7 Too-Cute Frozen Banana Animal Pops

These funny little guys are almost too adorable to eat. Almost.
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Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Just Call 'Em Bananimals

Chocolate-covered frozen bananas are a sweet treat we'll always love. But these animal pops are even more fun, since they combine craft time with dessert. Transforming bananas into whales, rabbits or penguins is a totally acceptable way to encourage kids (and adults!) to play with their food.

By Bob Hoebee for Food Network Kitchen

Photography by Matt Armendariz

First, Freeze Bananas and Make a Chocolate Shell

For each animal: Start with a 3- to 4-inch piece cut from one end of a banana, spear it with an ice pop stick and freeze until solid.

While your bananas are freezing, make your chocolate shell for dipping: Combine 1 cup chopped good-quality dark, white or peanut-flavored chocolate and 2 tablespoons standard-grade coconut oil (not virgin or extra virgin) in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 20-second intervals until the chocolate begins to melt, and stir to combine. Alternate microwaving and stirring until the chocolate is completely melted.

Or, put the chocolate and oil in a heatproof bowl and rest it over a pot of barely simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is mostly melted. Remove the bowl from the hot water and continue stirring the chocolate until smooth.

Bunny Banana

Ears: 2 almond slices. Eyes: 2 mini chocolate chips. Nose: Cut a small piece from the corner of a pink fruit chew. Cheeks: Snip a mini marshmallow almost in half so one edge of the marshmallow stays attached and opens like a book. Paws: Halve another mini marshmallow and then make two snips in each half to create toes. Carrot: Cut a triangle from a dried apricot.

To assemble: Dip the frozen banana pop in the white or dark chocolate shell. Using more shell as glue, attach the elements as shown. Freeze to set.

Polar Bear Banana

Fur: Shredded coconut. Ears: Halve a mini marshmallow or yogurt-covered raisin lengthwise. Eyes: 2 mini chocolate chips. Nose: Halve a mini marshmallow for the snout. Use a piece of chocolate-covered rice cereal or half a candy-coated chocolate piece for the nose. Paws: Halve 2 mini marshmallows and make two short snips in each. Fish: A fish-shaped pretzel or a candy fish.

To assemble: Dip the frozen banana in white chocolate shell. Sprinkle with the coconut. Using more shell as glue, attach the elements as shown. Attach the pointed side of the mini-chip eyes to the banana for a bigger-eye effect. Glue the crisp rice cereal horizontally to the marshmallow snout before gluing the marshmallow to the banana. Glue the paws to the fish before attaching it to the banana. Freeze to set.

Hamster Banana

Ears: 2 Spanish peanuts. Eyes: 2 pieces of chocolate-covered rice cereal (or cut the ends off a chocolate-covered raisin). Nose and cheeks: Snip off the corner of a mini marshmallow and attach that piece to the front of the marshmallow, using the sticky side. Score the bottom of the marshmallow to make cheeks. Paws: Halve a mini marshmallow and make two short snips in each to create toes. Gather 1 almond for the hamster to hold. Feet: Break pieces from a small stick pretzel.

To assemble: Dip the banana in peanut-flavored chocolate shell. Using more shell as glue, attach the elements as shown. Glue the paws to the almond before attaching the nut to the banana. Freeze to set.

Beaver Banana

Ears: 2 pieces of chocolate-covered rice cereal. Eyes: 2 mini chocolate chips. Nose: 1 piece of chocolate-covered rice cereal. Teeth: Cut 2 pieces of sliced almond. Paws: Snap both ends off a small pretzel stick for the paws, and reserve another broken pretzel stick for the beaver to hold as a log. Tail: 1 wafer cookie.

To assemble: Dip the frozen banana in peanut-flavored chocolate shell. Using more shell as glue, attach the elements as shown. Glue the pretzel-stick hands to the large pretzel log before attaching to the banana. Freeze to set.

Panda Banana

Ears: Cut the rounded ends from 1 chocolate-covered raisin. Eyes: Flatten 2 small raisins for the dark circles around the eyes, and cut two tiny pieces of mini marshmallow for the white part. Finish with 2 mini-chocolate chips to complete the eyes. Nose: Cut a small piece off the rounded end of a chocolate-covered raisin. Paws: Cut the rounded ends off 2 chocolate-covered raisins.

To assemble: Dip the banana in white chocolate shell. Using more shell as glue, attach the elements as shown. For the eyes, glue the flattened raisins to the banana, attach the marshmallow pieces to the raisins and glue the pointed side of the chocolate chips to the marshmallow. Freeze to set.

Penguin Banana

Eyes: 2 mini chocolate chips. Nose: Half of 1 yellow candy-coated chocolate piece. Feet: 2 orange candy-coated chocolates. Wings: Flatten 2 Tootsie Rolls with a rolling pin, and cut them into a wing shape with scissors. Add a candy fish for your banana penguin to hold.

To assemble: Dip the banana dark chocolate shell, covering the top, back and sides, but leaving the front-center uncoated. Using more shell as glue, attach the elements as shown. Freeze to set.

Killer Whale Banana

Body: Cut a wedge from the top of the banana to make a mouth shape before spearing with the ice pop stick and freezing. Eyes: 2 mini chocolate chips. White spots below the eyes: Halve a mini marshmallow and flatten to make two flat ovals. Fins: Cut three fins out of dark-colored fruit leather with scissors.

To assemble: Dip the banana in dark chocolate shell, leaving the front-center and lower jaw uncoated. Using more shell as glue, attach the elements as shown. Freeze to set.

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