Nanaimo Bars

April 13, 2017
Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bars

At the restaurant, our customers frequently ask “who cooks at home?”  Since we eat most dinners at the restaurant, my chef husband makes dinner.  And on Sunday, our day off, my husband usually prepares our family dinner at home.  But I always make dessert – and it doesn’t need to be Sunday.  Last night I had a hankering for Nanaimo bars.  When I had three kids still living at home, a pan of Nanaimo bars would disappear in about 5 minutes.  Now I can make them last up to half an hour!  This recipe is fabulously rich, and really quite sweet, so one little square will usually take care of your chocolate craving.  This is a quick and easy recipe, but make sure you have all the ingredients on hand as they’re not always items you would necessarily have in your pantry.  If you must, you can substitute almonds or pecans for the walnuts.  Make sure to toast the nuts beforehand.  I toasted this batch of walnuts in the toaster oven instead of the regular oven and kind of overdid it a bit; the nuts were really quite dark.  No matter, the end result was yummy.  My husband thought these were the best Nanaimo bars I’ve made and I figure it was the extra toasty walnuts.

Nanaimo Bars
  • BASE
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 1½ cups graham wafer crumbs
  • ½ cup chopped and toasted walnuts
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp custard powder (I use Bird's)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  1. BASE
  2. preheat oven to 350F
  3. grease the bottom and sides of 8" square cake pan
  4. stir together the sugar, cocoa and salt
  5. stir the melted butter into the sugar mixture and blend well
  6. add the egg and vanilla and mix well
  7. stir in the cookie crumbs, coconut and nuts
  8. press the batter into the greased pan and bake 10 minutes
  9. chill the pan in the refrigerator about 20 minutes until it is no longer warm to touch
  11. meanwhile, beat the butter in a stand mixer or by hand until smooth
  12. beat in the custard powder
  13. add the milk and vanilla and blend
  14. add the icing sugar, stir to combine, then beat well until light and creamy
  15. spread the filling over the cooled base layer and chill about 20 minutes
  17. melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler, or the microwave
  18. cool slightly then spread evenly over the filling layer
  19. chill about 10 minutes then score the chocolate layer so the chocolate topping won't crack when you cut the bars (I cut the pan into 16 squares)
  20. chill until ready to serve

Read my rant Friends Don’t Let Friends and listen to this playlist from Hurray for the Riff Raff…

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