Banana splits were the creation of David Evans Strickler, an apprentice pharmacist at Tassel Pharmacy in Latrobe, Pennsylvania in 1904, who loved making up sundae combinations. This triple ice cream sundae with it's typical chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla ice cream is served on top of a peeled, split banana. The toppings include whipped cream, of course, maybe crushed pineapple, nuts, and a maraschino cherry on top.
My mother's favorite sundae was hot fudge and I followed suit, except my eyes would catch the occasional banana split going to other tables and I thought...one day, I'm going to try that. It wasn't until I was married that I made banana splits for a special treat for my girls--I didn't want them to wait until adulthood to wonder what it taste like : ) We shared one and each of us went to our favorite ice cream and toppings to scoop with it, but it was a pure delight and so much fun to devour this parlor confection. (I added three maraschino cherries because otherwise, we would have had to do "rock-paper-scissors" on who would get it!)
The cookies I baked today incorporate the banana, chocolate, and cherry flavors taken from my favorite parts of the sundae. I molded them to make an easy slice & bake refrigerator cookie, but you can just as easily form the different doughs into balls, placed in a "cloverleaf" shape or mold them in a lined, 9 x 5-inch loaf pan as I did for the Spumoni cookies.
Banana Split Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (more added to two-thirds of the dough later)
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
0.9 oz. pkg. Jello Instant Banana Cream pudding
1/4 tsp. Banana flavor
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 T. Double~Dutch Cocoa
1/2 finely chopped dry-roasted peanuts (optional)
1/3 cup Maraschino Cherries, chopped finely
1/4 tsp. Washington Cherry flavor
In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter, shortening, and sugars together. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate completely. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients then, add to the creamed mixture. Remove one-third of the dough (for the chocolate dough) and add another 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour to the remaining two-thirds. Divide the dough once more for the banana and cherry flavors. Mix the specified ingredients into each dough and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the three doughs for several hours, even if you're forming them into 1-inch balls of dough for the cloverleaf cookies.
To assemble the cookies-- Divide the Cherry dough in half and roll in a 1-inch tube. Set aside. Next, divide the Banana dough and roll dough into a rectangle, approximately 4" x 15" (or the length of the cherry dough tube). Encase the banana dough around the cherry dough.
Finally, divide the Chocolate dough in half and roll into a rectangle 5" X 15". Encase the chocolate dough around the banana/cherry roll.
Repeat the process with the other halves of dough. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
Preheat oven 375F-degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Remove one roll from the refrigerator and slice dough into 1/4-inch slices.
Place on a baking sheet, allowing about 1 1/2-2 inches between cookies.
Bake cookies approximately 8 to 10 minutes. (The finished cookies baked exactly 9 minutes!)
Let cool on the sheet for 5 minutes, then, remove to a rack to cool completely.
March Madness maybe all about basketball, but maybe it applies to this combination of these flavors too. Enjoy!