gotta brace myself as these look sooo delicious! Wow, wow, wow! You gotta link this to the Girl Scouts Blog as they'd love to share this recipe.

  2. Lo! This is amazing! Thank goodness I have a George Foreman, because this weekend, I am TOTALLY going to recreate this with the remaining cookies I have. It was so great to meet with you and Paul at Bombers for this. And who would have thought, it all started because I tweeted about eating from bed!

  3. If you left off the bacon, people who call themselves "normal" probably wouldn't take issue with this. Bacon just adds a nice sweet-salty element. It's amazing how many people love PB and bacon together. I think they could probably work savory as well as sweet too.

  4. AMAZING! I think we might have some tagalongs left. If so, this is definitely on the menu pronto!

  5. bacon and bananas are a combo. tastes perfect

  6. ooohhhh I'm glad I waited to read this, so I could take my time and not be rushed, since it is genius! I want to go eat brunch at the Burp! Restaurant!

  7. I am speechless.

    This has to be the best sandwich.



  8. Hunk o' burnin' love does that look good. Oh wait, I'm allergic to peanut butter. Guess I could sub almond or cashew butter for similar effect.

  9. I'm with Aimee - speechless! It sounds weird - at first - but it looks heavenly!

  10. Oh wow, all that salty and sweet together sounds amazing. I might go for a piece of chocolate instead of the cookies, but could definitely see recreating this. Yum!

  11. Chocolate Peanut Butter Bacon Panini?! I made a face too! But the combination sound interesting! Thanks for the recipe! I'll surely try it soon!

  12. Good lord! That is beyond decadent and totally awesome. You two are my kind of Wisconsinites. :)

  13. I haven't pulled my panini press out yet this fall, but now I'm ready! What a fun app - can't wait to bring this to our next party. I have a feeling they'll go very fast!


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