Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nanaimo Bars - Chocolate Week 4

When I was young, Mom loved to create homemade confections during the holiday season. One of my favorites were Nanaimo Bars. Yes, I loved chocolate, but perhaps I loved them all the more because they were a special occasion dessert.

Many years later, while on a girls' getaway at Half Moon Bay, CA, my friend and I encountered these luscious bars in a small bakery and eagerly shared one. That's when I asked Mom for her recipe. I also learned it originated in the early 1950s, in Ladysmith, Vancouver Island, Canada near the town of Nanaimo. A housewive's award-winning recipe quickly became a dessert favorite that also spread to the States.

Today, Nanaimo Bars are a special occasion treat in my home too. I doubt there are many such elegant desserts that also require no baking.

Nanaimo Bars
Makes 36 one-inch bars

Bottom layer:
1/2 cup butter
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 egg, beaten
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup grated coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts

Middle layer:
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding
2 cups confectioners sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk

Top layer
4 ounces chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter
Bottom layer: Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler. Add egg and stir in. Add remaining ingredients and fold together. Press mixture into buttered 9 x 9 pan. Let cool and harden in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes before adding middle layer.
Middle layer: Cream together butter, vanilla and pudding. Slowly add confectioners sugar until well blended. Add milk as needed to achieve thick, smooth consistency. Spread mixture on first layer. Allow to cool and harden in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Top layer: Melt chocolate chips and butter in double boiler. Spread on first two cooled layers. Add more chopped walnuts as garnish, if desired.

Let cool several hours before cutting small because they are very rich. They also freeze well.

No comments:

Post a Comment