Nanaimo Bars

By • September 16, 2010 • 18 Comments

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Author Notes: These Canadian treats are named after a town on Vancouver Island. Since Canada is my home and native land, I've been eating and making them for as long as I can remember. This is my favourite version, a modification of a recipe from Time-Honoured Recipes of the Canadian West. Stephanie Bourgeois

Makes a 9 x 9-inch pan

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons custard powder
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  1. Place the 1/2 cup butter, sugar and cocoa in a bowl. Set bowl in pan of hot water. Stir until butter is melted. Add egg and vanilla extract. Mix in graham cracker crumbs and coconut. Pack into ungreased 9x9 pan. (If you are worried about the raw egg you can bake in a hot oven for a few minutes.)
  2. Combine the 5 tablespoons of butter, milk, custard powder and icing sugar. Mix until smooth spread over first mixture in pan. Chill until firm.
  3. Melt semisweet and unsweetened chocolate with the one tablespoon of butter and spread evenly over top. Chill until firm. Cut into bars to serve.
Jump to Comments (18)

Tags: bars, canadian, Holidays

Comments (18) Questions (0)

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8 days ago EmilyC

These look great! Can you tell me what custard powder is? Is there a substitute?

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8 days ago EmilyC

Sorry, I should really read the other comments first since you've already answered this question! : )

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13 days ago Liana Bennies

Hi in the filling there is only 3 tablespoons of milk - is this an error??

Steph

12 days ago Stephanie Bourgeois

Stephanie is the Head Recipe Tester of Food52.

No. You don't need much milk. You want the filling to be stiff enough to hold its shape when cut.

Susan.streit

about 2 years ago carbonarasuz

Susan is a Recipe Tester for Food52

guess what Tim, Kate and I are eating RIGHT NOW!

Steph

about 2 years ago Stephanie Bourgeois

Stephanie is the Head Recipe Tester of Food52.

Hooray! I knew I was doing the right thing leaving them there. I already gave Tim the recipe.

Claire

over 3 years ago midnitechef

My grandma use to make green ones, maybe they were mint in the middle. I could never eat them due to allergies to the nuts she would add. Maybe I'll have to experiment!

Miglore

about 4 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Wish I had a tinful of these right about now...

Steph

about 4 years ago Stephanie Bourgeois

Stephanie is the Head Recipe Tester of Food52.

And that's from someone whose had them!

I wish I had a tinful too. Perhaps my cookie cutters need to find another home for a little while. ;)

Alinasorescu

over 4 years ago bistro_gal

Biffbourgeouis, I believe you forgot to list the walnuts in the ingredients. It would be great if you amended the recipe; I would like to make these beauties this weekend. Thanks!

Steph

over 4 years ago Stephanie Bourgeois

Stephanie is the Head Recipe Tester of Food52.

Actually, I prefer without walnuts and don't include them. If you prefer with walnuts, you can include 1/2 cup or so of chopped walnuts when you add the coconut and graham cracker crumbs.

Alinasorescu

over 4 years ago bistro_gal

Sounds good and thanks for the response. You listed walnuts in step one, that's why I asked. They really are scrumptious!

Steph

over 4 years ago Stephanie Bourgeois

Stephanie is the Head Recipe Tester of Food52.

Sorry, bistro_gal. It's fixed now.

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over 4 years ago SallyCan

This looks outrageously delicious! Is there a good substitution for custard powder?

Alinasorescu

over 4 years ago bistro_gal

Sally, you can find custard powder on amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/gp...

These do look amazing; I wish I could have one right now!!

Steph

over 4 years ago Stephanie Bourgeois

Stephanie is the Head Recipe Tester of Food52.

You can just substitute a few tablespoons of vanilla pudding powder or even vanilla extract to taste. The bars' middle layer won't be yellow, but it will taste similar.

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

You've probably procured some by now, but I've seen custard powder in the "international" section of big supermarkets. biffbourgeois, I am dying to make these!

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over 4 years ago thirschfeld

Can I eat the picture to hold me over till I get to make some of these