Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo bars are part of the great Canadian experience; both Ian and I grew up with this classic snack. Here in Canada they can be found in every cafeteria, buffet, snack bar, hockey rink, school event, children’s party… well pretty much everywhere, and over the years we have both eaten our fair share of the good, the bad, and the ugly (bars that is).

Even though these bars are so prevalent in our chilly Canadian diet, it never dawned on me to try to make them. I guess there has always been a constant supply of them that there was no reason to try.

Boy was I happy I did. I halved the amount of coconut and added a cup of bing cherries to the bottom layer. These had to be the best Nanaimo bars that I have ever had, Ian and my roommate Adam agree. Adam agreed with them so much that he set up most of the props for the photos of the Nanaimo bars just so that he could get at them faster! They were a hit!

Nanaimo Bars

The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and www.nanaimo.ca.

Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bar Recipe

Bottom Layer
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
5 tbsp. cocoa
1 egg beaten
3/4 cups graham wafer crumbs
1/2 cup Oreo crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
1/2 cup coconut
1 cup chopped cherries

Second Layer
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. and 2 Tsp. cream
2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar

Third Layer
4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. cocoa powder

First layer
Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8" x 8" pan. Cool for half an hour.

Second layer
Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer. Cool for an hour.

Third layer
Melt chocolate and butter overlow heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator. Cool overnight before slicing or else chocolate will crack.

12 comments:

Sarah said...

Great work! Mixing cherries into the bottom layer sounds delicious.

chef_d said...

Yummy looking bars! Cherries and chocolate *drool*

♥peachkins♥ said...

This is the first time I've heard of nanaimo bars. It sounds really wonderful..

Junglefrog said...

They look gorgeous Christie! I loved them too... A bit heavy in general but still very satisfying!

Valérie said...

They look amazing! Cherries... why didn't I think of that?

I have to ask, though: am I the only Canadian resident who has NEVER heard of Nanaimo bars? You'd think after 11 years of living here I'd be at least aware of them...

Jill @ Jillicious Discoveries said...

Bing cherries are a great idea and I bet they were delicious with the chocolate. :)

tamilyn said...

those look like a stack of happiness waiting to happen!

Me! said...

wow yours looks stunning! so much prettier than mine were!

Tonya @ What's On My Plate said...

So Canadian! Love it. I'm on a quest to make butter tarts this year.

A.D. said...

Valerie, you are not alone. I was born here and had never heard of those delicious little rations of joy until the days leading up to their confection.

One can but hope that they will come back to our kitchen more often now that we have gotten to know each other a little better ;P

Sweet as Coco said...

I've never heard of these in MI, but my mouth is watering! They look fabulous!!

Keep it cookin said...

your pictures are gorgeous! I am your newest follower!