Darcie Bakes //

Baking from scratch… because good things take time.

Nanaimo Bars.

nanaimobars_coverHave you ever heard of Nanaimo bars? Unless you’re Canadian, you probably haven’t. Personally, I had no clue what they were up until about four weeks ago. The dude I’m currently dating asked me to make them for him, and I’m pretty sure I gave him a blank stare when he said the word “Nanaimo.” His mother’s side of the family is Canadian, so he’s grown up having these tasty treats. I’m glad I finally learned what the heck they are, because they’re absolutely addicting!

nanaimobars_1nanaimobars_2Nanaimo bars – for those of you who don’t know – are a no-bake, triple-layered, Canadian bar type of dessert. They get their name from a city called Nanaimo, which is in British Columbia. There are quite a variety of ways to make Nanaimo bars, but the standard layers go as follows: bottom layer: chocolate with graham cracker or wafer cookie, and some kind of nuts (usually pecans or almonds). The middle layer is a creamy, custard type of filling. Finally, a chocolate ganache layer covers the top to complete the three layers.

singlenanaimoThese Nanaimo bars are very sweet, and quite rich. But the flavors of all of the ingredients balance out together quite nicely, I think. The graham cracker in the bottom layer mixed in with the chocolate and pecans just makes an absolutely delicious combination. I’m looking forward to making them again in the near future, and trying out some different varieties for each layer. The possibilities are endless!


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Nanaimo Bars.

Bottom Layer:
– 1/2 cup salted butter, diced into pieces
– 1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
– 3 TBS. cocoa powder
– 1 large egg, lightly beaten
– 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
– 1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
– 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut (I actually had unsweetened coconut on hand, so I used it.. and I’m glad I did. These do not need any additional sugar.)
– 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or almonds (I used pecans.)

– 1/3 cup salted butter, softened
– 1/4 cup heavy cream
– 2 TBS. custard powder or vanilla/white chocolate instant pudding mix (I used instant French vanilla pudding mix that I had leftover.)
– 2 cups powdered sugar
Top Layer:
– 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
– 2 TBS. salted butter
1. Grease an 8×8″ square baking dish and set aside. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the brown sugar and cocoa powder into the pan. Whisk the ingredients well together until they are evenly combined. While continuing to whisk vigorously, slowly add the beaten egg.
2. Return this mixture to the heat and cook for about 1-2 more minutes, or until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
3, Add to this mixture your graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and pecans, then toss until they’re evenly coated. Press the mixture into your greased pan. Cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for 40 minutes, or freeze for 20 minutes.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer [or using an electric hand mixer], whip the butter, heavy cream, and pudding mix until it’s smooth and fluffy. This should take approximately two minutes on medium speed. {Note: The mixture may seem dry and crumbly at first, but it will come together.} Spread the creamy mixture over the top of the chilled graham cracker base. Cover with plastic wrap again, and freeze for another 15 minutes (or refrigerate for 30 minutes).
5. Melt the semi-sweet chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, or a double boiler. Once melted and smooth, spread an even layer over the chilled creamy layer. Cover the bars with plastic wrap again, and chill in the fridge for another 10 minutes, or until the chocolate has set. Cut into squares, and store in an airtight container.

+Recipe from Cooking Classy.

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