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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Nanaimo Bars

When I think about my Canadian roots I think about several things... 

Last week I was talking with the mom of one of my students about all our favorite Canadian baked goods :)  I mentioned Nanaimo bars and the next day there was a tupperware full of them on my doorstep.  My kids tried them, loved them and I knew I had to have the recipe for myself.



Now... if your NewYears resolutions don't involve heavy cream and butter turn away now.  BUT if you need the occasional (small!) late afternoon sweet pick-me-up this recipe is for you.

Here's what you'll need....
(plus an egg and vanilla extract which I forgot to include in my pic!)


- 1 cup (+ 2 tablespoons) butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup coconut
- 3 tablespoons whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 4 oz semi sweet baking chocolate

This is a no-bake, three layer bar and the first layer is butter, graham cracker crumbs, cocoa powder, egg and coconut.  

I don't have a real double boiler so I make my own using a pan of boiling water and a glass mixing bowl.  ;)

In the top of the double boiler melt 1/2 cup of softened butter with the 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.



While that melted I beat the egg, crushed up 1 3/4 cups of graham cracker crumbs and portioned out a hefty cup of coconut flakes.


Once the chocolate was melted I poured in the egg and let that cook for 2-3 mins (until the chocolate mixture thickened up a bit).  Then I poured in the vanilla, coconut and graham cracker crumbs.


I mixed that all together really well and then pressed it into the bottom of an ungreased 8x8 baking dish.


I put that in the refrigerator to cool for a while and got started on the next layer.


In my mixer I creamed 1/2 cup of room temperature butter with 3 tablespoons of whipping cream and 2 tablespoons of custard powder.  Custard powder is a British import and I found mine at Kroger on the International food aisle.




Once they were creamed I beat in 2 cups of powdered sugar and whipped it for a couple of minutes until it was smooth and fluffy.

Then I spread it on top of the cooled first layer and set the whole thing back in the refrigerator to cool.



While everything was setting in the fridge I got the last layer ready.

I got out my "double boiler" again and melted 4 oz of semi-sweet baking chocolate with 2 tablespoons of butter until it was smooth.



Then I poured it over the other 2 layers and smoothed it out.  



At this point I let everything set in the refrigerator for a few hours.

Y'all.  They're hard to explain unless you've actually had one.  But it's almost like a dense, coconut brownie (but not TOO coconut) on the bottom with a custardy icing in the middle and chocolate shell on top.  While they look a little bit complicated to make they're really not that bad once you get the hang of it and the fact that they're no bake is a plus.  



If you try them out I'd love to hear what you think!!!

And to make everything simpler here's the recipe all together :)

Happy Thursday, Friends!


Here's What You'll Need
- 1 cup (+ 2 tablespoons) butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup coconut
- 3 tablespoons whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 4 oz semi sweet baking chocolate

Here's What You'll Do
For the first layer...
1) In the top of a double boiler combine 1/2 cup softened butter with 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons cocoa powder until melted and smooth.
2) Pour in one beaten egg and let cook for 2-3 minutes or until the chocolate mixture thickens up a bit
3) Remove the chocolate mixture from the heat and pour in 1 tsp vanilla, 1 cup of coconut flakes and 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs.
4) Refrigerate until cool

For the second layer...
1) Cream 1/2 cup butter together with 3 tablespoons of whipping cream and 2 tablespoons of custard powder.
2) Beat in 2 cups of powdered sugar until fluffy and smooth
3) Spread over the cooled first layer and refrigerate again

For the third layer...
1) In the top of a double boiler melt 4 oz of semi-sweet baking chocolate with 2 tablespoons butter until smooth.
2) Spread evenly over the other 2 layers and refrigerate several hours or until cool and set.

Cut into small pieces (or large, if that's your thing!) and ENJOY!!!

49 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. SO GOOD!!! I'll make them the next time I have y'all over!

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  2. Ah! I love that she brought these for you!!

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  3. Oh how I LOVE Nanaimo Bars! I make them every year at Christmas. I don't make them that often because they're so delicious and I eat way too many. My Kroger stopped carrying the Bird's custard powder. I couldn't find it anywhere, so I substituted vanilla Jello pudding powder for it. They still tasted great!

