Sunday, March 01, 2009

Ohhhhhhhhh, Jeanna!

I was reading comments from my last post and nearly fell out of my seat when Jeanna mentioned not knowing about Nanaimo Bars! Say it ain't so! My reaction must have been similar to Jeanna's reaction when she found out that I had never heard of a funnel cake before.

I'm just going to have to rectify the Nanaimo Bar situation, Jeanna. Be expecting some Nanaimo Bars (along with some other things that were supposed to be sent off to you while I was on hospital bed rest during my pregnancy)!

The Nanaimo Bar is a no-bake chocolate dessert that is popular in our neck of the woods. Errmmm...I guess for you, Jeanna, that would be north of the border in that place you call the Great White North! :) The dessert originated in Nanaimo, British Columbia. I went to Nanaimo in 1992 and had a "real" Nanaimo Bar. You know me. I have to go to the place where special dishes originated, just so I can have the real thing! Remember? I've been to Singapore for Singapore noodles and a Singapore Sling. I traveled to Philadelphia for a Philly Cheese Steak. I was in Japan for real sushi. I went to Quebec for real poutine. I was in the Philippines for a traditional longsilog breakfast. You get the picture.

Traditional Nanaimo Bars consist of a wafer crumb layer, a custard layer and a chocolate layer. There are many variations (mint, peanut butter, etc).

Here on the Island, "squares" are a common dessert to bring to parties, gatherings, and local events. There is one lady on the Island that makes the best Nanaimo Bars EVER! I refuse to eat any other Nanaimo Bar now. She knows that Hubby has a sweet tooth and whenever she makes Nanaimo Bars, she makes sure to send some over for him. She is such a sweetheart.

Here's a recipe for you, should you feel inclined. Jeanna, Hubby would tell you that it's a little taste of Heaven. Sooooooooooooo bad for you though!

I don't know if Nanaimo Bars will travel well...or if they'd even make it across the border! You will be getting some choice items from the Manitoulin Chocolate Works though. I promised you, J, Canine, Mom Generations and Cherry some goodies before I was hospitalized. Now that I'm out of the hospital, I have no excuses...other than an infant who wants to be fed every three hours :) I WILL get some goodies sent off to you pronto.

For now...

The Nanaimo Bar


***Bottom Layer ***

* 1/2 cup unsalted butter
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 5 tablespoons cocoa
* 1 egg beaten
* 1 1/4 cup graham wafer crumbs
* 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
* 1 cup coconut

***Second Layer ****

* 1/2 cup unsalted butter
* 2 tablespoons cream PLUS
* 2 teaspoons cream
* 2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder
* 2 cups icing sugar

***Third Layer ***

* 4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


Bottom Layer

Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8" x 8" pan.

Second Layer

Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.

Third Layer

Melt chocolate and butter overlow heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.

This recipe for Nanaimo Bar serves/makes 24 bars.

All images found via Google Images


Cherry said...


In fact the only reason I have Bird's Custard powder in my pantry is for this treat.

I have also had them in Nanaimo, BC and while VERY tasty, I still connect this confection with my friend's now passed grandmother who would make them anytime I asked which was every time she was visiting from BC. I was the only one of the constant bunch of teenagers in the house who would go on and one about them and practically eat the whole batch. I use her recipe to this day, on the cute little recipe card handwritten by her.. bless her heart.

My attempts at them are not so beautiful because when I try to cut them the top chocolate layer cracks everywhere I don't want it to so I end up with "pieces" instead of squares. They are still very tasty and still manage to disappear whether left at home or taken into the office.


Cherry said...

Oh and I too went to Philly for a Cheesesteak. Well I was there for work but was only in Philly for half a day but I told them that if I'm going across the country I'm getting me a cheesesteak...and it was GOOD!.

I have had no troubles sending baked goods from this way on up your way so hopefully you won't have any trouble either.


Word Verf - SHAME
HA! Blogger is trying to tell me something. I have no shame in my love for Nanaimo bars. NONE! Nor do I have shame in commenting twice... within minutes. However I do have shame for using ellipse too often.

Jeanna said...

