Nanaimo Bars

The legendary Nanaimo bar is a no-bake dessert named after the city, Nanaimo, in British Columbia.  Pronounced nah-NIGH-moe, this sweet confection has three layers.  The crust's main ingredients are   graham crackers, cocoa, coconut, and nuts.  The middle layer is cream based and then they're topped with a later of chocolate.  In 1986, the Mayor of Nanaimo held a recipe contest for these bars and over the four week contest, over 100 recipes were submitted.  The winner was Joyce Hardcastle and I've added the recipe here so you can try and make them.  I found some Nanaimo bars sold in containers of two in the bakery section of QFC and I couldn't resist grabbing them.  I had read about the origin of the dessert before and thought they looked tasty.  And I was right.  One bite in and I was already satisfied.  They were so good that I passed them around the house and everybody tried them.  I love beautiful British Columbia so it was fun to research and eat a famous dessert from the area. 

The recipe below is from the City of Nanaimo website.  And as usual, all photos from this blog are mine.  Cheers!

                                       Nanaimo Bar Recipe

Bottom Layer½ cup unsalted butter (European style cultured)
¼ cup sugar
5 tbsp. cocoa
1 egg beaten
1 ¼ cups graham wafer crumbs
½ c. 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 Layer½ cup unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. and 2 Tsp. cream
2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar
Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.
Third Layer4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.


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