Desserts, Ice Cream & Other Cool Treats

Brown Sugar Banana Parfaits with Maple-Glazed Pecans

3 Comments 01 May 2013

Even though it’s technically not time to declare it, summer may as well already be here. Yep, it’s back, the humidity. Back to the backyard BBQs. Back to the pool because OMG the heat! That’s why it’s time to start considering not what your air conditioning can do for you, but what you can do not to contribute to its overloaded butt working it night and day to keep you cool. Well, we kind of went with that mindset here and kind of…not.

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At this point, this look like a really heat-friendly recipe, right? But then you may have noticed ‘ole Jack Daniels in the back there, ready to heat things up. Yeah, buddy!

The recipe called for a rye whiskey, but acquiring any personally the weekend we made these was possibly the biggest alcohol roadblock I’ve had in a while. So I called our parents like any good grown adult does when needing any kind of rye whiskey substitute and thankfully dad came through. You da man, dad!

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So here’s where you’re not being quite as nice to your air conditioning as you could be – we need to send these pecans here into overdrive by roasting them in the oven with some maple syrup. The good news, though, is you could do this part ahead of time, maybe the night before or earlier in the morning when it’s cooler.

I just realized how strange this post may sound to those who are still getting snow, but I swear the South is currently wrapped in at least one of the ten levels of hell right now.

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When the nuts are done in the oven, they’ve got a really nice salty sweet layer on them and, once they cool, a nice crunch that adds great texture to the parfaits.

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And here’s the banana’s, swimming quite happily in the Jack Daniels, amongst other yummy things!

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So you know the first rule of parfaits, right? That’s right, just layer, layer again, possibly even layer yet again and repeat. In goes some of those yummy bananas first.

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Next go in a few of the crunchy sweet pecans. Yummmm.

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Topping all that off is a small scoop of ice cream. Or maybe a small scoop and a half of ice cream The choice is yours! But…I think you know which direction we’re mentally steering you toward.

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Maybe when you’re done, take a few minutes to appreciate how simple that all was.

But not for too long, cuz the heat is melting all that ice cream! Quick, get your spoon.

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Needless to say, the saucy, Jack Daniels bananas and the crunchy sweet pecans really make this parfait out of this world. If you didn’t feel like layering, you could always treat this like a sundae instead and the bananas and nuts as toppings. Either way, don’t skimp on the vanilla ice cream for the base. This is a perfect little treat of a recipe where everything works perfectly together. Enjoy!

Brown Sugar Banana Parfaits with Maple-Glazed Pecans

from Bon Appetit, March 2013

Prep Time: 10 minutes    Cooking Time: about 25 minutes    Level: Easy    Serves: 6

  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup rye whiskey
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 bananas, peeled, cut on a diagonal into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 350°. Toss pecans, maple syrup, and salt on a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet; spread out in a single layer. Bake until maple syrup is caramelized and pecans are toasted, 10-15 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheet. Coarsely chop nuts; set aside.

Meanwhile, bring whiskey, both sugars, and butter to a boil in a large skillet (do not move pan or mixture may ignite). Turn off heat; stir mixture to dissolve sugar completely.

Return to medium heat and simmer until sauce is thickened and glossy, about 2 minutes. Add bananas and cook, swirling skillet occasionally, until bananas are just softened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let mixture cool completely in skillet.

Layer bananas and sauce, pecans, and ice cream in small mason jars or glasses. DO AHEAD: Parfaits can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and freeze. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes to soften slightly before serving.


We had to cook our sauce a little longer than two minutes and it still didn’t really seem to thicken as much as we’d like, but once it began to cool it did thicken more. Someone suggested later to add a little cream to the mixture next time, and we might try this. We’re just still not getting the hang of caramel type sauces.

We did freeze some of our parfaits and I definitely prefer them freshly made. They were still tasty after being frozen, but still better freshly put together.

We actually used a mixture of pecans and walnuts. I’d forgotten that till just now.

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- who has written 347 posts on Full Fork Ahead.

Wife, mom, indulgent reader and Day Job Do-er, who occasionally likes to think she can cook. Sometimes she's right, sometimes she's wrong.

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Your Comments

3 Comments so far

  1. Penelope says:

    This looks fab, and I love using the mason jars as a parfait glass. That is such a cute idea!

    • KMont says:

      Penny, the jars are a great way to control the portion size, too. Well, so long as there’s enough people to claim the other ones lol. 😉

  2. Monica says:

    This looks soooo good.

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