Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Christmas in July: Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 5

I love being Canadian! We have lots of things that we are proud of, but I think one of my all-time favourite things is something that doesn't just grow here, but was invented here.

Nanaimo Bars.

Have you had one of these delightful morsels? Or perhaps one of the spin-off flavours (mocha, mint, peanut butter, maple. Mmm, Mmm!).

These started in a place by the same name (Nanaimo, British Columbia) and we have all been singing their praises ever since.

Now, this is not some secret recipe. I've seen it around the internet. I need to clear some things up.

First, whatever you do, do not use vanilla pudding mix in place of the custard powder. It is not the same. It does not taste the same. Please don't do it.

If you can't find custard powder at your grocery store -it looks like this:

then try a british import store. If that doesn't work, send me nutter butters or anything else on this list and I'll send you custard powder.

Second, I'm all for making things my own. And I don't really like nuts and sometimes coconut in my cookies. However, you can't omit and change things around in the crust and still call it a nanaimo bar. 

It's just not. 

Please do it my way at least once. 

And then if you change it just call it something else. Okay? Thanks.


Nanaimo Bars

(from Company's Coming 150 Delicious Squares)

Bottom Layer
1/2 cup butter or hard margarine,
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 large egg, beaten
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup fine or medium coconut
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Second Layer
1/2 cup butter or hard margarine, softened
3 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing (confectioner's) sugar

Top Layer
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp butter or hard margarine

For the bottom layer melt the first three ingredients together in the top of a double boiler or heavy saucepan (I prefer a double boiler).

Add the beaten egg and stir until it's cooked and slightly thickened. Remove from heat.

Add the graham crumbs, coconut and nuts stirring to combine thoroughly. Press in the bottom of a foil-lined ungreased 9x9inch pan.

For the second layer cream together the butter, milk, custard powder and icing sugar until smooth. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.

For the top layer, melt both ingredients over low heat (I use the double boiler again). Cool. When cool, but still runny, spread over second layer (do not put on when still hot or you'll melt that second layer and end up with a mess!).  Chill in refrigerator.  A tip that I forgot to do for the ones pictured above is to score the chocolate on top when it's half set. This makes breaking through that top layer less messy.
These freeze beautifully. Makes about 36 squares.


Post a Comment

The fact that you take the time to leave me comments makes my day! Thanks for taking the time. I read every single one.