Nanaimo Bars

I have finally moved into my new home, however I have come to the realization that my new kitchen is much smaller than my previous one and still have many boxes to unpack and find homes for the items.

I have at least been able to find some of my baking stuff so was able to make a delicious treat for my cousins birthday. Hopefully by next week my kitchen will be better prepared.

For this week let me introduce you to a  delicious Canadian treat, Nanaimo Bars.

Some readers may be scratching their heads and trying to figure out what a Nanaimo bar is and most importantly how to pronounce that strange looking work. Nanaimo is pronounced exactly how it is written Na-nai-mo.

Nanaimo is a city in BC, Canada, close to where I live and give these bars that awesome name. Although this brownie type bar takes its name from the city it is unknown if it was created there or somebody just decided to name it after the city of Nanaimo.

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Canadians can at least agree that it is a much loved Canadian made treat.

Basically this bar consists of three layers: a biscuit layer, a custard layer, and a chocolate layer. It is sweet, coconut-y, and chocolate-y. Too many of these and you will probably get an upset stomach, but they are hard to resist.

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Like many Canadians I make mine using Bird’s Custard Powder which is gluten, egg, and dairy free. Although the powder is egg free the biscuit base does have egg in it. You could make your own custard at home, but sometimes using a prepackaged version is easier.

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I was able to make these bars dairy and gluten free without sacrificing flavour. I make mine as close to a traditional recipe, however I did cut back on the powdered sugar as it was requested I try to make something healthier.

I am rather pleased with how these turned out and expected them to be a huge hit at my cousins birthday barbecue.

Nanaimo Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup gluten free graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ Cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ Cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ Cup coconut sugar
  • ⅓ Cup butter, melted
  • 1 Egg
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 2½ Tbsps custard powder
  • ½ Tsp vanilla
  • 1 Cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp dairy free milk
  • 6 oz semisweet dark chocolate
  • 1 Tbsp butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 9-inch pan with parchment paper.
  2. In bowl, stir together graham crumbs, coconut, cocoa powder and sugar.
  3. Drizzle with ⅓ cup melted butter and beaten egg, stirring until combined.
  4. Press into pan. Bake 10 minutes or until firm. Let cool in pan.
  5. In bowl, beat together ¼ cup softened butter, custard powder and vanilla.
  6. Beat in powdered sugar alternating with milk, the goal is a thick paste. You may need more or less milk.
  7. Spread over cooled base. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  8. In heatproof bowl over saucepan of hot (not boiling) water, melt chocolate with 1 tbsp butter.
  9. Spread over filling. Refrigerate until chocolate is almost set, about 30 minutes.
  10. With a knife, score bars into equal squares just enough to make a dent; you do not need to go all the way through.
  11. Refrigerate until chocolate is completely set, about 1 hour. Cut into bars.
  12. Refrigerate for up to 4 days or wrap in foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks.

Enjoy!

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