Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Nanaimo Bars

When I read this recipe in the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion and saw that it originally was from Nanaimo, a city on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, I thought it would be a perfect choice, kind of my nod to the Olympics!

I hadn't even looked up any info on this bar or noticed how many others had baked it and commented on it before I had made it myself. Then, after I had made it, I checked it out on line and saw many variations, the peanut butter one sounds good! Or, how about using mint flavor?

I couldn't wait to taste it and once it had done time in the fridge, I took it out to take a photo and took a bite. It really has a nice, creamy texture from the pudding filling and the chocolate layer on top adds a wonderful chocolatey silkiness ( using semi sweet Belgian chocolate doesn't hurt, either!). The only objection I have it that the bar seems very elegant and the graham cracker crumbly crust doesn't seem to go with the two top layers. It seems to need a less crumbly, more sophisticated crust, maybe something like a chocolate shortbread? The flavors and textures are better, I think, if the bar is at a cool room temperature, rather than straight from the fridge.

So, let's make Nanaimo Bars.
First make the crust by combining butter, sugar and cocoa in your mixing bowl.
Mix in egg and stir in coconut, walnuts, vanilla and crumbs.

Pat the dough into your prepared pan and bake 10 minutes.

Once it bakes and cools, make the filling and spread over top and refridgerate til chilled.

Once that has cooled, make the frosting and spread that over the top and refridgerate again til set.
Kind of alot of steps!
Nanaimo Bars ( from King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion)
1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, regular or dutch process
1 large egg
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts ( the recipe didn't specify how finely chopped but I took mine for a spin in the food processor til they were finely chopped).
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. instant vanilla pudding mix
2 tbsp. milk
1 cup chopped semisweet chocolate or chocolate chips
2 tbsp. vegetable shortening, unsalted butter or heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9" x 9" pan or an 11" x 7" pan.
1. In medium sized mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar and cocoa.
2. Mix in the egg, then stir in the coconut, walnuts, vanilla and crumbs.
3. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and bake 10 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
1. In medium sized mixing bowl, cream butter, then add 1 cup confectioners sugar and the vanilla.
2. In a small bowl, stir the pudding into the milk and add to the butter mixture.
3. Add the remaining cup of confectioners sugar and beat til the filling is smooth.
4. Spread it over the cooled crust and refridgerate til cooled.
1. Melt the chocolate and shortening in a small saucepan set over medium heat or in the microwave. ( I used the double boiler method). Stir til smooth.
2. Spread the frosting over the chilled bars and refridgerate til chocolate is set.
3. Cut into bars, using a very sharp knife.

1 comment:

  1. Yum! I've seen recipes for these bars on a lot of blogs. I defiantly need to try them out for myself.



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