Sunday, December 6, 2015

Pink and Sweet - A Recipe for Nanaimo Bars

Have you ever heard of these sweet treats?  
I've enjoyed eating them all my life and other than knowing that Nanaimo is a city on the west coast of my home country, Canada, I knew nothing else about them.  
So over to Google I went and this is what I found out:

The Nanaimo bar is named after the west coast city of NanaimoBritish Columbia. It consists of a wafer crumb-based layer topped by a layer of custard flavoured butter icing which is covered with melted chocolate made from chocolate squares. Many varieties exist, consisting of different types of crumb, different flavours of icing (e.g., mintpeanut butter,coconutmocha), and different types of chocolate.


The Nanaimo bar was first created in the Modern Cafe, located in Nanaimo, BC, Canada. The earliest confirmed printed copy of the recipe using the name "Nanaimo Bars" appears in a cookbook from 1953. A copy of the book is on view at the Nanaimo museum. However, following research into the origins of Nanaimo bars, Lenore Newman writes that the same recipe was published in the Vancouver Sun earlier that same year under the name "London Fog Bar". (Wikipedia)

No matter its origins, all I can say is that they are delicious!
Interested in the recipe for your festive baking? 
Well, here you go:
(modified from an original recipe found at Canadian Living)
          • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
          • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
          • 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts 
          • 1/4 cup cocoa powder 
          • 1/4 cup granulated sugar 
          • 1/3 cup butter , melted
          • 1 egg , lightly beaten
          • Filling:
          • 1/4 cup butter , softened
          • 2 tbsp custard powder 
          • 1/2 tsp vanilla
          • 2 cups icing sugar 
          • 2 tbsp milk , (approx)
          • Topping:
          • 4 oz semisweet chocolate , chopped
          • 1 tbsp butter

In bowl, stir together graham crumbs, coconut, walnuts, cocoa powder and sugar. Drizzle with butter and egg, stirring until combined.

Press into parchment paper–lined 9-inch (2.5 L) square cake pan. Bake in 350ºF (180ºC) oven until firm, about 10 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack.

Filling: In bowl, beat together butter, custard powder and vanilla. Beat in icing sugar alternately with milk, making 3 additions of sugar and 2 of milk and adding up to 1 tsp more milk if too thick to spread. (Here is when you can add some flavouring and colouring, too. Try 1tsp of mint, rum, coffee or orange extract and a few drops of food colouring to match.) Spread over cooled base. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Topping: In heatproof bowl over saucepan of hot (not boiling) water, melt chocolate with butter; spread over filling. Refrigerate until chocolate is almost set, about 30 minutes. 

With tip of knife, score into bars; refrigerate until chocolate is completely set, about 30 minutes. (Make-ahead: Wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days or overwrap in foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks.) Cut into bars. 


I would love to hear of you try this recipe.  
I am sure it will be a hit in your house - or at the next Christmas party you attend!!


  1. Oh my! These look so tasty and they are almost too pretty to eat. Almost...LOL! Have a lovely Sunday!

  2. They certainly look delicious and would definitely hit the spot.

  3. Mmm, they look absolutely delicious, and so pretty too!

  4. I can honestly say I have never heard of these before but they look amazing. Definitely something to try during my time off work over the festive period x x x

  5. Oh these look amazing, Bronwyn, what a yummy treat. I'm going to have to make some! xx


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