Thursday, November 6, 2008

Nanaimo Bars

From the kitchen of Marta Smith, my wonderful sister-in-law.

The Nanaimo bar is a dessert of Canadian origin popular across North America. A type of chocolate no-bake square, it receives its name from the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia. It consists of a crumb-based layer, topped by a layer of light custard or vanilla butter icing, which is covered in chocolate.

Many varieties are possible by using different types of crumb, flavours of custard or icing (e.g. mint, peanut butter), and types of chocolate. Two popular variations on the traditional Nanaimo bar involve mint flavoured custard or mocha flavoured custard.In my opinion, these are best served as a dessert alone, without any other sweet treat.

I love to sneak one before breakfast; there is nothing better than a sweet chocolaty treat hitting your pallet early in the morning!

Ingredients

For base, blend in mixer:
3/4 c. butter, softened
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1 1/2 t. vanilla
2 eggs

Combine in separate bowl and then add to chocolate mixture:
3 c. Graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 c. shredded coconut
3/4 c. chopped walnuts
Mix until dry ingredients are well coated. Press firmly into ungreased 9x13 pan. Set aside.

For filling, cream:
1/3 c. butter
Add:
1 98g box vanilla instant pudding
3 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. milk

Beat until resembling frosting. Spread evenly over base & chill in freezer until filling layer is nice and firm.

Heat in microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth:
3 T. milk
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Spread quickly over top of filling. Chill in freezer until all layers are quite firm, but not frozen solid, about 30 minutes. Cut into rectangles or squares. Place in plastic container and freeze at least 1 hour before serving. To serve, let sit at room temperature for 3-5 minutes, still frozen but soft enough to bite.

Makes 4 dozen bars.

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