Bananas foster and I have an interesting history. I didn’t actually try the real thing until sometime during college when I played fancy and went to a restaurant. I truly loved it, hence why I’m recreating it in the form of bananas foster pop tarts. But I tried to try it a little earlier than college..
Back in high school, my school was right down the street from a 7-Eleven (for those outside the US: a seemingly ubiquitous convenience store). Being the cool cat that I was, I would stop in there for coffee. Because, you know, I was a grown-up with a car and a caffeine addiction (fast forward to today and I still have the caffeine addiction, am an actual adult, and will keep on dreaming about the car part).
Anyway, at some point 7-Eleven introduced a bananas foster flavored cappuccino. I’m sure the actual ingredients were artificial banana and rum flavors, several types of sugar, milk, and a hint of coffee, but damn was it delicious. I started drinking them pretty much every day. I think that’s where all of the money from my part-time job went. They were SO good that I actually brought a friend there who was visiting from out of town, to have her taste one (trust me, I am EXTREMELY embarrassed that I did that). I dragged my high school boyfriend down the rabbit hole, too, and we were both shouting the praises of this drink to anyone who would listen.
To recap: you absolutely would not have wanted to be friends with me in high school. I was the worst. It’s confusing that I even had a boyfriend in the first place with whom to obsess over these mass-produced 7-Eleven coffee drinks.
Then, as quickly as they came into my life, the bananas foster cappuccinos were gone. Another seasonal convenience store item, lost to the sands of time. My boyfriend and I realized that we only had one choice: to recreate the dish ourselves. Of course, it’s made with alcohol, and we were 17, and so it ended up being this whole elaborate thing. A group of 6 or so friends, at my boyfriend’s house, with his mom supervising us and doing the part with the rum (possible overkill). We breathlessly followed an Alton Brown recipe that we found online.
It happened so fast that I don’t even know where we went wrong, but just seconds after the rum hit the pan, what started as delicious bananas and brown sugar and rum turned into a smoky, burnt mess. The same as what happened with my high school relationship, a few months later (ha!). Right then and there, we gave up on bananas foster. But I’m glad they left me with some fun, albeit slightly humiliating, memories.
Luckily, bananas foster is still really good. And I’m a grown-up now, so I can monitor my own dang rum consumption, thank you. And making vegan pop tarts is incredibly easy! This method doesn’t require chilled vegan butter or any other complicated baking skills (which is good because I’m really selectively lazy about pastry techniques). There’s no reason that you would have to make bananas foster pop tarts in particular, either – any sweet filling would work. But I’m partial to this combination of flavors, and I always have bananas on hand.
Bananas Foster Vegan Pop Tarts
For the banana filling:
- 1 banana medium-ripe
- 1 tsp rum
- 1 tsp coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
- 2 tbsp chopped toasted hazelnuts (optional)
For the dough:
For the rum glaze:
- 6 tbsp + 2 tsp powdered coconut sugar (or regular powdered sugar, see notes)
- 1 and 1/2 tsp rum
- plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk as needed
Make the filling:
- Slice the banana in half lengthwise, and then cut into slices width-wise. Add to a small bowl with the rum and coconut sugar, and a handful of hazelnuts if using; stir; and set aside.
Make the dough:
- Combine the flours and salt in a medium bowl.
- In a small, separate bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, vanilla, coconut oil, and milk until smooth.
- Add the wet ingredients into the bowl with the flour, and stir until fully combined.
- Prepare a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, or two quart-sized bags. Place the dough inside the bag and close it, dividing in half if using the quart size. Using a rolling pin or other weighty cylindrical object (I used my stainless steel water bottle), roll out the dough until it is completely flat in a rectangle shape inside the bag. Place in the refrigerator for an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner, and take the dough out of the refrigerator. It should be a firm sheet of dough after chilling.
- Use kitchen scissors to cut the Ziploc bag off of the dough, and use a knife to score the dough into rectangles. On half of the rectangles, spread some of the banana filling, leaving room around the edges.
- For each pastry, lift one of the other rectangles of dough and lay it on top of one of the rectangles with filling on it. Use a fork to press around the sides and attach the top to the bottom, and place on the baking sheet.
- Bake for about 16 minutes, or until the edges are browned and the middle is fully cooked. Let cool for 10 minutes, preferably on a cooling rack.
Make the glaze:
- In the meantime, use a fork to mix together the powdered coconut sugar and rum in a small bowl. Add non-dairy milk a teaspoon at a time as needed to make the mixture thin enough to drizzle.
- Once the tarts are cooled, use a spoon to drizzle the glaze onto each one. Give the glaze a few minutes to set before digging in.