Dessert shots are all the rage in a lot of restaurants right now. I think chefs have finally realized that giant desserts are not necessary after a large meal, especially since most of the mammoth ones end up uneaten anyway. These tiny treats are a great way to indulge the palate with something sweet without all the guilt of a regular-sized dessert. And once you’ve had one, you wonder why all desserts aren’t this size, to begin with! Really, they’re all you need after a hearty meal. I use either double shot glasses or my 4 oz juice glasses and find that they’re more than enough dessert after a regular dinner.
I will probably feature many desserts shot variations in the coming months, as I have a crazy sweet tooth but still need to shed these 20 evil pounds (how did this happen, HOW??? I’m over it, really…). Since most of my success in losing and keeping my extra weight off is to NOT deny myself the yummy things in life, these treats are an excellent way to indulge without bulking up. I’d wanted to start out with my Key Lime Cheesecake shots, but I had some extra bananas around right now and was getting rather tired of just adding them to oatmeal and yogurt. This is quite a sugary dessert and though it’s a little time consuming to make one’s own caramel (or Dulce de Leche, really; same thing in a way), it’s still a lot of fun to eat the finished product. And remember that anything in moderation is totally okay to have. I’m sure that these would also go great with a couple of tablespoons of ice cream in each glass if you’re feeling really evil. 🙂
Make the caramel by combining the condensed milk, 3 tbsp brown sugar, and 1 tbsp butter, in a small saucepan. Bring to a low boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Reduce to low heat and continue to cook until the mixture turns a medium to a deep golden brown, making sure to continue stirring throughout the heating process. If the boil becomes too rapid, remove from heat to continue stirring, then return to heat. The whole process should take about 20 minutes. If caramel becomes too thick, whisk in a couple of drops of milk at a time until all milk is used. You want to make sure the caramel is thick but not near solid; if you don’t need to use all the milk to achieve this effect, simply set the rest of the milk aside or discard.
Peel and slice the bananas. In a small skillet melt remaining butter over medium heat, then add the rest of the brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Stir until the sugar and spices have melted into the butter, and heat for about 2 minutes. Add the sliced bananas and heat for 2-3 minutes, or until bananas begin to soften. Remove from heat and stir in the brandy/wine.
In double shot or small juice glasses, place 1-2 vanilla wafers on the bottom, then layer caramel and bananas (the cookies act as your “crust”). Add another couple of wafers and continue to layer ingredients until you’ve reached the top. Top with remaining caramel, let sit for about 2 minutes to let the cookies absorb the banana syrup and enjoy!