web analytics

nanaimo bar recipeIt is Thanksgiving Day, and I am sitting at my kitchen table writing about Christmas cookies.  What is wrong with this picture?  Since I enlisted the help of my guests, this Thanksgiving has been a breeze.  My first two turkeys are resting, the gravy is made and waiting to be reheated, the cranberries are done, the rolls are rising, and the tart is waiting patiently to be eaten.  My house is even clean!  I actually have time to catch up and add my Week 9 of Christmas post.

When we lived in Canada, I fell in love with Nanaimo Bars.  Canadians are amazing bakers.  They are something I have only ever seen in Canada, and when one is made well, it is heaven.  I prefer the traditional version like this one, but have seen various flavors, like peanut butter and mint.  A Nanaimo Bar is 3 layer bar, the bottom being a crust of walnuts, coconut, and chocolate.  The middle layer is a buttercream variation, and the top a thin layer of chocolate.  In the US, we call this a bar cookie, but in Canada, they call it a square.  Whatever you want to call it is fine with me, but I am calling it delicious.

*This recipe calls for custard powder.  I found mine in the ethnic foods aisle, with the British food, but you can order Bird’s custard powder online.*  

nanaimo bar recipe

Crust:

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Middle Layer:

2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup room temperature butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons custard powder

Chocolate layer:

3 ounces chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter

nanaimo bar recipeStart with the crust.  Melt together the butter, brown sugar, and cocoa.

nanaimo bar recipeI did mine over a double boiler, but if I had a microwave, I probably would have done it that way.

nanaimo bar recipeBeat the egg, and quickly whisk it into the hot chocolate mixture.  You need to add the egg slowly and keep the whisk moving, otherwise you will have scrambled eggs.  Not good.

nanaimo bar recipeMix in the graham crackers, coconut, and walnuts.

nanaimo bar recipePress the crust into an 8×8 pan that has been lined with parchment.  Put the crust into the fridge to chill for a half hour.

nanaimo bar recipeMake the buttercream layer, but creaming together the powdered sugar, butter, and custard powder.  Add the cream slowly, and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

nanaimo bar recipeSpread the cream layer evenly over the crust.  Back in the fridge for another half hour or so.

nanaimo bar recipeMelt together the butter and chocolate (either a double boiler or microwave) and pour over the chilled cream layer.

nanaimo bar recipeBack in the fridge to set up.

nanaimo bar recipeCut into small squares (they are really rich) and keep in the fridge.  My Canadian daughter loves these.  She must know that they are part of her heritage.  This recipe was adapted from The Marion House Book.

Nanaimo Bars [Week 9 of 12 Weeks of Christmas]

Ingredients

  • Crust:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Middle Layer:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup room temperature butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons custard powder
  • Chocolate layer:
  • 3 ounces chocolate chips
  • 1/4 butter

Instructions

  1. Start with the crust. Melt together the butter, brown sugar, and cocoa.
  2. I did mine over a double boiler, but if I had a microwave, I probably would have done it that way.
  3. Beat the egg, and quickly whisk it into the hot chocolate mixture. You need to add the egg slowly and keep the whisk moving, otherwise you will have scrambled eggs. Not good.
  4. Mix in the graham crackers, coconut, and walnuts.
  5. Press the crust into an 8×8 pan that has been lined with parchment. Put the crust into the fridge to chill for a half hour.
  6. Make the buttercream layer, but creaming together the powdered sugar, butter, and custard powder. Add the cream slowly, and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  7. Spread the cream layer evenly over the crust. Back in the fridge for another half hour or so.
  8. Melt together the butter and chocolate (either a double boiler or microwave) and pour over the chilled cream layer.
  9. Back in the fridge to set up.
  10. Cut into small squares (they are really rich) and keep in the fridge.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://bakedbree.com/nanaimo-bars-week-9-of-12-weeks-of-christmas

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

54 Responses to Nanaimo Bars [Week 9 of 12 Weeks of Christmas]

  1. Stephanie says:

    I live in Canada and had no idea this was a Canadian thing! But then I just learned that so are Smarties (the chocolate ones). I actually have never attempted to make nanaimo bars from scratch but I just may this year. These look so yummy :)

  2. Maia says:

    Thanks for posting this Bree! I am a faithful reader from Halifax and I’ve always wanted to make homemade Nanaimo squares. Your step-by-step instructions make this a great recipe for a first-timer.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family – hope everyone enjoys these yummy treats!

  3. Becca says:

    These bars look absolutely fantastic. I’m not too keen on coconut,. but I’m willing to give them a second chance because you make these look so good!

