Nanaimo Bars

By • December 12, 2014 2 Comments

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Author Notes: Nanaimo bars are a (traditionally) Canadian bar cookie. They are made up of three layers: a cocoa-coconut base, a creamy custard middle, and a chocolate coating top. This is the recipe my mom has been using since I was a kid. I'm not sure where she got it from, but they are the best nanaimo bars I have ever tasted! jessicamclement

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Makes 2 dozen

  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 14 tablespoons butter (unsalted or semi-salted), separated into 8 tablespoons, 4 tablespoons, and 2 tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tablespoon custard powder (we use Bird's)
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 115 grams semi-sweet chocolate
  1. First, to make the base, mix together the coconut, graham cracker crumbs, and chopped pecans in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Melt 8 tablespoons of butter over a double boiler.
  3. Add the cocoa powder and the sugar. Mix well.
  4. Add the egg slowly, while whisking constantly, and stir until smooth.
  5. Add the butter-cocoa mixture to the coconut-graham cracker mixture and combine well.
  6. Pat the mixture down firmly and evenly in a 8x12 inch baking dish.
  7. Allow the base to sit in the fridge for 3 - 4 hours.
  8. To make the filling, cream together 4 tablespoons of butter, the confectioner's sugar, the custard powder, the milk, and the vanilla extract.
  9. Spread the filling mixture over the chilled base evenly.
  10. Allow the nanaimo bars to sit in the fridge for 3 - 4 hours to set the filling.
  11. Finally, to make the chocolate coating, melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter and chocolate together (either over a double boiler or in the microwave).
  12. Pour the melted chocolate over the filling layer of the nanaimo bars and spread the chocolate out evenly.
  13. For the final time, allow the nanaimo bars to set in the fridge for a minimum of two hours.
  14. Bring the nanaimo bars to room temperature (15 minutes outside the fridge should do) before cutting into squares to avoid cracking the chocolate. Cut either square or bar shapes.

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