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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nanaimo Bars

For those of you who aren't Canadian, you may not understand the love of these bite size, creamy, wonderfully rich bars, but anyone who has grown up around them, it is pure magic in bar form. I had to resist the temptation after each layer not to sit on the floor and eat it all. I did however say, "OH MY GOSH! It tastes like Nanaimo bar!!!", as though it would taste like anything else. These are incredibly easy to make, plus, with all the other Christmas baking you are doing, a no-bake option is WONDERFUL. Especially if you live in a tiny apartment that heats up to 500 degree if the oven is on for longer than 20 seconds.

The only bad thing about not being in Canada to make these (but really, who would make them if you could buy them from M&M all frozen and pre-cut?), is that some of the ingredients may be hard to come by. Such as the custard powder. I've heard other people have used instant vanilla pudding, but really...That's not Bird's Custard Powder, that's pudding. You can find it at British food stores, and some culinary stores carry it as well. Or you can order it off for $4. VERY worth it!

Life is complete if you have a nanaimo bar and a tall glass of milk.

To make the crust, nuke the butter, brown sugar, and cocoa in the microwave for 30 seconds, I was worried that wouldn't be long enough, but after I stirred it for a few minutes and it came together really well. I was scared of raw eggs (I'll have to tell you about my phobia another time) so I threw it in there for another 15 seconds just to heat it up. Quickly whisk in the egg, and it turns all beautifully chocolate-y. Add the graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and chopped walnuts and mix together!

A lot of people were worried about the coconut flavour, but seriously, you can't taste it. It's just plain delicious. Would I lie to you?

Use a fork to smash it into an 8 x 8 pan. I had to cut the sides of my parchment to make it fit a bit better, but it worked for me!

Stop eating it. Right. Now. I know, I know...The crust is delicious, but it needs to cool in the fridge for half an hour. Put it there. Go on. Do it.

I'm going to take a moment to make you realize something very important. Bird's custard powder is the bomb. Yes. It is the only way to make these Nanaimo bars. I've tried the instant vanilla pudding and it was NOT a Nanaimo bar. But Birds? Yeah, that guy's alright.

Using a hand mixer, mix together on slow speed the powdered sugar, butter, and custard powder (it's a pretty pink too!), after it's combined, turn up the speed to medium/medium high and slowly add the cream until it's nice and fluffy. Stop. Eating. It. I'm serious. You won't have any left for the final product!

Put it onto the crust layer, smooth it out and put that puppy back in the fridge for another half hour.

The final step requires 1/3 cup of chocolate chips, or rather 2/3 cup of chocolate chips, since you'll most likely munch on a few. Everyone does it, or am I projecting my guilt onto others? No. No. You do it.

Mmm. Chocolate drizzle. (I hate chocolate, but it looks good!)

Let the chocolate set, it takes about an hour to an hour and a half. Once it's set, run a fairly sharp knife under hot water and beginning cutting squares, and after each cut, clean the knife off.This way the chocolate won't crack.

And there you go. Wonderful. Happy. Delicious. Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bars
Original recipe found at

Crust -
1/2 Cup Butter                                     1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
3 Tbs Cocoa                                          1 Egg
2 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs         1 Cup Coconut
1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts                  
Middle Layer -
2 Cups Powdered Sugar                      1/4 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup heavy cream                           2Tbs Custard Powder
Chocolate Layer -
3 ounces milk Chocolate Chips            1/4 Cup butter

1. Crust - Melt together the butter, brown sugar, and cocoa in microwave for 30 seconds, stir, then put back in microwave for another 30 seconds.
2. Beat the egg, then whisk it slowly into chocolate mixture. Make sure it is well blended.
3. Mix in graham cracker, coconut, and walnuts.
4. Press crust into a 8 x 8 pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Put crust in fridge for at least half an hour.
5. Make the butter cream layer by creaming together the powdered sugar, butter, and custard powder. Using a hand mixer on medium to high speed, slowly add cream until it is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
6. Spread the cream layer over the crust. Put back in fridge for another half hour.
7. Melt together chocolate and butter in microwave for 30 seconds. Pour over other layers and place back in fridge until chocolate sets (1 to 2 hours).
8. Cut into small squares, and keep in the fridge.