I was at Urgent Care with all three kids and my second round (of three, so far) of strep throat this summer. I'd brought apples for their dinner. I felt like crap and all I wanted was to climb into bed and go dark. But I was at Urgent Care instead, when Paula Deen and one of her sons came on the waiting room TV making this. And even though the last thing I wanted to do in that moment was cook or eat anything, my critical baker's eye still recognized a good thing, so I quick-looked it up on my phone and bookmarked it for a healthier day.
My friend Shanna has been having her kitchen renovated all summer, feeding her family off takeout and whatever can be microwaved. So we had a baking day - I wanted to try this little devil, and Shanna just wanted to bake anything. Reading the recipe, I felt there was likely a high result-to-effort ratio, and that was just what we were going for.
Lots of really good things tucked into a pan with lots of other really good things. Yummy yummo. Although. Not everyone likes cooked banana. (Shanna is one of those people.) I discovered what happens to bananas when they get warm in an unfortunate banana cream pie incident once - I didn't let the custard cool enough before putting the bananas in, and it changed them. But I liked them in this. Next time I might cut them thicker and see if they cook less. But there's only so much you can do about it when they're in the oven for an hour. If you like cooked bananas, good on ya. If not, the crescent is your canvas, man. Shanna and I came up with half a dozen other filling ideas while we licked our fingers - Nutella, peanut butter, peaches or blueberries, something cream cheesey, lemon curd, a combination of the above?
So if you like chocolate & banana, this is your stop. If you are feeling lucky, then this is your jumping off point. Either way, Paula Deen has done a good, good thing here and I thank her for it.
Chocolate Banana Gorilla Bread (print recipe)
3 T granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup packed light brown sugar
8 T butter
24 ounces of refrigerated crescent roll dough (2-12 oz. tubes or 3-8oz. tubes)
6 T sweetened condensed milk
2 to 3 bananas, sliced 1/4 inch thick
About 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 to 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
3. In a small saucepan, melt the brown sugar with the butter over low heat. Break open the crescent roll packages and separate the triangles of dough. Brush each triangle with sweetened condensed milk (that's right!) and top with 2 banana slices and 1-2 tsp chocolate chips; fold the edges of the triangle together any which way to make a pocket that encloses the filling and seal. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
4. Put half of the nuts in the Bundt pan and top with half of the dough packets. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon sugar. Pour half of the brown sugar-butter mixture over the dough. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Bake until puffed, golden brown and firm to the touch, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Use a knife to hold top dough apart to check doneness of the dough in the middle. Remove pan from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool 15 minutes. Put a platter on top of the Bundt pan and invert. Pull apart to serve warm or room temperature.Recipe from The Deen Family Cookbook by Paula Deen