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Nanaimo Bars

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Level: Intermediate

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Description

This is a tasty Canadian dessert. The chocolate crust is full of almonds, coconut and graham crackers. Followed by a creamy buttercream center and topped off with chocolate, it’s perfection.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE BOTTOM LAYER:
  • ½ cups Butter, Softened
  • ¼ cups Sugar
  • ⅓ cups Cocoa Powder
  • 1  Egg, Beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1-¾ cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1 cup Shredded Sweetened Coconut
  • ½ cups Finely Chopped Almonds
  • FOR THE MIDDLE LAYER:
  • ½ cups Butter, Softened
  • 3 Tablespoons Cream Or More If Needed
  • 2 Tablespoons Birds Custard Powder
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • FOR THE TOP LAYER:
  • 4 ounces, weight Dark Or Semi-sweet Chocolate
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Corn Syrup (optional)

Preparation

For the bottom layer:
In a large saucepan melt the butter over low heat. Then stir in the sugar and cocoa powder until smooth. Whisk in the beaten egg stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened (about 1-2 minutes). Remove from the heat and add the vanilla, graham cracker crumbs, coconut and chopped nuts. Mix together then press into an 8″ or 9″ square baking dish. Cover and chill until firm (about 30 minutes).

For the middle layer:
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer) cream the butter. Add in the remaining middle layer ingredients and beat until light and fluffy. If the mixture is too thick, add another tablespoon of cream. Spread the filling over the bottom layer and chill until firm (about 15-20 minutes).

For the top layer:
Melt the chocolate and butter together in a pan over low heat or in the top of a double boiler (with simmering water in the bottom of the double boiler). Be careful not to burn. Remove from heat and stir in the teaspoon of corn syrup. The corn syrup helps to make a smooth top but is optional if you don’t have any. Gently spread over the filling. Put it into the refrigerator and allow it to chill until set.

Notes:
- If you can’t find Bird’s custard powder (I think World Market has it or you could order online) then you can use vanilla pudding powdered mix.
- I have seen other recipes that use pecans or walnuts instead of almonds but the original bars have almonds. I just put almond slices in a food processor and it worked great.
- After I spread the melted chocolate on top, I shook the pan back and forth and the chocolate smoothed nicely.
- Also, you may want to score the chocolate before chilling it the last time to make cutting easier.
- Recipe adapted from: nearbynews.com and nanaimo.ca.

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