7 December 2007

Nanaimo Bars

After my post yesterday about a traditional Canadian treat of butter tart squares I had a few requests for another Canadian bar recipe... Nanaimo Bars. They are also pictured in the photo below.

According to local legend about 35 years ago, a housewife from Nanaimo on Vancouver Island entered her recipe for chocolate squares in a magazine contest. In a burst of civic pride, she chose to dub the entry "Nanaimo Bars". The entry won a prize, thereby putting nanaimo on the map. The official Nanaimo Bar recipe was available as a handout as well as on quality tea towel and apron souvenirs. In 1986, Nanaimo Mayor Graeme Roberts, in conjunction with Harbour Park Mall, initiated a contest to find the ultimate Nanaimo Bar Recipe. During the four-week long contest, almost 100 different variations of the famous confectionery were submitted. The winner: Joyce Hardcastle. This is her recipe.

The photo is of the very first decoration I ever put on my tree when I was 15.

**Nanaimo Bar **

Bottom Layer

½ cup unsalted butter (European style cultured)
¼ cup sugar
5 T. cocoa
1 egg beaten
1 ¼ cups graham wafer crumbs
½ cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup coconut

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.

Second Layer

½ cup unsalted butter
2 T. and 2 tsp. cream
2 T. vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar

Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.

Third Layer

4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
2 T. unsalted butter

Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.

Try these variations.
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  1. Thank you, Thank you! Nanaimo bars could be the demise of me but they are so tasty!

  2. I love bars with graham crust! I think I've had these but probably by another name....
    It sounds like a recipe from one of my church cook books!

  3. Normally my friend Phylis always made these bars for our cookie exchanges Peter. Those were the days when we uused to bake 10 dozen cookies.
    There is controversy Katie on the origin of these bars. They are also called "New York Slice".Being a Candadian I will go with Nanaimo Bars!

  4. Nanaimo bars are another of my favorite treats! So many things to make and so little time left to make them.

  5. Val, I never heard of Nanaimo bars, but they sound Divine!!! I might have to give them a try!

  6. Sounds good to me! I am still in the dark about Graham bars though, I wonder what our equivalent would be? Would your mum and dad know?

  7. Hey Holler. Graham cracker crumbs are what we use as a base for a cheesecake crumb crust..if you can't find them in Britain feel free to use digestive biscuits.

  8. Ahh! You made them! I'm late getting here.

    I love the name Nanaimo. I like that there's all different ways you can make em'.

  9. I have been pondering making these, but you beat me to it! I don't have the custard/pudding powder for the middle layer here though, any ideas?

  10. I have heard of these and was wondering what they are! They sound really good. Is custard powder the same as instant pudding mix?

  11. The custard powder can probably be found in the international section of your grocers. I don't know whether pudding mix would work or not? Let me know if you try it!!

  12. I saw these on another blog awhile back and have been wanting to try them. They sound wonderful!!


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