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Banana Fritters with Boozy Coffee Sauce + Count the Monkeys

February 26, 2014
 When my oldest was little we did nothing but read. Read me a book, Mama.” was the first sentence out of her mouth in the morning and no fewer than 4 books would be read before bed every night.

Then the second child came along and with him any free time to read for hours on end flew out the door. Oh, he’ll manage to sit still for maybe one….very short….book and he’ll sit through a bit longer one if he knows what comes next is lights out, but gone are the days when we’d sit snuggled in my bed and read book, after book, after book until I was hoarse or one of us fell asleep, whichever came first.

Banana Fritters with Boozy Caramel Sauce

 I came to the realization a couple weeks ago that those days probably aren’t coming back. I thought for awhile that after the baby got a bit older we could go back to our long visits to the library, but now I don’t think we will. Louisa days are spent in school and Hiro’s favorite thing to do at the library is either tackle other kids or dump all the crayons out and then fling them across the room (we don’t go there much).
 It makes me sad to think this stage of our lives might be over. I still bought both kids a boatload of books for Christmas hoping we could find some that would keep Hiro’s attention and to my surprise there were actually a couple that he not only sat through, but wanted to read again! One of his favorites has been Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett. It is a fun, interactive book that keeps kids guessing about what surprises they will find on the next page. It is the perfect read for young kids, especially a spirited child like mine.

In honor of this fun book I made a recipe for the one thing monkeys like the most……bananas, of course! Not just any ‘ol banana recipe mind you…no, no, no…..fried bananas. Would monkeys like that? My monkeys like that and Mama and Papa monkey are especially fond of the boozy, Kahlúa-laced coffee sauce that goes along with them.

Banana Fritters with Boozy Coffee Sauce

 Banana fritters are like taking the moistest, most intensely-flavored banana bread and frying it (which is not a half bad idea……hmmmm). Anyway, this is a really good idea too, cause if you don’t coat them too heavily and let a little bit of the banana peek through then that part gets all caramely and crisp. Beneath the crackly exterior lies the soft, pillowy batter, and under that a sliver of warm banana just begging to be dipped in sweet coffee sauce.

Banana Fritters with Boozy Coffee Sauce

 You can absolutely make these and forget the sauce if you are making them for the under 21s. Or you can add the Kahlúa to the pan in the beginning and boil any alcohol out of it before serving it to the childrens. Either way, don’t skimp on the powdered sugar, they need a good snowy sprinkling.

Does your little ones love monkeys? Here’s some other good monkey-themed books for toddlers from our friends over at Zoobean:

Ape in a Cape by Fritz Eichenberg
Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert
May I Bring A Friend? by Beatrice Schenk De Regnires
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

Banana Fritters with Boozy Coffee Sauce + Count the Monkeys

Yield: 4-6


    For the Sauce:
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Kahlúa
  • For the Fritters:
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 4 just ripe bananas, sliced 1/2-inch thick on the bias
  • powdered sugar, for dusting


  1. To make the sauce, combine the coffee, sugar, and half of the Kahlúa in a small saucepan.
  2. Place over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook until mixture is thick and syrupy, about 10 minutes. You might need to stir towards the end to prevent the mixture from boiling over—watch carefully.
  3. Remove from the stove and add the remaining Kahlúa, bring back to a boil then remove from heat. Set aside to cool. Sauce can be made up to a week in advance, covered and refrigerated until ready to use.
  4. For the fritters, pour about 2 inches of oil into a deep frying pan and heat over medium heat to between 350-375°F, or until a piece of bread dropped in the oil browns in 30 seconds.
  5. Meanwhile, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Whisk aerated and break up any lumps. Make a well in the middle.
  6. Add the egg and coconut milk to the well in the middle of the flour and stir until combined and smooth.
  7. Add the banana about 5-6 pieces at a time to the batter and coat on all sides.
  8. Lift the banana slices, one at a time, out of the batter and let any excess drip back into the bowl. Carefully place the banana slices into the hot oil and fry for 6-8 minutes, turning halfway through.
  9. Remove fritters to a paper towel-lined tray and repeat with the remaining banana slices.
  10. Serve fritters warm, dusted with powdered sugar and drizzled with coffee sauce.

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  • Kasey February 27, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    These look a-mazing!! The first thing Neko wants to do in the morning is read her books. She points at her book shelf from her crib! x

    • Kate Ramos February 27, 2014 at 10:34 pm

      That’s how my Louisita was. Now she’s reading on her own…hard to believe how fast time flies!

  • Heather Christo March 3, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    oh wow. These are incredible- perfect little bites!!

    • Kate Ramos March 5, 2014 at 2:54 am

      Thanks Heather!

  • aida mollenkamp October 14, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    How have I never seen this recipe before today!?! It looks amazing!

    • Kate Ramos
      Kate Ramos October 15, 2015 at 1:52 am

      Thanks, Love! Thinking of you and hope all is well.