    Happy Thanksgiving, I hope you have a wonderful day with friends and family :)

  4. I love Nanaimo bars/squares..lol I must try this! Thanks Bree, have a great thanksgiving with your family, from your Canadian friend Dawn..ps want some snow, we got oodles yesterday!

  5. Julie says:

    I’m in Canada, and love love love Nanaimo bars! These look just fab – amazing photos – thanks for the reminder! it’s been far too long since I made a batch.

  6. Yummy – I make these as well, however, was wondering how you get your chocolate not to crack when you’re cutting your squares. They look so lovely in your photographs!

  7. Liv Dueck says:

    As another Canadian who has made (and loved) Nanaimo bars, I just wanted to note that I use instant vanilla pudding powder (such as Jello brand) where your recipe calls for custard powder. So yummy! A Christmas tradition in my family.

  8. jellysquare says:

    My husband has an absolute aversion to coconut. Would it be possible to leave this out or substitute with an extra cup of nuts? Would one know there is coconut in it? Because he can taste it, even when it isn’t obvious, but this looks absolutely wonderful!

  9. Brighteyedbaker says:

    These look really good. I’ve never really heard of anything like them before. I’ll have to keep this in mind next time I want to make a dessert for a party. I love your photos, by the way!

  10. Natasha Kay says:

    Thank you for not bastardizing the recipe by using vanilla pudding powder instead of custard powder like most American food bloggers do!! I am a Canadian living in the US and I find my custard powder in the British section at Cost Plus World Market. :)

    Last night I made pumpkin nanaimo bars for the first time — interesting with white chocolate but you really can’t call that a Nanaimo Bar!

  11. These look so good… we have something called millionaire’s shortbread with a baked biscuit layer instead and it’s the most addictive thing ever so with a nutty coconut crust *drool*… wow!

  12. Stephanie says:

    I’m Canadian and I also had no clue that this was a Canadian thing! I recently moved to the States and I instantly began missing all the things that I used to get at home. Nanaimo Bars have always been a Christmas/special family get together treat and it definitely brings back a ton of memories. I can’t wait to try this! (I’m looking up where I can find custard powder locally as we speak).

    Thank you for the recipe! :)

  13. [...] Add this recipe to ZipList! Nanaimo Bars [Week 9 of 12 Weeks of Christmas] IngredientsCrust: 1/2 cup butter 1/4 cup brown [...]

  14. Lisa says:

    I usually make them for Canada Day but why not for Christmas?

  15. Piper says:

    I’ve always wanted to make these, living so close to BC, we always have to enjoy these when we visit. I think I need to make some for Christmas! Looks easy too!

  16. sue says:

    LOL, Yay canada! My mom got these every year for Christmas, always the regular ones. Yummo!

  17. Melissa says:

    Lol. We have been making these for years from this really old Betty Crocker ‘Cooky Book’ (it seems to still be in print in bookstores) my mom had. The book calls them Fudge Meltway Bars and we typically make them around the Christmas season. They are awesome.

    Also to the person or to other people who are not keen on coconut mostly for it’s stringiness, you can put it through your food processor and grate it more, or even find finer coconut in some stores.

  18. Valentina says:

    Bree — these are simply stunning!

  19. Rachel says:

    I’ve always wanted to try Nanaimo Bars and these look great! I even have a stash of Bird’s Custard from my last visit ‘home’ to the UK. I’ll have to try these for sure!!!

  20. [...] Pie Bars Chocolate and Peanut Butter Dreams Butterscotch Marshmallow Squares Easy Lemon Crumb Bars Nanaimo Bars by Baked Bree. Eggnog Cheesecake Bars by Brown Eyed Baker Shortbread by The Cookbook [...]

  21. [...] Close out the night with a variety of Christmas cookies to serve as dessert or to give as parting gifts.  Bree Hester of Baked Bree is sharing 12 weeks of Christmas cookies, including these unique Hot Chocolate Cookies and the Canadian classic, Nanaimo Bars. [...]

  22. Daphne says:

    I have a question about the chocolate topping. The recipe only says 1/4 butter. Is that a 1/4 cup or 1/4 stick? I’m assuming cup but I wanted to make sure!

  23. Ashley says:

    I replaced the custard powder with corn starch and had great results! Just thought I’d pass it along :)

  24. Salma says:

    I was wondering if i could leave out the nuts?

  25. [...] Canada! One Nanaimo Bar contains graham cracker crumbs, coconut flakes, chopped walnuts, custard, and so much chocolate. [...]

  26. Carol says:

    I love these, my mum has made them every Christmas for at least 25 years, I think I may have done them a couple of times. I live in the east so assumed they were a British desert lol. Anyhow they are delicious, my favorite! Custard has been a baking staple here(in the maritimes) for a long time and you can find it in the baking goods section if anyone wishes to know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>