nanaimo bars

i came across nanaimo bars, by a piece of fortune, while researching on the origins of magic bars. the nanaimo sounded delicious and after the success of the magic bars i had to give them a try. nanaimo bars are a pudding-filled chocolate topped bars which originated in the canadian town of nanaimo. According to local tale, about 35 years ago, a nanaimo housewife entered her recipe for chocolate squares in a magazine contest. The entry won a prize, thereby putting the town and her cooking "on the map."

no baking is required for this bars, just patience. you need to wait for each layer to cool out in the fridge before applying the next. the final result is a crumbly crust, sweet filling and chocolate topping bars. i became obsessed with the filling, it is nothing but glorious butter, pudding and sugar, i was licking the bowl like crazy and had to force myself to stop. so beware.

bottom layer:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (I use Dutch-processed)
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup coconut (either sweetened or unsweetened)
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 - 3 tbs milk or cream
2 tbs vanilla pudding powder
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar (confectioners or icing) sugar

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tbs unsalted butter
butter (or use a cooking spray) a 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23 cm) pan.

bottom layer:
in a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. stir in the sugar and cocoa powder and then gradually whisk in the beaten egg. cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens (1 - 2 minutes). remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract, graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and chopped nuts. press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. cover and refrigerate until firm (about an hour).

in your electric mixer cream the butter. beat in the remaining ingredients. if the mixture is too thick to spread, add a little more milk. spread the filling over the bottom layer, cover, and refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes).

in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter. spread over the filling and refrigerate.

to serve:
to prevent the chocolate from cracking, using a sharp knife, bring the squares to room temperature before cutting.


Michal said...

i'm definitely going to make it this weekend! i can use the mixing i showed you we have, right? (the hand-held one)

sarit said...

yes. that will be perfect.