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    1. Right?!?! My kids are already asking for another pan :)

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  4. I love love Nanaimo Bars! I lived in North Dakota a couple of years and had several Canadian friends. They made these and they were delicious! Thank you for the recipe!

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  5. This is my go-to, can't stop eating Christmas treat!

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  6. This question isn't about your bars, (which look delicious!) but about the necklaces that Griffin used wear all the time with the big beads. Can you point me in the right direction to order those? My niece is turning two and LOVES jewelry and the first thing I thought of was your sweet girl wearing those big beads and how much ellie would love a necklace like that. Thanks!!!

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    Replies
    1. Of course!!! They're by Sprinklings and it's such a cute gift idea!!! Have fun picking something out - her pieces are seriously the best!

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  7. What a special treat...these look deeeeelish!!

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  8. My absolute favourite Christmas treat! Homemade is way better then the box! Thanks for the recipe

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  9. Theses look SO good!! Pinning for sure!

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    Replies
    1. YAY!!! Can't wait to hear what you think when you make them!

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  10. I'm Canadian and I approve this message ;) haha. So yummy!

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  11. So good! I love the ones from Costco, they are seriously delicious and perfect with a cup of tea mid afternoon or after supper. And maybe for breakfast too ;)

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    1. LOOOOVE with a good cup of mid-afternoon tea!

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  12. Could you leave out the coconut? or substitute for oats?

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    1. My family doesn't like coconut so I make homemade brownies. Bake and cool them and add the top two layers. Also, if you use vanilla pudding instead of the custard, make sure it's instant pudding.

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    2. Hey! Yes you can absolulely leave out the coconut, and it will work just fine :D I make Nanaimo bars regularly as they are my hubby's favorite and he isn't a fan of coconut at all so I always leave it out! They are super addictive but rich so a small piece is all you need!

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    3. My family members don't like coconut, but will eat it in this dessert. They say they can't really taste the coconut.

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  13. Looks delicious. Can't wait to give this a try.

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  14. These look delicious! What I love most about this post is that you "made" your own double boiler. Also, you use a 35 year old food processor. We don't always have to have the latest and greatest but the internet world sometimes makes you feel like you do! Your blog is real and I love that even more!

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    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness!!! SO SWEET!!! Thank you :) I mean... my janky double boiler and vintage food processor work so why fix something that isn't broken! hahaha

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  15. I feel sorry for people who have never had a Nanaimo bar, they are so delicious! I hope people try these out. Next up Butter Tarts?! Another Canadian favourite.

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    1. Right?!?! They don't know what they're missing!!! And actually butter tarts are going down this weekend at the request of my dad!

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  16. What a sweet mom she is to make these for you!!! Thanks for sharing!

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  17. These look delicious Andrea! I can't wait to try this recipe-and the beef recipe with ginger over rice looks divine. Also a thumbs up for believing in "if it ain't broke don't fix it!" :)

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    1. Oh, girl. You need to try both ASAP! And I'm hoping that I get to pass that food processor down to my kids! hahaha :)

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  18. Nanaimo bars are a favorite at our house! Hubby is from BC and love love loves these, his favorite dessert so I make them quite often for him :D Also, another Canadian "dessert", beaver tails!! Oh such deep fried goodness!

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    Replies
    1. I've never heard of beaver tails!! I'm going to have to ask my parents!

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    2. Good ol' Google search! They're amazing coated in cinnamon sugar, or smothered with nutella!

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  19. These sound delicious!! Thank you for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. Wait until you try one! :) You're so welcome!

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  20. I have been making these for 40ish years. I went to summer camp in Ontario and one summer after camp stayed with a friend in Toronto. Her mom made these, but called them "Domino Squares". I asked for the recipe and ever since have been REQUIRED to make these for my extended family when we gather for Christmas celebrations.

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  21. Your recipe posts are my favorite! Can't wait to try this with my daughter, thanks for posting!

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    Replies
    1. THANK YOU!!! I have a great time sharing them - so that means a lot!

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  22. Oh my goodness! I bought some of these st the Kroger bakery several years ago and they were wonderful! I've never seen them since, and I've found a couple of recipes but never tried them. I will definitely be trying your recipe. Thank you!

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