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.
It 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 is 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.*
Homemade Nanaimo Bars Ingredients //
- 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
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup room temperature butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons custard powder
- 3 ounces chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup butter
How to Make // The Steps
Step 1: Start with the crust. Melt together the butter, brown sugar, and cocoa.
Step 2: I did mine over a double boiler, but if I had a microwave, I probably would have done it that way.
Step 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.
Step 4: Mix in the graham crackers, coconut, and walnuts.
Step 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.
Step 6: Make the buttercream layer, but cream together the powdered sugar, butter, and custard powder. Add the cream slowly, and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Step 7: Spread the cream layer evenly over the crust. Back in the fridge for another half hour or so.
Step 8: Melt together the butter and chocolate (either a double boiler or microwave) and pour over the chilled cream layer.
Step 9: Back in the fridge to set up.
Step 10: Cut them into small squares (they are really rich) and keep them 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.
Thursday 27th of June 2013
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.
Saturday 29th of June 2013
They are so good! I love making them too.
Thursday 26th of April 2012
I was wondering if i could leave out the nuts?
Thursday 26th of April 2012
Yes, you can, but I would add more coconut to keep the volume the same.
Sunday 8th of April 2012
thanks for sharing Ashley!
Wednesday 7th of December 2011
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!
Wednesday 14th of December 2011
1/4 cup. Thanks for letting me know.
Wednesday 30th of November 2011
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!!!
Thursday 1st of December 2011
Please do Rachel!