Saturday, February 27, 2010

Nanaimo Bars

In honor of the current Olympic games being held in Vancouver, Canada, I decided to make a dessert that originates from Canada - Nanaimo Bars. After doing a little research, I have learned that these bars were named after the West-Coast city of Nanaimo, British Columbia. There are three layers - a chocolate, coconut, graham cracker layer, a buttercream, filling layer, and a chocolate top. They are rich and tasty.

One of the key ingredients in the middle, buttercream layer, is the custard powder, however if you live in the States, custard powder is not readily available. You might be able to find it at a specialty store (Bird's Custard Powder is the most popular, pictured above). If you cannot find it, just substitute an equal amount of instant vanilla pudding powder (or marry a Canadian who has family living in Canada, like I did).

I would suggest you that you make these today or tomorrow and enjoy them while watching the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Olympics.

Nanaimo BarsRecipe from Lynda
Directions altered from the Joy of Baking (I found some clearer directions on this website than the ones I followed)
Pictures by Caroline

3/4 c unsalted butter
1/4 c sugar
5 tbsp. cocoa
1 beaten egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup coconut
4 oz. semi sweet chocolate
1 tbsp. butter
1/4 c butter
3 tbsp. milk
2 tbsp. vanilla custard powder (Bird's Custard Powder) *or substitute instant vanilla pudding powder
2 cups icing sugar (or as we in the States call it, powdered or confectioners' sugar - icing sugar is the name used in Canada)


Butter a 9x9 inch pan.

BOTTOM LAYER: In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Stir in the sugar and cocoa powder and then gradually whisk in the beaten egg. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens (1 - 2 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract, graham cracker crumbs, and coconut. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate until firm (about an hour).

FILLING: In your electric mixer cream the butter. Beat in the remaining ingredients. If the mixture is too thick to spread, add a little more milk. Spread the filling over the bottom layer, cover, and refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes).

TOP LAYER: In a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter. Spread over the filling and refrigerate.

**If you follow these directions, you should have three distinct layers, more so than you see in my picture above.

1 comment:

Jessie said...

These look really good. I did not do much Olympics viewing, but I should be able to come up with some other reason to make these.

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