A Taste of Canada
This decadent dessert bar is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Lose yourself in each of its three layers: a graham cracker crumb and shredded coconut base, creamy custard center, and a layer of chocolate goodness on top.
About this Recipe
Named after the city of Nanaimo in British Columbia, Nanaimo Bars are a beloved treat enjoyed across Canada. They gained notoriety after the Second World War when staples like butter and sugar no longer needed to be rationed.
“In her book Baking as Biography, Diane Tye notes that expensive and time-consuming dainties were considered a status symbol. Although the Nanaimo bar requires several expensive pre-made goods, its appeal had more to do with conspicuous consumption than with saving time. In addition to being a status symbol, the time needed to prepare Nanaimo bars for entertaining guests reflected the leisure time ostensibly afforded to women outside the workplace.” (The Canadian Encyclopedia)
The basic Nanaimo Bar recipe has come a long way since the 1950s, with people modifying to include nuts, flavors like Mocha and Espresso and much more. Below is one of the more standard recipes, followed by videos showing you a few different ways you could experiment with this tasty treat. Try them all and see which you like best!
2hrs 10 mins
In a bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, coconut, nuts (if desired), 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 oven at 350°F (180°C) until firm, about 10 minutes. Let cool in the pan.
Filling: In bowl, beat together butter, custard powder and vanilla. Beat in icing sugar alternately with milk. Add up to 1 tsp more milk if too thick to spread. 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.
Video on How To Make Nanaimo Bars
Professional Baker Teaches You How To Make Nanaimo Bars!
Nanaimo Bars are on the menu in Chef Anna Olson’s amazing kitchen, and she is going to teach you how to make this delicious recipe from scratch! Follow along with the recipes below!
How to make Nanaimo bars
The Great Canadian Baking Show
Judge Rochelle Adonis from The Great Canadian Baking show gives us a step-by-step guide to making this classic Canadian treat.
Canadian Chocolate Bars (Nanaimo Bars) Four Ways
4 delicious twists on this Canadian favourite including mocha, gingersnap, and coconut flavours!
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