Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nanaimo Bars

So I decided to join the Daring Kitchen where you can become a Daring Baker and/or Daring Cook with new challenges every month with specific reveal dates.  The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and

I did not make the gluten-free graham wafers as I do not have the money to buy all the flours & I will probably never use them again and I'm really trying not to waste stuff anymore!

Anyway, I am going to post the Nanaimo Bars here and the graham cracker recipe here because you will be able to use store bought graham crackers if you wish (but if you have the time, try the graham crackers, even though I wasn't a huge fan).

The bars themselves were good--but VERY rich!  I would suggest using only one cup of powdered sugar in the middle layer.  If I make these again I am also going to use rice crispies instead of coconut in the bottom layer.  I may also try using peanut butter in the middle layer instead of the custard as well, since I think that is where the richness REALLY came from.

Also, for the top layer, make sure you have a HEATPROOF BOWL or a double boiler.  I thought my bowl was heatproof and I was wrong.  Everything turned out okay, but I need to be careful using that bowl from now on ;)  Now finally to the recipe (sorry for the long post):

For Nanaimo Bars — Bottom Layer
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 5 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1 Large Egg, Beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups  Graham Cracker Crumbs-I just put the crackers in the food processor, you can also do this by putting them in a ziploc bag & smashing it :) 
  • 1/2 cup Almonds (Any type, Finely chopped)
  • 1 cup Coconut (Shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)--here is where I would substitute rice krispies
For Nanaimo Bars — Middle Layer--here I am thinking of substututing peanut butter or pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons Heavy Cream
  • 2 tablespoons Vanilla Custard Powder (Such as Bird’s. Vanilla pudding mix may be substituted.)
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar--personally I think only 1 cup is necessary if using a custard middle
For Nanaimo Bars — Top Layer
  • 4 ounces Semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1. For bottom Layer: Melt unsalted butter, sugar and cocoa in top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 by 8 inch pan.

2. For Middle Layer: Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light in colour. Spread over bottom layer.

3. For Top Layer: Melt chocolate and unsalted butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill.

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