Try a New Recipe Tuesday: Nanaimo Bars

We’re part of Geography Club in our homeschool group, which is just a fancy way of saying that we pick a country each month and learn all about it. The kids each pick a topic, research it, and tell their friends all about it when he have our monthly meeting. In the meantime, the moms are busy digging up recipes for our themed potluck. I have been letting Jeffrey pick the recipes from websites, but this month was Canada, and since I have several online friends from and in Canada, I just asked them for some ideas. I’ve been hearing about Nanaimo (try to hang out with writers and not write NaNoWriMo every time you type that) bars for years, so I thought we’d give those a shot. I found a recipe (several actually) online, but I ended up using a recipe stolen borrowed from my friend Kelly. It seems like a lot of steps, but it actually comes together pretty quickly. It will be even quicker if you by graham cracker crumbs. I had to make my own.

Gluten-free note: I used gluten-free graham crackers, but I’m not calling this recipe gluten-free because, although the custard powder does not contain wheat or gluten, it is made in a facility that processes wheat, and thus is not guaranteed to be gluten-free. I didn’t have any problems, but I am not zero-tolerance, either.

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I don’t even know what the shadow is from. I didn’t notice it when I took the picture. So much for my professional photography career.

Recipe

Melt:
2 squares Bakers semi-sweet chocolate

Combine with:
½ cup (125 ml) softened butter
2 Tbsp (25 ml) sugar
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla
1 egg

Add:
2 cups (500 ml) graham wafer crumbs (I used gluten-free graham crackers. S’moreables, which I found at my health food store, or you can get them from Amazon. Both times I made these, I needed just a little more than a full box to make it to two cups.)
1 cup (250 ml) coconut
½ cup (125 ml) chopped walnuts (I had already bought almonds because the other recipe I had intended to use called for almonds. It was still yummy.)
Press into a 9-inch pan (2.5 L) and chill (See my note about the pan below.)

Combine:
2 Tbsp custard powder (You can find this in the international aisle of your grocery store with the British items. Or you can buy it from Amazon. They have various sizes, but apparently you *must* use Bird’s custard powder. Although word has it that you can use vanilla pudding powder as a substitute. It won’t be exactly the same, though.)
3 Tbsp milk
¼ cup butter
2 cups icing sugar (powdered sugar)
Beat until smooth and spread over base. Chill 15 minutes.

Melt:
4 squares Bakers chocolate with
1 Tbsp butter
Spread over custard layer. Chill. Cut into bars.

Makes about 3 dozen. (I suppose that depends on how you cut them, now doesn’t it?)

I used a Pampered Chef Medium Bar Pan because that’s what I had on hand. Most of my cake pans are in storage right now. But the pan was perfect as far as I can tell. This pan is 11½” x 7¾” x 1” (29 cm x 19 cm x 2.5 cm). Here another picture so you can see how thick the bars are in this pan. If you use a bigger pan, they’ll be thinner, or you can put them in a smaller pan to make them thicker.

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You can find more recipes from bloggers at Home to 4 Kiddos.

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