Nanaimo bars- pronounced naNYEmo – are a 3-layered dessert named after Nanaimo, a city on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
BUT you guys already knew that, right?!!11/!
(no you didn’t)
(unless you are canadian)
Anyways, my mom stumbled upon these exotic canadian delicacies whilst perusing food52.com the other day. As soon as she saw them, she glanced across the room, caught my eye, and through our telepathic communications we decided right then and there that we had to make nanaimo bars that night.
but anyways, that night we set out on our odyssey to find the ingredients, which turned out to be harder than we thought it would be since we are staying in New Jersey until the end of the summer.
After going to Wegmans, Trader Joes, and Whole Foods (which for some reason had unsweetened coconut in bulk and bags but no sweetened coconut??!) we were somehow still lacking a few ingredients
(I guess that goes to show you how often people make nanaimo bars in south jersey lol)
so unfORTUNately our good camera died right before I started making these so my step-by-step pictures are a little
BUT I did take some profesh pics of the final product (as can be seen above) so I guess they cancel each other out, amirite??
So lets meet the cast of characters for these bars !!1!
So I lied because this is only the cast of characters for the base of the bars OOPS but anyways you will need melted butter, cocoa powder, sugar, almond flour, SWEETENED shredded coconut, crushed grahams, salt, and vanilla !!
butter an 8×8 pan and line with foil!
Whisk together the melted butter, cocoa, sugar, vanilla, and salt until smoooooooth
Add the crushed grahams, almond meal, and coconut, and stir until combined.
Then press it all into the pan!
This kind of resembles mulch
bear with me guys
aaaaaand here is the second cast of characters!! (for the middle and top layers)
You’ll need (very soft) butter, powdered sugar, semisweet chocolate chips, half and half (or heavy cream), vanilla pudding powder, salt, and vanilla!
In a large bowl, beat the butter, pudding powder, and powdered sugar together until smooth. add the vanilla, salt, and a little bit of half and half– beat for several minutes until smooth and spreadable, adding teaspoon increments of half and half as needed!
Spread evenly over the base layer!
Afterwards, in a microwave or double boiler, melt the chocolate chips until smooth. What you wanna do after that is spread it quickly over the custard layer, making sure it reaches the edges and the corners.
(when I did it, the chocolate somehow started solidifying right when it hit the custard, making my spreading job look even more poop-esque than the base layer…….. if you can imagine that)
Anyways that is why there are no pictures of the top layer of these bars
BUT such is the natural course of life, thus I was forced to grit my teeth and move on.
I’m not the only one who gets upset over these things
Refrigerate for several hours until firm, and then slice into squares!
I was pleasantly surprised by these! I usually don’t love shredded coconut but I honestly couldn’t taste it in these bars- and best of all, nobody gave the embarrassing chocolate layer a second glance !!
I guess that just goes to show you that, when it comes to desserts, it really doesn’t matter if it looks martha stewart level-flawless, because
lets be real here, guys, it’s dessert. people are gonna eat it anyways.
taken from food52
(makes one 8×8 pan)
For the bottom layer:
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa, preferably Dutch process
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely crushed graham crackers (from 1 sleeve, or 9 crackers)
1/2 cup almond flour (or very finely chopped almonds)
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
For the middle and top layers:
1/2 cup butter, very soft
3 tablespoons custard-flavored (or vanilla) pudding powder
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon half-and-half or heavy cream, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1) Butter an 8 × 8 pan and line with foil. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, cocoa, sugar, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Add the crushed graham crackers, almond meal, and coconut, then stir until combined.
2) Press evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan (try using the bottom of a cup!)
3) In a large bowl beat the butter, custard powder, and powdered sugar together until smooth. Add vanilla, salt, and one tablespoon of half-and-half. Beat for several minutes until smooth and spreadable, adding more half-and-half one teaspoon at a time as needed.
4) Spread evenly over the base layer.
5) In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (or in the microwave), melt the chocolate chips, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Pour over the top of the bars and use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate all the way to the edge (before the chocolate begins to set).
6) Refrigerate for several hours until firm, then slice into to squares. I used a sharp knife and a very gentle “sawing” motion to slice them into five equal bars and then into 25 smaller squares, cleaning the knife under hot water between cuts. Store your bars in the refrigerator.