06 July 2010

Nanaimo Bars

Oh boy. Let me preface this post by saying that nanaimo bars (say it "nah-nee-moh") are completely addictive. If you're looking for a new no-bake treat, this is a surefire winner. I had all the ingredients on hand in my pantry, so when I found the recipe, I was eating Nanaimo Bars within a couple of hours!

These layered bars remind me a little bit of Brookies in that you mix the different layers separately and then combine. Also, both are very rich and chocolate-y. However, when judged by me, Nanaimo Bars would win the dessert contest anytime. They're slightly easier to make, don't require baking, keep in the fridge forever, and taste amazing. Try them!

I would suggest assembling and measuring all your ingredients ahead of time. You have time in between making each layer where the bars need to chill in the fridge, so prepping only the layer you're about to work on will be sufficient.

Nanaimo Bars
adapted from The Joy of Baking

bottom layer ingredients
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 c. sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 c. chopped walnuts

middle layer ingredients
1/2 stick unsalted butter
3 tbsp. milk or cream (I used skim milk)
2 tbsp. vanilla pudding powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. powdered sugar

top layer ingredients
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1 tbsp. unsalted butter

bottom layer assembly
Grease a 9"x9" (I don't have one, so I used 8"x8") pan with cooking spray or butter.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Stir in the sugar and cocoa powder until incorporated completely.
Slowly stream the beaten egg into the mixture, stirring constantly.
Continue cooking over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.
Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining "bottom layer ingredients".
Press the mixture into the greased pan with your fingers, then cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

middle layer assembly
Using a KA or electric hand mixer, beat butter until creamy.
Add all other ingredients and beat until smooth.
If mixture is too thick to spread, add a tablespoon of milk/cream at a time until it reaches a thick yet spreadable consistency.
Spread over the bottom layer.
Cover and refrigerate at least thirty minutes.

top layer assembly 
In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate and butter in thirty-second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.
Pour over the middle layer and smooth.
Refrigerate until chocolate has set.

Cut into squares (I did 4x4, so got 16 2"x2" bars) with a sharp knife. I prefer to serve chilled straight out of the fridge, but you can also bring them to room temperature before serving. Enjoy!


Catherine said...

These bars look incredibly delish Amy!

Anonymous said...

Glad to see yet another awesome Nanaimo Bar recipe - if you are ever visitng Nanaimo, please let me know and I'll treat you to a few of my local favourites!
Chelsea Barr, Media Relations with City of Nanaimo. chelsea.barr@nanaimo.ca

Amy said...

Thanks Catherine! You should definitely give them a try, they are AH-MAZING!

Chelsea, thank you for stopping by - I will definitely look you up if I'm ever in Nanaimo! :)