Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Nanaimo Bars

I'm heading off to Boat Club this week for our monthly potluck, and for a change decided to make some Nanaimo Bars.   It's been a long time since I've made them, but they're always a hit when I do bring them somewhere and I think they'll be the same here.   I actually have some Bird's Custard Powder, which is one of the ingredients, plus of course, all the rest of the ingredients as well.  

I grew up some few miles south of Nanaimo , pronounced (NUH NY MO) and so I think I know whereof I speak when I say I make an authentic Nanaimo Bar.   Here's a link to the Wikipedia entry about  Nanaimo Bars    if you want to read more about them. 
Nanaimo Bars

I have the recipe my sister gave me for the bars, and just for fun also looked them up in a little cookbook I received from my sister the last time I was in Duncan.    It was published in 2003 by Drinkwater Elementary School, and was called 'Dive into Our Favourite Recipes'.  And guess what, it was identical to the one she gave me and that I've been using for years.    Personally, I love this kind of cookbook.  They contain recipes gathered from a wide variety of people, and are usually tried and true and family approved.  In fact, just between us, I'm going to be trying several more of their recipes, since they have ones I've never seen anywhere else.  

Nanaimo Bars Recipe

Base
1/2 cup Butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
5Tbsp. Cocoa Powder   (I used Hershey's Dark, it was what I had in my pantry)
1 tsp. Vanilla   (I used some Kahlua, I like the extra layers of flavour it gives)
1 egg

Set a pan over some boiling water, stir the above ingredients together until they resemble custard.
Then mix together with the following;
2 cups Graham Cracker crumbs
1 cup Coconut (sweetened)
1/2 cup chopped Walnuts
Graham Crackers

Nanaimo Bars base



Nanaimo Bars base

Nanaimo Bars base

Nanaimo Bars base

Press the mixture into a 9 x 9 inch pan, evenly.


Filling
1/4 cup butter
3 Tbsp. milk
2 Tbsp. Vanilla Custard powder (I use Birds Custard Powder, but you can use vanilla pudding mix here).
2 cups Confectioners sugar
Cream the above ingredients together, spread them over the chocolate base.  Place in fridge for about 15 minutes or so to set up.
Nanaimo Bar filling

Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bars



Topping
4 squares Bakers Semi-Sweet Baking chocolate (or use your favourite baking chocolate)
1 Tbsp. butter
Melt together and spread over the custard filling.
Melting Chocolate
Nanaimo Bars
Pressing the base into a plastic wrap lined pan made it easy to get the bars out.
Nanaimo Bars
Easy to cut

Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bars


Let sit for a  few minutes in the fridge for the chocolate to set up a little, then score it with a sharp knife into the sizes you want, this keeps the chocolate topping from breaking when you cut it to serve later on.    Place in fridge for a couple of hours, cut into pieces and serve. 

Nanaimo Bars
Oh yeah, I did say it was Boat Club potluck so here's a list of the other dishes served.   We had a lovely ham, deviled eggs, a wild rice chicken salad, some spicy beans and chocolate chip cookies along with the Nanaimo Bars.    
Sid Munkholm
Sid Munkholm

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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