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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nanaimo Bars

The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and www.nanaimo.ca.

I think I may have been the only Daring Baker who was not excited about making Nanaimo bars this month. It wasn’t that I don’t like them. I do, and I have posted them before. However, I try to avoid doing repeats and also, JenFinn had just made them a few weeks ago for New Years. I thought I was full of Nanaimo bars until next New Year. Nevertheless I knew I would press on because that is what being a Daring Baker is all about. Nanaimo bars are pretty simple to make so the challenge part was making the graham crackers. Our host is gluten free, but I chose to make the regular gluten filled crackers.

Nanaimo Bars

The crackers were pretty simple to make, but the batter is very sticky. The recipe makes way more graham crackers than you’ll need so if you are making them just for this, halve the recipe and that should be plenty. I didn’t have time to make pretty graham crackers so I just did one big layer of them, but they came out well and taste pretty great! I will definitely have to experiment with those again in the future. I am glad that I checked the grahams halfway through. They only took about half the time to cook.

Nanaimo Bars

The only real challenge with making Nanaimo bars is planning because you have to wait for the various layers to chill. I doubled the amount of chocolate on top because I think it looks prettier and I like the contrast with that super sweet interior. For me, the other challenge was getting these suckers out of the pan! I had to use all my arm strength, but luckily I didn’t ruin my pan. Next time (if there is a next time), I will line that pan with parchment. Nanaimo bars are super rich. If you can't finish the pan yourself, take them to work or freeze them for another time!

The graham cracker recipe can be found on 101 Cookbooks. The Nanaimo bar recipe is below. Visit the blogroll to see how the other Daring Bakers fared with their bars.

Nanaimo Bars
(Ever so slightly adapted from The City of Nanaimo)

Bottom Layer
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
5 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg beaten
1 1/4 cups graham wafer crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup coconut

Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8" x 8" pan.


Second Layer
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder (or pudding)
2 cups icing sugar

Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.

Third Layer
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Melt chocolate and butter overlow heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.

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21 comments:

Amy said...

Gorgeous bars! I was supposed to make them over last weekend but ended up sick in bed all weekend instead! I will be making them on Sunday though. Oh well, one of these months my post will be on time!

Erica said...

I've never heard of these but they're super pretty! And I love the idea of the graham/almond combo. Hope you have a good Wednesday

anjelikuh said...

yummy looking nanaimo bars! great job on the challenge.

Maria said...

These bars are loaded! Nice job!

Diana said...

I still need to make your original version sometime! Guess this was a good reminder for me to get on that! :)

Memória said...

Your bars look perfect! I had to double the chocolate layer, too. I forgot to mention that on my post. Anyway, congrats on completing a challenge you were reluctant to do. I know how that feels.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Way to press on and make these bars - yours look gorgeous! I was thinking I would like to double the chocolate on top as well. Yum!

Jenn said...

These are an afternoon snack waiting to be eaten. I want a piece now!!! hehehe...

lisaiscooking said...

I'd never heard of these before. They look delicious! The creamy filling and double chocolate topping is just great.

TasteStopping said...

You weren't the only Daring Baker who was less than excited about this one. And I, too, resorted to full-gluten for my graham crackers. In the end, like you, I was thrilled to make the graham crackers, as I have a feeling that they will make a return appearance in my dessert-making. As for the bars themselves, I'm still not convinced. But! It was a nice break after the showstopping gingerbread houses, no? :D

Best,
Casey

fulltimefoodie said...

Your layers look so nice and even! I admire that you made them regardless! You are a true daring baker!

Helene said...

I live just an hour from Nanaimo. I'll have to make this recipe.

Kate @ Savour Fare said...

Lovely! I like the way the thicker chocolate looks. I found that the glutenful grahams did cook more quickly, but mine still weren't crispy. Were yours?

Micron the Cat said...

I don't know what Nanaimo is, so I'll have to look it up. Seems to me that one could use oats instead of graham cracker crumbs and it would be just as good... These look great!

Jeanne said...

The bars are beautiful! All of the layers look so even. Outstanding job!

Tia said...

great job!!! your layers look divine.

Foodycat said...

Well they sound fabulous! I bet your workmates love having you around!

Sippity Sup said...

They are certainly pretty though I can't say I have ever had one. GREG

TeaLady said...

Those look incredible. Wish I had had time to make.

Lauren said...

Stunning job! Your nanaimo bars look absolutely amazing! I'm glad you gave my challenge a shot, even with the repeat =D.

Lisa Michelle said...

Fantastic job!! They look absolutely perfect and beautiful, Esi! Love how creamy white your filling turned out!