Dang, woman, I had done a search on your blog for nanaimo bars earlier and here you were reading my frazzled mind.
There are a pile of cookbooks sitting by the couch cuz I can not find something to make my dad for his birthday. I'm tempted to try your recipe even though he claims he doesn't like chocolate, but is a coconut fan.
Too bad I ditched that chocolate, maybe it would have been good for baking, hahaha.
I tell you, you do not have to send me anything, my fat pants are tight and I've had a candy Jones on for weeks.
But what an interesting and informative post. Man those look good. At first I was thinking of this no bake layer thing they had in the sixties then revived not too long ago, but custard...I bet my Godmother would love this. See how I'm justifying making it?
What is vanilla custard powder?
So you'll come here for a Madison Mallards White Trash Special (fried egg sandwich on white bread with a Pabst)?

Rosie : ) said...

Oh boy, Chocolate Works Factory from the Island... YUM! they have the best treats ever there. :)

Karen MEG said...

OH MY, are you trying to get me to emerg over the internet, C? Nanaimo bars are addictive, but sooooo rich!
I don't even want to read the recipe, just sayin'...

Esther said...

Mmmmmmmmm.... Nanaimo bars.... *drool* ;)
Hehe... word ver. is "covess" ... should be "covets" ha!

Shannon said...

Woo Hoo! I have all of the ingredients in my cupboard! ((happy dance)) I know what were having for dessert tonight! Thanks C!

Starshine said...

salivating now...

Uncivil said...

"Nanaimo"? Sounds like a good name for a dog? I used to have a little black pug named "Nunya"!
Ha? I like that! The adventures of Nunya and Nanaimo!

Uncivil said...

I can't get "Nanaimo" out of my mind now! Sounds like it would be a great word to use in place of "Geronimo"?

Nanaimo-hum,Nanaimo-hum,where's this Nanaimo comin' from!

Hey fauna y'wanna?
Would you like some mora?
Right here on the flora?

Now I'm goin all Frank Zappa widdit!

Oh lordy....word verif. undiumb

C said...

LOL! Word ver = SHAME!?!? Too funny! My word ver = PATLAT

YOU are an amazing baker and creator of all things gorgeous, so I have no doubt that your Nanaimo Bars look great...even with cracks in the chocolate layer. I think the little old lady I mentioned (the one who makes the most amazing Nanaimo Bars) said there's a trick to cutting the squares. I'll have to find out and tell you :)

C said...

LOL! Great minds think alike! Hmmm...or as Hubby says, "Fools seldom differ!" ;p

Wait! Does that sound like a fair deal? You come here and get some Nanaimo Bars and I go to Cheese Land and get a Madison Mallards White Trash Special? ;)

Trust will want to make this dessert for your family! It requires absolutely no baking!

C said...

I still want to play that Chocolate-opoly game sometime! LOL! Hey, when are we seeing you guys next??? Let me know.

I know what you mean. Soooooooo rich. Gah! I always feel like it's a good idea to have one...or two...or three. After having one or two or three, I end up feeling icky. LOL! Never fails. They're so good though! Okay, my weakness= Nanaimo Bars and anything with LEMON!

C said...

Too funny! When I read your word ver, I immediately thought of "covets"! :) Oh, Nanaimo I covet thee!

COOL! Let me know how they turn out!!! Take photos too! YUM!

Me toooooooooo!!!! :)

C said...

LOL! I mistook your Frank Zappa for Andrew Dice Clay.

Nanaimo would be a cool name for a dog, wouldn't it? LOL!

caninecologne said...

thanks for the recipe c! i'd like to try making this soon. the fact that it's a 'no bake' recipe is also a plus!

i remember the nanaimo bar soap you sent. that smelled good enough to eat!

word ver:

Shiny Green Penny said...

These tasty treats are a staple at holidays in my family - although they are a bit of work to make, which is better for my waistline because I think I have only ever made them twice. My mom makes some amazing ones, though, and I certainly eat more than my share of those!

Maria McLaughlin said...

I will have to try that recipe... I have a major weakness for Nanaimo bars!!

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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