Thursday, June 30, 2011

Nanaimo Bars {& Happy Canada Day!}

Since I now live in Canada and have a Canadian husband and half Canadian son, I decided I had to make something special for Canada Day. This year I couldn't resist making some deliciously sweet Nanaimo Bars. Not only are they my husbands favourite, we live not too far away from Nanaimo so all-in-all it was the perfect thing to make to celebrate Canada Day. So to all the Canadians out there and everyone celebrating Canada Day, have a fantastic day!

For the base:
115g/ 4oz butter
30g/ 1 oz sugar
225g/ 8oz digestive biscuits (Graham crackers)
30g/ 1oz cocoa powder
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
115g/ 4oz shredded coconut
45g/ 1 ½ oz pecan nuts, chopped

For the custard layer:
170g/ 6oz icing sugar, sieved
45g/ 1½ oz butter
2 tbsp custard powder
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk

For the top:
115g/ 4oz good quality dark or bittersweet chocolate
1 tbsp butter

Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F/ GM 4.

Crush the biscuits finely (either in a food processor or a sandwich bag with a rolling pin). Place the butter and sugar in a pan and cook gently until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat then add the biscuits, cocoa, egg and vanilla and stir well before adding the coconut and nuts. Stir again until everything is evenly mixed.

Spoon the mixture into a 8” x 8” tin and level out. Bake for 10 minutes in the oven then remove and leave to cool.

Put all of the ingredients for the filling into a bowl and beat until smooth. Spread over the base and chill for 1 hour or until firm.

To make the topping very gently melt the chocolate and butter (I find the best way is to put the ingredients into a small bowl then place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water). Cool slightly then spread over the filling. Chill until set, then cut into squares and keep in the fridge until ready to serve. Delicious, sweet and completely Canadian!

*I added a little too much milk to my custard layer so they are a little thinner than they should be, however if you follow the recipe you will be just fine!


  1. Oh, I'm curious to know where you live now. I grew up on the mainland, but not too far from Nanaimo...

    Every time I go to Canada for a visit I have to have a Nanaimo bar or two. Will be there in just over a month, and your creations have whetted my appetite! Happy Canada Day to you too.

  2. These sound and look delicious!

  3. I never heard of these bars until I started looking at food blogs. They must be particular to certain areas.

  4. I have come across these bars before but I have yet to make them. Yours look totally delicious and they leave me with inspitation to give them a try. Thank you for sharing and have a Happy Canada Day!

  5. Those layers look pretty tasty, especially the crunchy base with the coconut and nuts. I have seen many variations but have saved this recipe to try this version. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I've never heard of these before but they look really tasty. I can understand why your husband likes them so much!

  7. Thanks everyone for your lovely comments!

    I had never heard of them either until I came to Canada and was visiting the West Coast, then when I met my husband that all changed! I guess it does just depend where you are in Canada. Since we are so close to their origin you can find them everywhere here! They are definitely a little unusual but so delicious!

    Michele - Im on the island so very close to Nanaimo! Have a great time when you come back - hopefully the weather will be a little nicer than it has been!

    Thanks again everyone - I hope you all had a lovely Canada Day! : )

  8. These look scrumptious! I hope you had a wonderful Canada Day! I can't wait to try these! : )

  9. I had never heard of these before until recently, but I really want to try one now! They look so delicious!

  10. Oh I do love Nanaimo bars! I have even been to Nanaimo and loved it there! These bars are popular treats at bridal and baby showers. It seems that we always find a reason to make them here on the Canadian Prairies! These look fabulous!!

  11. This sweet treat looks wonderful!
    It is Dessert week at Get Grillin'. Cookin' Canuck & I would love it if you linked up this recipe & any (2) other desserts you might have to our recipe round up :) They do not have to be made on the grill.

  12. My mother used to make these when I was a child. I don't know where she got the recipe ... we're Texans! I don't know what custard powder is. Mother said she used vanilla pudding. Is that near enough to custard powder?

  13. Thanks everyone! If you haven't tried them I definitely recommend them, and if you have then I'm sure you will like this version!

    Marla - sorry I didn't get a chance to link the recipe! I really wanted to it just slipped my mind and I'm guessing it's too late now!.....Maybe next time?!

    Susan - to be honest Im not really sure. Im sure you could use it and it would taste delicious, I just can't say for sure how similar it would be since I've never had vanilla pudding (although I know what you mean) - definitely give it a try though and let me know how it tastes! : )


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...